Dual Review: The Selection (YABBC)

June 27, 2013 Review, YABBC 30 ★★★

Dual Review: The Selection (YABBC)
The Selection by Kiera Cass
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Purchased
Pages: 327
Release Date: April 24th 2012
Series: The Selection #1
Genres: Dystopian, Love & Romance, Young Adult
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
bec (2)

I’m going to be honest here. I thought I was going to hate THE SELECTION. I thought I was going to detest America and the competition and everyone in this love child of the Bachelor and the Hunger Games (that is the best way to describe this). You can imagine my surprise when I opened it up and


THE SELECTION turned out to be the preferable study material for my animal husbandry exam and a great guilty pleasure novel. I could not put this own. I struggled not to read more than a chapter in study breaks (and sometimes failed). I really can’t think of too much to say. THE SELECTION was the type of book that makes me giddy for no particular reason. It flows fantastically, I love how America refuses to change herself for anyone, and the romance


That’s the Maxon x America stuff of course. I loved the way they interacted, the way they met, and how the relationship took it’s time to develop. However my feelings on the other part of the love triangle, Aspen, and his relationship with America are more like


If the… Aspen thing had stopped when it should have, this book might have gotten 4 stars from me. Other elements that could have been done better include the beginning and the end.

At the start, a few more explanations sooner would have made everything a little clearer and less confusing. Instead we were just thrown into this world with no idea what was going on for two or three chapters. America also had an APEN-ASPEN-ASPEN-ASPEN-LOVE-KIDS-MARRIAGE-ASPEN-ASPEN-ASPEN going on. Her infatuation made me hate the character.

The ending was really… lackluster. Anticlimatic. Disappointing. There was 3 chapters left and things were going down. I thought this was going to be over with a bang, delving more into the conflict of the world. Then the drama finished and everything settled and it was just over. Done. No more. I’m still going to pick up THE ELITE though, I want to know more about this world.

THE SELECTION is a really good, fast, guilty pleasure read if your looking for something light and quick. Though the start and ending are pretty dodgy, the middle contains moments that actually made me grin like an idiot. Hopefully your experience is as good as (if  not better) than mine.


I don’t think there is much to say that Bec hasn’t said above, and since we agree on pretty much everything, I won’t repeat her. Here’s some of the basics:

America was annoying at first, too focused on appearances of the other girls (her competitors) and made her character seem very shallow. She grows as the story goes on, and that is really her only saving grace. Everyone can’t seem to get over how beautiful she was, but she goes on and on saying she isn’t beautiful.

I felt like the love triangle was somewhat unnecessary. I really disliked Aspen, he was a terrible love interest and didn’t seem to truly care for America since he gives up on her so easily in the beginning. He was one-dimensional and I still don’t understand what America sees in him.

Maxon, the Prince that these 30+ girls are fighting for, was a much better love interest and I really enjoyed the slow building relationship between him and America. The one thing I didn’t like about Maxon was how focused he was on the other girls sometimes. I know that is the point, but if he really cared for America I think he would tone it down or devote himself to her, no matter her feelings.

I really don’t see how this is a dystopia outside of the caste system. I almost felt like the word dystopian was thrown in there as an excuse for 35 girls to fight for one prince. Also weirdly thrown in was the rebel attacks, I thought they were maybe just written in to add a bit of action to all the surrounding romance.

The ending was pretty disappointing, it didn’t make me want to run out and pick up the next book. Which is sad considering I already own it and could have started it right then and there. Overall, this one was a bit better than I had anticipated, and was help me-  an entertaining read.


Rating Report
Overall: 2.9

30 Responses to “Dual Review: The Selection (YABBC)”

    • Bec

      Oh, we did like it! It was enjoyable to read. There were just some issues with the characters.

  1. Lauren

    I have to agree with you gals about the ending—it was SO disappointing. I really wasn’t that big of a fan of the love triangle either. I agree with you Alise, I didn’t see what was so great about Aspen at all, but I wasn’t into Maxon that much either. I haven’t read The Elite because I’m kind of over it. I might give it a go sometime, but it’s not a priority. Awesome honest review ladies! :-)
    Lauren recently posted…Book Review: Golden by Jessi Kirby

    • Bec

      Yeah, the ending and aspen and everything really was meh. I might go buy THE ELITE today but probably won’t start it.

      Thanks :D

  2. Ariella

    I already read this and I really enjoyed this. I didn’t like Aspen much but I thought Maxon was alright as he HAD to give other girls attention. I think there’s going to be more on the rebels in the Elite though. Need to read it soon!! Great review, Alise and Bec!
    Ariella recently posted…A Day in My Life #4 – Anime and Bloglovin’

    • Bec

      I hope there’s more rebels in THE ELITE. That’s one aspect I really wish had been explored further.

