Thursday, 28 November 2013

Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

35 girls, one crown, the competition of a lifetime

As I have mentioned a few times in recent blogs I was not keen on this book based mostly on its cover (bad librarian) and slightly on its blurb. Convinced by other readers I gave it a try an was pleasantly surprised.

Meet America Singer (even her name put me off). A feisty character whose personality is as fiery as her hair and jumps off the page into your heart. She's flawed but this makes her likable and her determination to follow her heart is inspiring.  The society she lives in is grouped into a caste system. The higher your number the better and easier your life is. America is a five. Her family have just enough food to live which they earn from their musical performance. Fives are the artists and singers in the society and America is a skilled pianist, violinist and sings beautifully.

In Illea there is an age old tradition in which the Prince must select a bride from within the caste system and America is selected to compete with 35 other girls. America doesn't want to win the princes heart, as she already loves Aspen, a six. However convinced by Aspen to compete she enters the palace and is taken by surprise at how her relationship with the mysterious Prince Maxon develops. Everyone in the palace is more then they seem and America must decide where her heart truly lies.

I know it sounds like a romance, I know it sounds soppy but it isn't. I was hooked by the complexities of America's feelings. Her character was completely believable. The other girls competing have well developed characters and their different castes are reflected in their personalities. The two male characters are equally as strong but I found it very difficult to see what America saw in Aspen.  As the story progresses I hope to find out more about why the caste system was created and from reading The Elite I know that Cass continues to develop the dystopian aspect of the storyline.

A story with surprising grit and gumption despite its front cover!

Don't judge a book by its cover! 

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