Friday 15 February 2013

Book Review #2: The Selection by Keira Cass

Book Review:The Selection by Keira Cass
Good, but lacking **something**.

Okay, so the premise of The Selection is very good. The cover is brilliantly enticing, and yet, within the first few pages, the dystopian world is 'ropey', to say the least. It may sound harsh, but calling your principal character 'America' and one of the others, 'Aspen', seems bizarre to me.

The author's name is Keira, and that's a beautiful name, befitting a princess. So would it have been a bad idea to maybe call America, Keira? This is a small gripe. The story, such as it is, moves along reasonably well, and in that sense, I think Keira Cass writes in a quite engaging manner.

I like the Cinderella premise, i.e. poor, but beautiful and refined girl makes good - but the story ends with sequel-itis in mind, so you wonder what is the point of the book, in and of itself...because it is not the complete story.

Prince Maxon seems at first a bit wooden and stuffy, but I suppose even if you are heir to the throne of Illea and you have 35 girls fawning after would be. He develops better than any other character, for me, and then, just a few chapters before the end, he puts his crown firmly back on his head and lashes out at America...I lost all the likeability that had been built up for him.

The story could easily be four stars, but it could be two stars as well.

I give it three stars out of five because it does have potential, but has a lot of filler chapters where the intention must have been to spread it out to two or three books, which is a shame. If it is one story, then tell it like one, because stretching it out affects what could have been a truly great read.

As it is, it is just another in a long line of YA dystopian novels. There's no vampires, trolls, zombies...just the cast system of Illea and thirty five girls that make up The Selection. The love triangle seems...very strange, because to have one, America would have to love Aspen and Maxon, and for the Prince to be in love with America.

It is not clear how America or Maxon really feel. Even Aspen seems to have a bit of the caveman about him. Maybe that is the design of the main characters. I kind of feel that the dystopian world will be explored more in The Elite. I just don't know if I can stretch to that one to find out.

Nonetheless, a good try from Keira Cass.