REVIEW: The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Selection by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #1
Read: November 16, 2015
Format: Ebook (Kindle)
My Book Rating:  3 Stars
Genre: Dystopian Romance

Confession: I was sucked into this book by the beautiful cover, what can I say? I’m a sucker for girls in pretty dresses. And royalty. Yeah, I’m a sucker for a princess story too.

The Selection takes place in a futuristic world in which the caste system plays a heavy role. Really, the only way to move up a caste is by marriage. The heroine of this story, America— a middle caste girl—is in love with Aspen, but he’s in a lower caste than she is, which is pretty taboo.

Enter THE SELECTION – a contest, similar to TV’s The Bachelor – in which 35 girls are selected from all castes and compete for the chance to marry Prince Maxon. Of course, America want’s no part of this, but to appease her family, she agrees to enter and—surprise! She’s selected. She makes it very clear from the get-go that she doesn’t want to be a princess, but Prince Maxon agrees to let her stay, because there are sparks between them, and every day she stays means more support for her family back home.

What I liked about this story: America, I think she’s an interesting character and I like that she’s not in love with the prince just because he’s a prince. I also love the idea of the story, basically a dating game to pick a worthy princess for the kingdom.

My list of dislikes is a lot longer, however…. First of all, the character depth is pretty shallow all around. I liked America, she was probably the most in depth character. But everyone else fell flat. More importantly, the plot fell flat for me. I love character driven stories, but the characters need to be stronger than these were, and the plot needs to be based on more than a reality TV show. It felt as though the author wanted to write The Bachelor, but with a prince and girls competing to be a princess, then said, “Oh, dystopian stories are in. I’ll just throw a dystopian world in the background and call it good.” The beginning set up was good, but then it was just kind of tossed aside. There were the rebel attacks, but we really don’t know much of anything about them. It all just felt so shallow. I wanted more substance. And don’t get me started on Aspen. I really didn’t care what happened to him. He’s not even worth America’s time. Prince Maxon seems like a genuinely good guy, so I really want him to be the one to come out on top, but….

To add to my list of grievances, this book didn’t even have a proper ending. There are cliffhangers, and then there are books that end so abruptly you flip back to make sure you didn’t somehow miss 50 pages. This is the latter. In my version of a proper cliffhanger, there’s some sort of subplot happening in the story that wraps up at the end of the book, while the larger overall story arc is still going. The author needs to leave the reader satisfied, but wanting more. I didn’t feel that here.

I really struggled with a proper rating to this book. Part of me wants to give it a 2 star rating, because it is so shallow. But, because I will continue to read, just to see what comes next in the story, I settled on a 3. This book is average at best, it’s light and fluffy and lacks any real substance. We’ll see how book two goes.

Would I recommend this book? Only to younger teen girls who want to read a light and fluffy romance. Or maybe to die hard fans of The Bachelor who can’t get enough. For those looking for a book with a complex plot or interesting characters, skip this one.

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