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Monday, June 4, 2012

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: Harper Teen
Released: April 24, 2012
Series: The Selection
Page #: 327
Source: My public library

"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."
First Lines:

"When we got the letter in the post, my mother was ecstatic. She had already decided that all our problems were solved, gone forever. The big hitch in her brilliant plan was me. I don't think I was a particularly disobedient daughter, but this was where I drew the line."
Page 1

So, I started this fantastic book less than 24 hours ago. It's one of those books you want to LIVE in... but alas, it had to end. Now all I can do is wait around for the second book to come out... in a year. Sigh.

America is a five. Meaning, she's in the fifth caste. There are eight castes and her family is only steps from the servant caste and the homeless. When the lottery starts to find a wife for the Prince, she isn't thrilled like other girls. She is already in love - to a boy in a lower caste and no one can know. But she's convinced to enter and her card is drawn! She leaves everything behind to meet a stranger who will one day rule the country. Romance awesomeness ensues.

There are some bones to this book that seem similar to other stories... like The Hunger Games - the selection of people from different districts... or towns. Then the whole country watches to see what happens. Of course, in this case, being chosen is actually a good thing. Then you've got the whole reality tv thing going on like any of the many dating shows that are on right now. Though, if one were writing about reality shows, this is the way to do it. Typically, I hate those shows, so obviously the author did something right :). 

I was honestly expecting this book to be historical fiction. I guess it's because of the cover, but I wasn't really disappointed once I really got into the story. And I think the whole king & queen thing constantly set my mind in England. Plus, aren't princes supposed to have awesome European accents? Exactly. So I had to constantly remind myself of the setting, but that didn't take away from the story at all.

America is awesome. She is all about being an individual when everyone around her is trying to fit into a mold. She finds the humor in just about everything. I found myself smiling or laughing through this book - there is so much lively banter :). She's also caring and protective - which are traits that come out later on in the story. She's just very well written and a person I wish was real. We'd totally be friends, I'm sure. 

This book is super heavy on the romance. Which was wonderfully done. I absolutely loved the way the scenes with the guys were written. They were so very different - and her reaction to them was very different. She sees one guy as a means to an end (getting her family better status). The other does the exact opposite. The ending is so conflicted... Speaking of which...

About 20 pages from the end, I was super worried I was going to hate it. Things start happening that I really didn't see coming and I got super nervous. But instead, you got a humongous cliffhanger. I mean, it's a doozie. On the plus side, I didn't get pissed at her choice... I just wanted about 100 more pages. Or more. I'm good with more, too. :)

I'm pretty sure I will be mentioning this book to everyone I talk to in the next few days. I already explained it to my husband and he barely reads road signs, much less books. I've got a list of people in my head that I need to recommend it to. The book is amazing and I quite literally did not want it to end. I may have to break down and purchase a copy... cause I feel like I'm going to want to reread it (which I never do). So, when does the countdown start for the next book... ?
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The Young Folks
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My Reading Room
A Journey Through Pages
A Little Shelf of Heaven

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