Expected publication: April 24th 2012 by HarperTeen
My rating: ♥♥♥♥❥
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 the palace and compete for the heart of the 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 received this book on the Southern Book Bloggers Book Tour for an honest review.
I’ve been eyeing this particular novel since its cover reveal. I instantly feel in love with the gown on the cover. Being a seamstress and fashion designer, I can appreciate the intricate detailing in the design. I am a perfectionist with my craft; and I am just in awe of each ruffled tulle tiered row. “THIS” people is a complicated design to accomplish with this type of sheer material and it’s gorgeous. Shout out to the stylist and wardrobe consultant on this project.
Now…on to my review.
"35 girls. 1 crown. the competition of a lifetime."
That instantly made me think of the bachelor as well as all those other “I Love” shows on VH1. They referred to the Selection as a Crown lottery for the Daughters of Illѐa. I mused, “Bring out Flava Flav”…lol! The synopsis will justify that the female contenders won’t be as animated. However there was this one female *clearing throat* Celeste who was a straight up trip and the villain, so to say, of this tale. I could definitely see her on Rock of Love, or something.
Okay, okay I’m getting off subject, but I’m trying desperately not to give the story away. There was so, so many elements of this story that were so memorable; but I’ll just give you the run down.
With such a pretty cover, I couldn’t believe this was a dystopian novel! We’re introduced to a world operating on the caste system. If you’re not familiar, it’s simply a system of classes (lower class, middle class, upper class, etc) where your aspirations, career, pretty much everything is dictated on the family you were born into. The book discusses classes 1-9. Two is for soldiers and fashion models. Three is for teachers. Four is for factory workers and farmers. Five is for artist. Six is for servants. Eight is for illegitimates (children out of wedlock). And of course social norms say you should stay in your caste or marry up. With this type of society, there is a lot of civil unrest and rebels. With the rebels come wars. The ambushes on the kingdom during the competition added suspense to this story.
America Singer (yes that’s her real name, and she is into music) is the narrator. She’s faced with two dilemmas:
Aspen-She loves him but he’s in a lower caste. She doesn’t mind and is willing to live in poverty; but he refuses to give her this type of life.
Maxon- The prince she must compete to marry, but she’s already in love with Aspen
America is a believable character! She was honest with the prince from day one. Bravo! But what happened next was so shocking and such a whirlwind of an adventure that I cannot breathe a word without ruining the book for you.
I can go on forever, which is weird because I normally like to keep my reviews/ramblings short. However, this book was simply captivating. This is by far, not the end. The story ends, but not on a cliffhanger. It’s like being gently rocked to sleep and kissed on the forehead before departing. Now I’m anxiously awaiting this dream to end, so that when I wake up I can read the next installment of this great book!
“Enjoy your last night as an average girl. Tomorrow, no matter what, your life will be different forever. And it’s old advice, but it’s good: Be yourself.”
“One can never help being born into perfection.”