Thanks to my library, I read The Selection by Kiera Cass. I have a lot to say about this book. First off, though, I want to say that this review will be based off my opinions and to really know what you think, you'd have to read it for yourself.
That being said, I'm not sure I would recommend this book. I'll start off with the book description as it is on the book, then I will go into detail about these five categories.
- Story world
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, Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for the the 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.
Okay, y'all. First off, the description of this book is not what enticed me to check it out. I thought I saw someone talking about it on their blog. I can't remember the blog or who it was as I check out many blogs constantly. I looked this up online and the genre was considered dystopian/sci-fi. Y'all probably know sci-fi isn't my thing, but dystopian ... I'm writing dystopian and I thought this would help me. Boy was I wrong.
The description obviously sets you up to know that there are social classes with royalty being on top. However, the description doesn't tell you that its kind of futuristic and is still the United States, but later. The world is unclear for a while and it was hard to understand everything.
Now, being a writer, I understand the struggle to not go in too much detail about the world around you because you have to keep the scene moving, but a little more explanation would have been good here. While I can sympathize with the author on this, as a reader, I need more explanation.
I really don't think I can get behind the plot. Not personally. Now, I know some books just aren't going to be our favorites. Now that I can see books from a writing and reading perspective, I can separate out that the book was an idea of the author, something they worked long and hard on. Yes, I read it in pretty much twenty-four hours, but they worked years on this book. Whether I liked it or not, this was their hard work. So no, the plot didn't do much for me, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't fit someone else's tastes.
The protagonist, America, is pretty much the only character with backstory. Everyone else is like a ghost. The story is told in first person and only in America's point of view. I don't mind that at all. What I don't like is the love interest(s) being like ghosts and not very realistic. Then there were the other girls competing in what I can compare to as Cinderella, but without the ball and missing shoe. There was the typical mean girl who did typical mean girl things and there was the shy ones, the nice ones, the fake ones, you know how that goes. It didn't feel cliche, though. However, the characters just didn't feel real. America was strong one moment and whiny the next.
The other thing that really made me not enjoy the book was the language. Mild, yes. Necessary, no. The language was thrown in to show frustration, but only at random times that didn't feel real. It was forced. It didn't need to be there. Not that any bad language needs to be there. It wasn't over the top and it wasn't super bad, but it wasn't necessary. *cough* Rebellious writing *cough*
I don't want mushy romance. You don't really get that in this book. Instead, you get kind of odd romance in a love triangle that was obviously set up by the book description. This book kind of made me think of the plot of The Bachelor. Of course, much less smut. The romance in here wasn't smut, but it was starting to creep toward it. That was another thing that pulled me away from the book. Plus, I don't like love triangles. Seriously, the aren't necessary. It just didn't read well. I suppose if its done well, a love triangle could add to the plot. This one just made all three involved look terrible.
Overall, this book wasn't a complete waste of time. I learned some things about my own writing that helped me somewhat. However, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. I didn't like it. I wanted to like it, but I didn't. So now, here's my rating for the book.
I so wanted to give this book a better rating, but I couldn't. This book is a series and I accidentally grabbed book five with the first three books, thinking it was book four. I don't think I'll read anymore of the books. They just aren't what I was hoping for.
The good news is I checked out some craft books. If I like them, I'll be recommending them to y'all. I'll keep you posted on that. God bless y'all and happy reading. 😁