January 23, 2021

January Read-Athon Book: 'The Selection' by Kiera Cass (a simple review)

A few days ago, I wrote about a read-athon (with a 'Friends' theme) and that I'd decided to go for it. The January prompt was "The One Where Monica Finds A Roommate", meaning to read the first book in a series. I wanted to pick a quick and easy read and after browsing around Amazon's lists, I chose a young adult book called 'The Selection' by Kiera Cass. (Amazon affiliate link)

The description from the publisher makes it sound so unappealing, but a friend highly recommended that I read the book. I was able to download it for free from the library, so I started reading it right away.

And I couldn't put it down.

I haven't been that absorbed in a book in such a long time! I'm not great at writing reviews, but I at least want to describe the book a little better than the publisher's description. (And no, I won't share any spoilers!)

It's a "young adult science fiction and dystopian romance" novel--the first in a series of five books. Hopefully this won't scare anyone off, but I couldn't stop thinking that it was a combination of The Hunger Games and The Bachelor, haha.

I don't know if the year was mentioned in the book, but it takes place after World War 3 and the country is torn apart and all that typical stuff of a teen dystopian read. Society is split into eight different castes, with 'one' being the highest (royalty, lots of money), and eight being looked at as pretty much nothing more than a cockroach. The job you have, the amount of money you earn, food you have, etc., is determined by your caste number. 

America Singer (yes--I, too, groaned out loud when I read the name) is a "five". The people in this caste have jobs in the arts, and she plays the violin. As fives, the families barely scrape by and certainly cannot afford luxuries.

America has been secretly dating a boy, Aspen, for two years. He's a "six", and it's very frowned upon for people to marry others that are in castes below theirs, so he and America keep their relationship a secret for the time being. They have little rendezvous in a treehouse at night, where America brings some of her dinner to him, and they dream about being together in the future. He wants to marry and provide for her, and feels guilty that he doesn't have the means to do so.

Meanwhile, the royal family invites all young women (I think ages 18-20?) to take part in The Selection. The girls fill out an application and only one from each area is chosen to move forward to the Selection contest at the palace.

The contest is for 35 girls to move into the palace and "date" the prince (Maxon). This is very much like The Bachelor, but there is no "rose ceremony" or anything like that. Maxon can send girls home whenever for whatever reason. The girl he eventually chooses will marry him, move into the palace, and become a princess.

America has no interest in trying to get selected, but if she is chosen, it would mean good things for her family--they would move up to a "three" caste and receive money from the palace. America's boyfriend encourages her to apply because he says he'll feel extremely guilty if she doesn't at least try for a better life.

Not surprisingly, America ends up as one of "The Selected". She thinks the whole contest is ridiculous and has no interest in actually trying to win, but she knows that the longer she stays there, the more money her family can save up (they are paid weekly while she is there).

I'll stop here, because I don't want to spoil the rest! I know it sounds silly and pretentious (and I guess it is in a way), but it really is a good story. I am a slow reader, but I finished this book in two days because I couldn't stop reading it. It ends with a cliffhanger, so I immediately downloaded the second book.

For February, the read-athon prompt is "I Wish I Could But I Don't Want To" - choose a book that is on your backlist. I have a lot of books on my backlist! I'm going to go through what I have downloaded to my Kindle and pick one.

1 comment:

  1. It looks like the book is free right now to Prime readers (Kindle version)! I added it to my library when I saw that!


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

Featured Posts

Blog Archive