Friday, May 25, 2012

"True love is usually the most inconvenient kind"

My Pre-Reading

Before I review this book, I just want to throw it out there that I think the comparison of The Selection to The Hunger Games that some people around the internet are completely uncalled for. This book is nothing like The Hunger Games, except that there's a game people get randomly chosen to participate in. The games are nothing alike, the selection process is nothing alike, and the characters, the world, and the circumstances are completely different. Does anybody get married by the end of The Hunger Games? No. Does anyone die in the process of The Selection? No. Well, not as a direct result of the game at least, there is a war going on so I'm sure someone somewhere did die. But that's besides the point.

Now that that is out of the way...

This book definitely met all my expectations. It was a fantastic mix of romance, self-discovery, and even enough action thrown in to keep it interesting. Most of the characters, and all of the main had great character development, and nobody stayed stagnant for very long. The unraveling of Maxon's character and personality was done very well, and I found myself pulling for him from the first time America interacts with him.

I absolutely loved America's character, and I was very glad that Cass didn't just throw her at the prince. It made America feel more real, and not just like another conniving girl after the crown. Which made it feel less like The Bachelor, and I definitely appreciated that. I don't think I would have been able to handle a book just about a bunch of girls fighting over a crown instead of trying to legitimately win the prince's heart. I also thought that the way America treats her servants in the castle is wonderful. Being from a lower caste, she understands them more than the other girls and treats them like real people. 

A couple of spoilers from here on out, so proceed with caution if you haven't read the book yet.

I loved how America was so reluctant to enter the Selection, but does anyway to please her family and her secret boyfriend. Except that I didn't really like Aspen, and I thought he treated her terribly after their break-up. I wish she hadn't kept that last penny in a jar, but I can see the significance and the purpose. Aspen really didn't impress me much, but I feel like that was what Cass intended. Although I hope he doesn't shape up and win America's heart, part of me still thinks he'll make an effort to in the next book. And then most of me still hope she chooses Maxon.

I could rant for a while about how Maxon is so much better for her than Aspen, and how much he clearly cares for her, but I'll let you read the book and make your own decision on that. It's Team Maxon for me all the way though.

The history lesson in one of the middle chapters was very interesting, and I'm glad Cass included it. It's always nice to know a little bit about the world and the time period that the novel takes place in, and I think including that chapter was a great way to incorporate the information without it sounding like an actual history lesson. Or without having one of the characters randomly go off about the history of the country and the world. 

I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel. The ending of The Selection left me wanting so much more, and I hope the rest of the series answers the questions I have and resolves the plot in the way I hope it will. Although I'm sure I'll be happy with the outcome no matter what happens. Cass' descriptive style of writing is enough to make me enjoy the books even if the plot doesn't go how I think it should.

A strong 4/5 on this one! If you haven't picked it up yet, I highly recommend it to anyone who doesn't mind a little less action, great character development, and a strong female protagonist. 


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