Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Caroline Albacete, Staff Writer '18

The Selection, a competition between 35 randomly chosen girls to become part of the royal family, will be held this year in honor of the illustrious Prince Maxon. America Singer, a member of one of the lowest castes in Illea, never imagined that she would become part of it. For America, the only life worth living is one with her beloved, Aspen. When she is selected to participate, America is horrified. Competing for a prince’s attention with 35 other girls? No thanks. That changes when Aspen does the unthinkable: he leaves her. Now the castle is America’s refuge, and she decides to make the most of her time there. As America leaves behind the ashes of her old dreams, she discovers a new future that she never believed possible.
In the beginning of The Selection, America Singer believes her future is sure and all her dreams will come true. When Aspen breaks her heart, she takes up refuge in the castle. America still doesn’t want to participate, but her circumstances have changed. She’ll fight for as long as she has to if it means she doesn’t have to go home. When America finally meets the prince, she realizes that if she wins, she will have a chance to make a real difference in the world. Suddenly this fight isn’t just to hide from Aspen, it’s an earnest fight to change the way Illea is run and help the lower castes out of their squalor. It’s a fight America wants to win.
America Singer is a very realistic character. As a part of one of the lower castes in Illea, all she knows is a life of hard work. Before she meets the prince, Maxon, America resents him and what he stands for. She doesn’t want to be a part of a higher caste; she doesn’t want to be a part of their snobbery. America is proud of her position. There are things she would change if she could- more food for her family, more money to pay the bills, etc.- but she is content where she is. However, when America arrives at the palace to take part in the Selection, her eyes are opened to a whole new way of life- and a chance to make a difference. At first she is reluctant, but slowly America comes to realize that Maxon is not an entitled brat, and that his goals are worth working towards. When America realizes this, she starts fighting in earnest for a chance to win- not just for the position, but for Maxon’s love as well.
America is feisty, intelligent, stubborn, honest, and loyal. Throughout the novel she grows and changes as a character as her perception of the world shifts. She becomes more aware of the world around her and life for others in it, not just her own way of life.
The Selection is a worthwhile read, and an interesting idea of what the may future hold. It is followed by The Elite, and coming May 6, 2014, The One.