There are a few things you should know about me and reading. 1) I always judge a book by its cover. 2) I stopped reading for fun when I became an adult… until I rediscovered Young Adult fiction in college.
So when I saw the opportunity to read and review The Selection by Kiera Cass on The Clever Girls Collective, I knew I had to apply. I mean, look at this beautiful cover!
And it’s a young adult DYSTOPIAN novel that manages to be light-hearted and romantic at the same time. So basically, it includes everything I love in one book.
My Reading Experience
When it came in the mail, I couldn’t wait to dive in. But, I had a feeling it would be one of those binge-worthy novels, so I had to wait until I could carve out enough time to read the whole thing cover to cover.
Sure enough, when I settled down in bed yesterday evening and started reading, I was absolutely transported. The first chapter or two were a little difficult for me because I was so frustrated with America’s mother, but once things started rolling… I couldn’t stop turning the pages. When he came home, I begrudgingly sat down to dinner. As much as I love my husband, I don’t like it when my binge reads are interrupted. So there was this internal struggle between wanting to be a good wife and eat dinner with my husband and knowing that I’d rather be finishing the novel.
Thankfully, I married a man who supports my reading addiction. We ate quickly, and he settled into one of his personal Netflix shows while I finished the rest of the novel.
I was swept up in the dresses, the cattiness, the friendship, the politics, and of course… the love triangle. Because what good dystopian novel doesn’t have a love triangle, right?
Review of The Selection
I loved this book. Seriously, this is by far the best book I have read in awhile. Is it life-altering? Absolutely not, but it is summer reading at its best. Lighthearted, feel-good, and intriguing enough that the pages turn themselves. The characters are well-developed – even Maxon, the stiff-sounding prince. The motivations for the characters are relatable, and the plot doesn’t drive the story. The dialogue is believable; the writing doesn’t get in the way; and the world is well-created without being too show-and-tell.
And if all of that is just a little too literary sounding, just know that the book is a fluffy read perfect for summer binging.
One word of caution though. Does America choose Aspen or Prince Maxon? You will want to have the other books in-hand when you start reading, because the book definitely doesn’t end with any real answers.
The Selection Series
If you love reading The Selection as much as I did, then you will be happy to know that there are currently two more books in the series, and a third one will be released on May 5, 2015.
You can order the books by clicking the following links, which I strongly recommend. As a matter of fact, as soon as this post is published, I will be ordering the next two (and pre-ordering the newest one). I can’t wait to follow America, Maxon, and Aspen on their journey.
A Note for Educators
This book would be a great addition to your personal classroom library. If you are doing a unit on dystopian fiction (which I definitely recommend), you may want to offer this as an optional read for your students. Include other popular dystopian novels (ask in the comments if you need suggestions) and a classic like 1984 or Brave New World. Encourage them to relate the dystopian societies to modern and historic politics to find deeper truths that exist in the reading material. Then, have your students create their own dystopian (or utopian) society in groups. Have each student write a short story, create a video, or write a script that takes place in their society. Be sure to encourage them to make their own commentary on society and/or politics through the medium of dystopian fiction.
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