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The Selection Hardcover – April 24, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 3,788 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“An engrossing tale reminiscent of Shannon Hale’s Princess Academy and Ally Condie’s Matched. Fairy-tale lovers will lose themselves in America’s alternate reality and wish that the next glamorous sequel were waiting for them.” (School Library Journal)

“Cass’s immensely readable debut novel is a less drastic Hunger Games, with elaborate fashion and trappings. The fast-paced action will have readers gasping for the upcoming sequel.” (Booklist)

“A cross between The Hunger Games (minus the bloodsport) and The Bachelor (minus the bloodsport), this trilogy launch is a lot of fun. Cass deftly builds the chemistry between America and Maxon, while stroking the embers of America’s first, forbidden love.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Reality T.V. meets dystopian fairy tale in Kiera Cass’s delightful debut. Charming, captivating, and filled with just the right amount of swoon!” (Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of Paranormalcy)

From the Back Cover

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Selection (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; 15203rd edition (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062059939
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062059932
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,788 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm rating this book purely on my enjoyment of it and not on some scale deciding whether it was great literature or not. It's fluff and I loved it.

So IF your favorite part of the Hunger Games was the lead-up to the actual Games (the interviews and dresses and stuff), and IF you can forgive superficial world-building (possibly with the promise of something more later in the trilogy), and IF you like stories about matchmaking reality shows (even if you don't like actually watching them), and IF you aren't tired of the trope where the prince falls in love with the girl who makes it clear that she's the only girl around who isn't in love with him and his title (usually by telling him off), THEN you will really like this book. These are all things I like (or forgive in the case of world-building).

I don't know why, but I love reality show stories, even though I'm not a fan of most reality tv beyond the occasional performance show (singers, dancers, etc.). From the sample I had on my Kindle, I totally got the Hunger Games meets The Bachelor vibe (not realizing that that was how the book was marketed, lol). But it's really dystopian-lite. The caste system could be easily replaced by the districts in HG, but that's really all the dystopia there is. That's fine because I don't need heavy dystopia in my dystopia. Instead, as far as the first book goes, the royal family seems perfectly reasonable. There are rebels, and we don't know anything about them except that they're searching the palace for something (I predict it has something to do with the symbol Gavril, the Ryan-Seacrest-of-this-world, was wearing that was mentioned very very briefly). I would assume that eventually they're going to kidnap America and we'll see their side and the actual dystopia, but that doesn't happen here.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The cover is pretty but it’s actually rather common in YA novels to have female protagonists wear prom dresses and strike a pose. Despite that, this cover drew me in anyway. Like I said, it’s really pretty. The entire time I was reading this book there were a million questions going through my head. My most prominent one was: Why would America give up being a republic democracy to become an absolute monarchy? Not even a constitutional monarchy either (which would still be unbelievable but more believable than an absolute monarchy). As a Brit, we never even had an absolute monarchy, so why would America (the country) have one? It makes no sense. I know this book presents itself as ‘The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor’ but honestly I just have a hard time believing this book. If I have a hard time believing a book, I have a hard time reading it. I admit this book was difficult to read. Here are ten reasons why:
One – The main character’s name. America Singer. I hear groans and see people roll their eyes every time I see or hear the name. Firstly, in this new country named Ilea (formerly USA) why would they allow a child born anywhere to be named after the former regime? In a real dystopian novel, they probably wouldn’t. The Hunger Games had ridiculous names too but it was just so far in the unspecified future that nobody really bats an eyelash. She was probably just named America because in one scene she is in the palace reflecting on...stuff and thinks to herself, ‘there was no freedom here.’ That’s it. No real symbolism. It just kind of felt like forced symbolism.
Two – Although it presents itself as a dystopian fiction novel, there is no plot about that to speak of. This entire novel revolves around romance.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In a world where everything is determined by social castes, America was born a five, one of the lowest castes. This year, a Selection will be held to find a bride for Prince Maxon. America's mother thinks that having her daughter participate will be the solution to all of their problems but America doesn't want to participate for one simple reason - she is secretly in love with Aspen. The only problem is that he belongs to an even lower caste and so her parents prohibit her from marrying him. She ends up applying for the selection, sure that she will not be one of the 35 chosen girls, so you can imagine her surprise when she is the one picked from her district. This is where the heat of the competition starts; complete with friendship, jealousy and of course a little sabotage.

The concept of the book was really great. I know many associated it with The Bachelor, but it reminded me more of the film Miss Congeniality - the girl who does not want to be part of the competition and dislikes the pretty dresses but ends up loving all of it and even becomes friends with some of the competitors. The dystopian element in it was also quite good - I found the history element in this book to be interesting. Also, the rebel attacks to the palace added more depth to an otherwise typical YA dystopian romance.

However, what really made me fall in love with this book were its characters. America's character was so down-to-earth and kind that you couldn't help liking her. She cares for the other competitors and even her maids. She even gives tips to her friend on winning over the Prince. I also found relatable the fact that, while the other girls went for the most glamorous dresses, she always opted for the simplistic style that she felt most comfortable in.
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