Series: The Selection #1
Also in this series: The Elite, The One
Narrator: Amy Rubinate
Length: 8 hrs and 7 mins
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Buy from Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, Audible
The Selection by Kiera Cass is about a young woman named America who ends up involved in a sort of Bachelor competition to win the heart and hand of the crown prince.
I hadn’t actually intended to read it. I had tried the sample and didn’t get into it enough to want to buy it. Then I watched PolandBananasBooks’ YouTube review and when I saw that the audiobook was available at my local library I decided to give it another shot. After I got through the first few chapters I found the story sucked me in and I finished it in almost the one sitting.
What I liked
The concept. I hadn’t expected to enjoy a teen princess version of The Bachelor but the main character was so engaging I found I really enjoyed it. It helped that America’s motives for entering the competition were laid out pretty clearly – she has no illusions about marrying the prince and living a life of luxury. She knows that the longer she stays in the Selection the longer her struggling family receives financial support from the state, and that is one of her main motivations.
The America/Maxon relationship. I really liked that their relationship was based on honesty and friendship rather than love at first sight. They are just so cute together!
The world. I was intrigued by the world of The Selection. There are just enough hints dropped throughout the book that the society isn’t as healthy as it pretends to be. There is a strict class system and there are some neat little touches such as the names of those is the lower castes who do all the work describe the person’s occupation – our entertainer protagonist’s surname is Singer – whereas those in upper castes have more varied names. I look forward to hearing more about the rebels in future books.
The characters. I would have found this concept much more difficult to swallow with a less engaging protagonist. America doesn’t buy into all the “he’s going to fall in love with me, he’ll pick me, we’rs going to be soooo happy, and I’ll get to be a princess and wear a crown and tell people what to do” nonsense. She’s very grounded.
Maxon is also a very sympathetic character. He is perhaps a little naive, but is basically a decent guy. He and America seem very well suited.
What I didn’t like
The narrator. I normally don’ t like to criticise a narrator, but I did struggle to enjoy Amy Rubinate’s narration of this story. I personally found her voice flat and monotonous and with a less gripping story I would have turned off. But that is just my opinion. Here’s a sample to judge for yourself.[audio http://samples.audible.com/bk/harp/F002844/bk_harp_002844_sample.mp3]
The love triangle. Teen love triangles can be annoying and this was one of the worst. I found it irritating because it’s crystal clear that there is absolutely no competition between Aspen and Maxon. Maxon treats America with kindness and respect, can offer her and her family security and the opportunity to make a difference to Illea. Aspen, on the other hand, manipulates her into breaking the law, uses emotional blackmail, makes false promises, can offer her less financial security and as soon as she turned the corner was making eyes at another girl. America, of course, is all “but I luuuurve him!” I really wanted to reach into my Kindle and give her a good talking to!
All in all I really loved The Selection and am looking forward to The Elite being available for me to borrow.
I gave The Selection four stars out of five.
buy from Amazon, Kobo, iTunes and Audible.