It’s the chance of a lifetime and 17-year-old America Singer should feel lucky. She has been chosen for The Selection, a reality TV lottery in which the special few compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon’s love.
Swept up in a world of elaborate gowns, glittering jewels and decadent feasts, America is living a new and glamorous life. And the prince takes a special interest in her, much to the outrage of the others.
Rivalry within The Selection is fierce and not all of the girls are prepared to play by the rules. But what they don’t know is that America has a secret – one which could throw the whole competition… and change her life forever.
Rating: 3.5 stars
There is a very strong flavour of other popular YA series present in this book. The Hunger Games sprang to mind immediately due to the poverty of the main character, America, and also the way the USA has been rewritten. (Also, her boyfriend was left behind in a similar way, it seemed, and the entire selection is televised for the nation to watch.) Also to mind came Divergent, due to the caste system in operation to group people into personality and employment types.
I enjoyed the writing and for the most part, enjoyed the characters but the whole book just felt like the set-up for the rest of the series. Not a great deal really happened besides meeting different characters so that they can be be further established later. It isn’t particularly a story in itself. In fact, it finishes on a semi-cliffhanger, but it wasn’t enough to make me reach for the next instalment straight away. Not through annoyance because, although I generally dislike cliffhangers and will sometime deliberately avoid the next book, this one just didn’t invest me in America’s plight enough. I don’t care enough about any of them right now to grab the next book.
I wasn’t enamoured by the love triangle that reared its head in the final chapters, although—if I had been—I’m sure that would have been enough to make me pick up book 2, so I can understand why other readers will. A teaser chapter alone would have worked better for me, I think.
The writing was easy to read, the story passed by quickly and had good flow, and I’m sure I would pick up book number two if I found myself at a loose reading end.