Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: The Selection, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: Though it was slightly predictable, I really enjoyed The Selection, particularly its spunky heroine, America Singer.
America Singer is a Five (the caste system can be explained on the author's website) struggling to keep her secret relationship with a boy in a lower caste under wraps. She reluctantly registers for The Selection, and much to her mother's joy, is picked, along with thirty four other young women. I won't give anything away, but I will list what I did and didn't like, so as to keep spoilers under wraps.
What I liked:
-America, and her commitment to stay true to herself even through the competition
-Maxon, the prince that the thirty-five women compete for
-Oddly enough, the names that were chosen for each of the girls
-America's quirky, lovable family
-America's maids, Anne, Mary, and Lucy
-Marlee and Ashley, two other contestants
-Lady Amberly, Maxon's mother and the queen
What I didn't like:
-Celeste, and how she got to stay in the competition toward the end
-Aspen, both in the beginning and then later--he only redeemed himself in the end for me, and hopefully in The Elite
-The way the contestants themselves were treated, though that could've just been the author creating contrast
-The way that the maids were treated
-Clarkson, Maxon's father, deliberately ignorant of his own country's policies
-The way the girls are kept in the dark during history lessons, hinting at something sinister in the royal family
Overall, I enjoyed this novel and would recommend it to anyone who wants a sort of modern fairy tale with a twist.