It’s better than I thought it would be … I don’t mean that in a bad way.
I have to say it. Hunger Games ruined all dystopian type stories for me. The story just resonated with me. For those of you who’ve been following my blog knows that I don’t really read sci-fi, futuristic type stuff, but The Hunger Games was recommended to me by a friend who thought I’d really enjoy it, and I did. Anyway, this is a review of The Selection, so back on track.
The Hunger Games trilogy ruined all dystopian stories for me. When The Elite crossed my path, I first thought, “Oh no, not another one.” However, something about it made me pause and pick it up. I can’t remember if it was because the cover was red (which isn’t my favorite color, but the cover was done really nicely with it) or if it was because of a tag line on the cover (if I remember correctly it was something like “twenty-seven girls, one prince …. “), but whatever it was, it was enough to get me to stop and pick it up. And picking it up results in reading the summary and review. And after reading the summary and review all I could think was, “Seriously? A lottery for the Prince to choose a Princess?” I had mixed emotions about that, but out of all those screaming for attention, the one that stuck out was curiosity. That’s all it takes, really.
And it was even worse when I found out it was series. I mean, I am in the middle of about four series already, a couple of them the authors haven’t even released a date for the next book! I wasn’t sure if I could afford another emotional battle, waiting for the next book.
But, as I mentioned, all it takes is planting that curiosity.
I borrowed The Selection and now I own it. It’s better than I gave it credit for and I’m glad to have it my library.
For fans of the series, hang tight while I provide a summary for those who haven’t read it yet. It’s about a future world where the America we know doesn’t exist. War broke out, new alliances formed, and now future world is vastly different. There isn’t even Halloween! Anyway, the nation is separated into different castes, social class systems that is determined mainly by profession and it is pretty much what your family is resigned to do for the remainder of their lives, regardless of their interests (this already held my interest since I was taking Intro to Sociology parallel this story and it was this class that made me change my studies, but that’s off topic!).
The main character of the story is America Singer. She’s a five, or part of the 5th caste, which are artists and musicians. She’s been secretly dating a guy, Aspen, who is a six, which is the servant caste. There’s a lot of stuff going on, but all eventually leads to The Selection. It’s kind of like a lottery for the girls of the country to compete for the opportunity to marry Prince Maxon. America is within the age group so an application to apply for the lottery is sent to her. She’s happy with her life, happy with her love, so she wants no part of it. She’s prepared to ‘marry down’ a class because she’s utterly in love Aspen. And Aspen is in love with America. It’s because of this he wants her to have everything she deserves so he encourages her to apply for the Selection. She gets upset. They argue, but fast forward, she applies and her name is one of the thirty-five girls chosen for this … competition.
I know right? “What kind of story is this?” is what you’re probably thinking. Well, it’s a good one! Okay? Here’s why …
Cass has done a great job, in my humble opinion, in taking your typical fairy tale story and adding a dash of reality. That’s what I appreciated for the start. She takes your Prince Charming and Cinderella and asks questions that often popped into my head when I watched Disney’s Cinderella. Seriously. Call me all the names you want, but I was that seven-year old kid who thought, while watching Disney’s Cinderella, “But do they really love each other? Sure. They danced, but that doesn’t mean it’s love, right?” and as that carriage rode off into the distance with “The End” and Cinderella waving from the carriage window, I also thought, “But what happens now? She just didn’t marry the Prince. She became a Princess. Isn’t that like a job?” So imagine my joy when, finally acknowledging my obsession with this story, I headed over to Kiera Cass’ website and read that she had similar thoughts and there started the roots of The Selection Series.
I love the complications that Ms. Cass has added. America was in love prior to the Selection. America never expected the Prince to choose her. And not to mention, America facing the possibility of ruling a country alongside the Prince. I can’t even fathom what that might be like for a teenage girl. I can’t even fathom what it might be like for me!
I’m excited and looking forward to the last chapter, publicly available that is, of America’s journey with this whole Selection series. I tip my hat to you, Ms. Cass, for adding another wonderful story to the world.
What stories have you been wonderfully surprised by?
What is your favorite new world story?
Have you ever thought about post-end-of-the-world stuff?
Would you want to help rule a country?