THE SELECTION BY KIERA CASS
PUBLISHED BY: HARPER TEEN
4 OUT OF 5 STARS
I wanted to hate this book, I really, REALLY did. The blurb appeared to use women as things that could be bought and sold. But I got it free on audio book so I had nothing better to do on a four hour car journey, I put it on.
Whilst the ‘set up’ of the story is unusual, revolving around a world where you are in a ‘number’ class – ones being the rich and famous, 8s being the drifters – what number you are dictates what job you can do, how much you have to eat, what you wear etc. Then a lottery is called, all the girls of a certain age from every class can go into a lottery to be part of the selection, the best girls chosen to meet, and woo the prince. Its kind of like the X factor with prince charming as the prize.
But there is nothing really unique about the characters. America is a feisty, head strong young woman, in love with a boy who she cant be with. Maxim is a misunderstood prince (who america judges based on his status, ironically something she has major issues with when people do it to her), and Aspen is the wronged love, left behind because of a misunderstanding, who may have come back too late to win America back.
Having said that, whilst they are not original, they are written around a tried and tested formula, and it works because they get the reader to invest in them. You don’t always like America, she’s very dramatic (especially the running into the garden scene) and she’s a bit of a brat when it comes to her relationship with Maxim, the other girls and with Aspen to some degree.
The story moves on quickly, there is plenty of action, and the rebels are a good addition to the story, it gives it more dimension. Maxim’s change in awareness of the REAL world is handled well, and its not an overnight transformation, the reader is also left with a sense that he really doesn’t get it yet – he’s doing and saying the right things but its all a little confusing to him.
I didn’t want to like it. But I did, as I’ve said, nothing overly original character-wise, but that doesn’t matter when the world is so interesting and its very well written. I’ve heard whispers that the CW are looking to pick this up as a show and I think it’d work well, and I’m looking forward to book 2 – where hopefully some more depths to the supporting cast will be revealed (Marley in particular is a puzzle)