  3. Bella's Shelf

    I am glad I saw this review today. I have just downloaded this book to my Ipod (audiobook) for my dog walking time & I am excited to begin it. It sounds interesting and I am hopping I will like it a lot. I also got book 2. Just in case..
    I read an novella from the Prince’s POV and that was pretty good actually. That’s what gave me hope the series would work out for me.
    Did you two read the novella?
    Will you be reviewing book 2 soon? I enjoy your tag team reviews they are fun.
    Have a great Thursday & see ya soon!
    Bella’s Shelf recently posted…Bella Plays Devils Advocate: All “E” Books All The Time?

    • Bec

      I haven’t read THE PRINCE yet, and I don’t know if I can being in Australia and all.

      A book 2 review will come eventually. Not sure when. I still have to buy it (which I might do today :D )

  4. Delaney

    Bec: I am like you, I don’t think I’ll like this book as much. But your review has totally convinced me otherwise, that this is a book i need–fun, light, and full on giddy! :D

    Alise: I’ve heard lots of reviews about America! She does seem shallow with how Bec explained with the marriage kids and all that. Sometimes, I really wonder why authors put in love triangle. I’m guessing just put a love triangle.

    Author: “Oh, Imma just put a love triangle here and it will be fabulous!”
    Me: “Shoot me, now.”
    Delaney recently posted…Quotable Stickables

  5. Kezia D

    Yeah after hearing so many mixed (mostly negative though) I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t like this as well. But the cover is too pretty that I actually still want to give this book a chance :P And your review too, Bec!

    I think love triangle is too overrated these days. I dunno why authors decide to put them in their stories — because it’s trending now? *But* I don’t detest them completely, some triangles are admittedly pretty good! xD
    Kezia D recently posted…[Tour Stop: Review & Giveaway] Motocross Me by Cheyanne Young

    • Bec

      Gah, I am so sick of love triangles that are pointless. There are some fantastic ones. Just not enough. Pretty covers on the other hand we can never have enough of :D

  6. Aman

    That’s what I see The Selection as too! A Guilty Pleasure read. When it came out, I wasn’t really interested in reading about some chessy/bachelor type romance, but in the last month, I’ve been debating if I should just pick it up and give it a try. I love when a story hooks you in and doesn’t let you go until you’re finished. The Selection does sound like a perfect weekend read. Thanks for the lovely reviews, ladies :)

    PS: I’m already not a fan of Aspen.
    Aman recently posted…Review + Giveaway: Devoured by Emily Snow

    • Bec

      It is definitely the perfect weekend relaxation read.

      Aspen. I could rant forever about Aspen.

  7. Sunny

    Love both of your reviews! America was pretty annoying, but I could stomach her for the most part. Loved the romance with Maxon and completely agreed with the gif towards Aspen. Bleh Aspen. I just loved all the gifs because they portrayed my feelings exactly :)

  8. Leigh @ Little Book Star

    Aww so sorry you didn’t really like this one. I really enjoyed it but I could see your point! I agree about the ending. BLEGHHH. That ending was just bad… Are you still going to read The Elite? If you do, hopefully the writing is better and that you’ll like it. I haven’t read it either.

    • Bec

      I really liked it, it just had issues which bring the rating down. I am definitely going to read THE ELITE. I’m hoping for more rebels and less love triangle (but that second bit won’t happen)

  9. Aylee

    Aha, nice thoughts! I think I ultimately decided to skip this one because I thought the plot was a little silly (I agree that it seems like the author was just calling it a dystopian as an excuse) and because I knew it had a love triangle (Maxon sounds good, but Aspen… urgh). But I could definitely see how this would make a pretty excellent guilty pleasure read!

    • Bec

      Aw, it’s a shame you abandoned it. But yeah, the plot was silly at times, that’s why it’s guilty pleasure :)

  10. Gina @ My Precious

    Well, Bec you seemed to like it more than Alise. I’m a little worried about a 2.9 rating. I did already buy this one. I’m having the initial feelings that Bec had, reservations that I won’t like the book. A coworker read it and LOVED it. I definitely will read this one, just maybe not have it at the top of my TBR. Maybe rainy day material?

  11. Lectus

    I couldn’t stand that America America doesn’t want to enter the competition but she does anyway. She doesn’t want to be selected but she is. I stopped reading it when America starting the “xxx and xxx are so pretty that, why am I even here? And xxx is so beautiful and she really deserves to win.” Hello! Can America be more perfect but think she is not?
    Lectus recently posted…Revenge of the girl with great personality by Elizabeth Eulberg

    • Alise

      I know EXACTLY what you mean. I was so tempted to put it down there but I kept reading because it was for a book club.

  12. Andreea

    This book is on my wish list but I don’t know if it will be good. I heard mixed things about this book so I don’t really know what to think about it…

    • Bec

      Yeah, I understand that feeling. Alise and I enjoyed it though, so I say maybe take a chance (and get it from the library so you won’t waste money if you end up hating it)

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