The Selection by Kiera Cass
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
What genre even is this? The sequels were at the YA fantasy section at the library, but this is not fantasy, is it??? YA dystopia seems more like it.
And wow, is it like every other YA dystopia we've ever seen. Four pages in it was exactly like the Hunger Games, except with castes instead of districts and The Bachlor instead of Battle Royale. I mean gods, a mom the herione doesn't get along with, some kind of draft/selection, a dad who is distant but better than the mom, younger sibligs that need protection, a boyfriend with an even poorer family that she sneaks out to meet blah blah blah.
Honestly, it is kinda trash, but it's trash like if you went dumpster diving and found a newly thrown out full tub of Ben & Jerry's or something. You know it isn't exactly good for you, but you'll still eat it and enjoy it while it lasts.
While America (I can't get over that that is her name) annoyed me at first with her "other girls are soooo stupid" and lame-ass boyfriend, we actually fucking saw her grown out of that!?!??!?! By the end of the book she and almost every other girl in the Selection acknowledges that they are all awesome, that they would all make good princesses and that competing is sad when they should all just be friends. It's like ... I love it!?!?! I can't remember the last time I saw this EXPLICITLY SPELLED OUT in a YA book and no matter of the rest of my critique I'm gonna recommend it to people for that reason.
Another thing I liked was the way America was picked for the Selection: that her picture was taken just after she got what she assumed was the best news of her life and couldn't stop smiling and looked totally happy and in love and shit. Idk, it seemed like a pretty good reason that her photo would stand out a little.
I'm also gonna assume that America will eventually end up with the Prince (rather than her lame-ass misogynist boyfriend - gods I hate that guy so much) and that's another score for this book, because we actually see them become FRIENDS first. Yes, I thought the whole "I'm not interested in winning but I can be your confidant"-speech was kinda dumb, but then they went on to actually become friends?? Like, they laugh together, they discuss serious stuff together, confide their feelings and shit. I love it, I really do. Because what we're getting here is (hopefully) a romance based on friendship, liking each other and mutual respect (though they've got some ways to go), rather than "we immediately fell in love and we're super-attracted to each other but all we ever do is stare longingly into each other's eyes and sacrifice our lives for each other". Kinda like Four and Tris in Divergent (not so much in the sequels).
Ofc, at the end America made some stupid decisions and we do get some kind of love triangle, but she's still very much in control of her own life and that's good enough for me. "I'm not choosing him or you, I'm choosing me!" You tell him, grrrrllll.
Still, I don't fucking know how they're gonna drag this shit on for two more books and we'll see how this series progressess. You can see most of it coming and it is, as I said, basically just The Bachelor Games.
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