3 / 5 STARS
I’ll start this by saying I’m going through maybe the busiest period of my life right now. In the past few years I read a lot less than I used to when I was younger and I really miss the feeling of being drawn into a book, lost between its pages, to the point I actually forget I am reading. This is, however, how I felt now, reading The Selection. It was easy lecture, easy to digest, nothing more than something to help me forget about the everyday stress. I started reading more and more difficult books as the time went by and I honestly forgot just how liberating it was to read such literature, the one that you can treat easily, without much concentration being put into that.
Back to the book. You may have already heard of it, it is pretty well known, sold in many countries. It says it is a 13+, although, as it is such a simple read, I wouldn’t say you need to have much over 13 to read it.
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.
Clearly inspired by The Hunger Games – the dystopian world, the way they’re showing the nation everything on television to keep them distracted, that’s totally Suzanne Collins inspired. However, it’s not anything close to The Hunger Games.
I will start with someone I loved: Maxon. I really liked him. I don’t know why exactly, but I think it is because he’s the good guy, and in love triangles, the good guy is the one that I’m not liking. This time it’s the other way around. I like that he’s the good guy, handsome, he has a complex personality, he’s both something that’s truly close and truly far away in the same time.
I’ll continue with someone I didn’t love as much: America (silly name). I don’t feel like she’s contoured enough. I feel like her character and choices are lacking some of the substance that would make this book even more interesting. I am saying this because of her relationship with Aspen. He can simply have her. It feel like she doesn’t have any control over her life and her actions, anybody can simply have her just like she’d be a toy. This is something I disliked a lot.
A thing over which I think this book may have been criticised is the lack of control women in society have. It seems like they do have to work to earn money and in the same time, they want to have as many children one could get (and I didn’t exactly get the reason behind that). They’re advertised as being nothing more than a group of chicks a man can simply play with and pick whichever. This is not really feminist. I am not saying this because I am a big feminist myself, but the book itself simply gave me this impression. There are strange things happening in the book that are only mentioned but nothing’s being done about it because everybody is too distracted by who some prince is going to marry. This is show-biz till the very end. I don’t know about the rest of the books in the series, though, I am curious enough to explore the next book as well and keep you updated.
The world-building is lazy, the author didn’t really think a lot about the backstory, you’re not really presented with intrigues, and that wasn’t nice, but I was still curious to see what was going to happen in the silliness of the situation.
Not a complex book, certainly not one that would make one think about it in depth, and I wouldn’t advice anyone to actually expect anything from it. However, it is a book to help you disconnect from the every-day stress, to make you forget about whatever’s going on in your life, if you need such distraction. It’s a nice fairytale to keep you day-dreaming.