Friday, September 28, 2012

Audiobook Review: The Selection

theselectionTitle: The Selection by Kiera Cass
Publisher: Harper Audio
Narrator: Amy Rubinate
Duration: 8 hours, 7 mins
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy

Goodreads Summary: 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.

I know there has been crazy drama on Goodreads about this book/the author/her agent BUT I was intrigued by the summary and still wanted to read it. It reminded me of a cross between The Bachelor (a TV show I dislike) and the biblical story of Esther (a story I absolutely adore) so I figured I would either love it or hate it. Turns out my feelings are in the middle: this is an OK book for me.  

Even though The Selection is billed as dystopia, I would consider it more of fantasy novel. It’s set in a future where the US has been through several wars, has been renamed Illea and the people are subjected to a caste system. America Singer (ridiculous name, by the way), our main character, is in love with Aspen but his lower caste prevents them from being together.  

As far as characters go, America really annoyed me. She was whiny, selfish and complained her way through the book. I was never very invested in the relationship between her and Aspen (which was already established when the story started) so it didn’t bother me when he broke up with her. If he had manned up and joined the resistance to fight the repulsive caste system that kept him and his family down for generations, maybe then I could get on board with him as a swoony love interest but The Selection is not that kind of story.

On the other hand, I loved Prince Maxon and all the effort he made to really build a relationship with America. Maxon was sweet and such a gentleman. The choice between Maxon and Aspen seems obvious but America annoyingly vacillates between them both. I’m not always a fan of love triangles and did not like this one at all.

The plot of the story is all fluff, which is not a bad thing because sometimes you need fluff books in your life. There is a secondary plot involving rebels trying to overthrow the government and I found myself very interested in it but it was not extensively explored but hopefully it will be in the next book.

Cass’s writing is just OK, she does a lot of telling rather than showing and reuses certain phases a bit too much. I didn’t need to hear about Aspen smelling like his mom’s homemade soap over and over again. 

Since I listened to The Selection as an audiobook, I will take a minute to talk about that aspect of it. Amy Rubinate’s narration was decent but since the last audio I listened to was Clockwork Prince (which was EPIC!), her reading had a lot to live up to. I thought the narration started out a bit monotone but got better as the story went on.

I heard that The Selection was being made into a TV series on the CW and I think this story would make a really cool TV show. I think America would make a better TV character than book character. Like I said before, it’s fluff so if you want something more profound, this may not be the book for you. Personally, I’m OK with a book about princes and pretty dresses every once in a while.

Content: Kissing and teenage girls drinking wine.

My Rating: Just Fine


Dana said...

I enjoyed read this story just wasn't a fan of how it ended!

Truly Bookish said...

Dana, I totally agree with you about the ending. It felt very anti-climactic. It's not even a cliffhanger, it just felt like the end of a chapter...

KM said...

Seems we had almost identical views on this one. I also read that Cass purposefully based the story on Esther, just FYI. That makes me think she'll go with Prince Maxon in the end. Which I hope happens as he was just plain adorable.

Jennifer Messerschmidt said...

I loved Aspen but felt like we didn't get to know him enough. I understood he wanted America to have a better life. Maxon seemed really naive and weird. Didn't like him at all. I found the book a bit slow. I skipped quite a few parts. The ending was lame. I felt like he should have just picked a girl not just narrowed it down.

Bookworm1858 said...

I loved the idea of this book and it ended up being a really good read for me-I wish the ending had been a bit stronger and dynamic instead of just ending.

Read.Breathe.Relax. said...

Personally, I couldn't put down this book. I did really enjoy it, but I can see your points about the writing and the fluff.

Great review!!

city said...

thanks for sharing.


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