I was fully prepared to hate on this. Anything that is advertised as "The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor" and has characters like America, Tuesday, Aspen, and all those other slightly weird names was bound to fail. Right? Well ... if you read this ([...]) review, you will think it did. And if you are as critical as Wendy is, or if you simply dislike the things she mentions, then this book is most likely not for you. The other reason I was expecting not to like it was due to the author's more than childish behavior. She seems to have said on Twitter that she would tell all her friends to like the positive reviews on facebook so that Wendy's review would not be the first thing potential readers see. Cass's agent also called Wendy a bitch (screenshot: [...]). In any case, you don't need to venture into the comments because they started nitpicking about every single thing and are blowing everything quite out of proportion.
I had already pre-ordered at that point and I was interested in something that contained a fairy tale and all that glitz and glamour. I was in a bad spot and thought, why the hell not. Worst case scenario: I have a pretty but bad book on my shelf. So I started reading it shortly after it arrived and I was sucked in I have to admit. Yes, the dialogue was shaky at times and yes the names annoyed me more than they should. It was a little pretentious, too but if you think about it, it's to be expected from something that deals with a guy who gets to date 35 girls at once.
I had/have a love-hate relationship with America. For one, she is ... like one of those annoying facebook girls who keep posting photos of themselves and when someone calls them pretty or even beautiful, they respond with things like: "Nooooo, I'm nooooot!! :D:D:D:D" I bet you know a couple of those girls. But then, well. What is she supposed to say to make her seem likeable? The easy route would have been to just have nobody comment on her beauty, but then it would have been unreasonable to have her chosen if she wasn't anything special. So, should she just assent to all the compliments? Maybe that would have been better. As long as she isn't arrogant about it, it portrays a healthy self-image in my opinion.
Besides all the bad things, I really liked it and I can't even say why exactly. It enticed the little girl inside me who is hoping for something like this, for a prince to come riding down from the castle near to where I live and sweep me off my feet. I know that is not exactly what Maxon does, but in a way it is. I think that is the main allure about this book. Something to dream about, and fantasize about. So yeah.
One thing about the Hunger Games comparison: What was meant was the caste system and the selection/reaping of certain individuals to go to a far away, somewhat dreamy place (palace/capitol). People have been criticizing the comparison because there is no active violence in The Selection but there doesn't need to be to draw a comparison in my opinion. In retrospect, the book was a little passive. A lot was happening TO America, quite few things were done with her okay. However, it is explained in the end: her relationship with her boyfriend from back home (Aspen) held her back, and I think in Book 2 we will deal with the love triangle more thoroughly.
Oh, and another thing: For some reason I thought the "winner" of the selection would be clear once the book ended but actually the girls have only been decimated to six. So the selection is still going on when book 2 starts I think!
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