I’m going to blame my less than enthusiastic review of The Selection on my unrealistic expectations. Expectations have probably more bearing than is normal on whether I like something or not. For instance, I had such low expectations for the movie Ted, that I actually ended up enjoying it. Conversely, I was bitterly disappointed with the first Harry Potter movie.
Anyway, I began reading The Selection only moments after I had finished Ready Player One (which I loved, like, a lot), so I was still kind of in that scifi kind of world, and also expecting this book to pull me in just as much.
My point is, it’s not your fault Kiera Cass.
As far as writing and plot, The Selection seems on par with the Matched trilogy or Divergent. The writing isn’t transcendental and the idea doesn’t seem that fresh.
Like Matched, there’s a love triangle, and also similarly, I can’t really muster much enthusiasm for our heroine. First of all her name is America, which I guess isn’t that horrible, but I don’t like it—especially as her name seems to be an allusion to her stubbornness, or yearning for freedom or some such hokum.
Also she’s one of those girls that is beautiful but doesn’t think that she’s beautiful (because that’s never overplayed). And her main personality trait seems to be that she’s boring.
I guess I should explain the plot at least a little bit.
So, America lives in what used to be the country America, but now is just most of North America (Mexico, Canada, US) congealed together as a monarchy called Illea. And everyone is separated into a caste system, with ones being the royalty, and eights being something I haven’t determined yet, but I assume they are untouchables living in holes.
America is a five. Which means her family are artists; musicians, painters, etc. America sings. LIKE AN ANGEL. And plays a bunch of instruments. And she also has a secret boyfriend named Aspen, who is a dirty, dirty six. A servant.
Anyway, Illea is putting on an episode of the Bachelor, but instead of competing for an heir to a tire conglomerate, the girls are competing to be the next queen. I’ve never watched the Bachelor, but I was addicted to Joe Millionare, and then that show hosted by Monica Lewinsky where all the guys wore masks all the time, so I pretty much know the drill.
(Un)surprisingly, America doesn’t want to sign up for the competition, being that she’s in love with Dirty Six, but everyone (including Six, for some weak reason that doesn’t quite convince me) pressures her into it. She gets picked, she moves into the castle, she acts really weird and does boring stuff, and she also (supposedly unintentionally) discovers the most foolproof way to get the prince to fall in love with her. She tells him she’s in love with someone else, just wants to be in the contest for the money, and that she just wants to be friends. This guarantees that Prince Maxon will be hot for her.
Even though America is supposedly pining for Dirty Six (oh, yes, forgot to mention that he broke up with her before she left because she made him too many biscuits or something), she still is enjoying the attention from Maxon. Then things get interesting (kind of) when Dirty Six shows up as a palace guard. Omg scandal!
And then the book abruptly ends.
I understand that books that are a part of a trilogy aren’t expected to tie up all the ends in the first book, BUT I do expect something a little less sloppy and more satisfying. I’m not sure if I care enough about America to see who she ends up with–but lets be honest it’s totally going to be the prince.