I would like to thank Netgalley, HarperCollins UK and the author – Kiera Cass for a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
The Selection by Kiera Cass is the first book in five book series. This book was first published by HarperTeen on January 1st 2012 and recently the fourth book in the series came out.

The Selection is about the beginning of searching a new princess for the future country of Illéa. The story basically is a reality show, where the prince is expected to pick a wife and a princess (future queen of Illéa). He has to be careful to remember that some are only after the crown and money and are not really interested in him or the country. The only redhead – girl named America ends up participating in this contest for prince’s heart and although at the start she is there just for the money, she soon starts to realize that perhaps she might have some feelings for the prince after all.

Although the book seemed similar to a TV reality show as well as the Hunger Games and at the beginning I did have an idea of the main events, but somewhere around the middle I just lost it and didn’t know what is going to happen. The story kept me tense and willing to find out what were the characters really thinking and if what they were saying was what they were actually feeling. The story kept me guessing quite a bit.

America was a strong girl, who managed to sometimes be stupid and at some point she became a bit arrogant, which seemed legit (as she was a special case for the prince) and as I have done so many stupid things in my life, I could only see all this as a possible scenario, but the scene with her first night in the palace was just out of character and I still cannot connect it with her personality, I don’t think that she would show her weakness in the eyes of everyone.

I also would like to add that America’s relationship with her father reminded me so much of Pride and Prejudice, it seemed as I saw Mr Bennet (Donald Sutherland) there in my imagination.

My favourite character definitely was prince Maxon. Although in the first meeting he had with America I was a bit disappointed, because I was expecting him to be different, later he got to the person who I wanted him to be. There were a lot of flaws in his character like telling America that he is not around ladies very often and doesn’t really know how to deal with them, but then being a perfect gentleman and going around kissing the girls in the selection. Maxon is not a perfect character but I still liked him the best as he was kind, thoughtful and just a good guy, and once the flaws from the beginning of the story were all settled, it seemed that he didn’t do anything controversial. Perhaps it is my weakness for prince’s (wink Harry) but Maxon did stuck in my head and heart.

Aspen was a bit controversial character, because we don’t really know much of what he thinks and what is really happening inside of him, so it is hard to tell, if all what America knows and things is true or is is just all a big lie to get what he wants. I really disliked him, because I did not believe that he truly did reject America just because of the status.

In fact all the characters had flaws and they were not properly described to give my imagination enough of material to work with, so I couldn’t really catch the feeling that they were right next to me, that I would know all the details about person’s looks and the setting in which (s)he is.

Nevertheless, when I started to read the book and already wanted to finish it in one go, but couldn’t, so I got to it again yesterday on underground and I had to stop only because my phone died, but when I got home to the charger, I curled in my bed and read it all. I didn’t wanted to stop, I wanted to know what is going to happen next and perhaps I am a bit naïve for not guessing how all this will end, but not always one can be cynical. Besides I was on the verge of tears in some places, perhaps I took the book a bit too personal and remembered things from my past and associated them with the book. The confusion of America and the feel of not being sure who is The One for America and if her feelings were strong enough to tell which one to choose… It was all just so familiar.

This book is definitely for romance and young adult fans, it is a bit cheesy and silly, so the cynics should avoid this one, because I see how the writing, characters and story would seem hundred times seen and they would have plenty of mistakes to point out, but for the girls who look for a prince this might be the thing. And perhaps those who have had a hard time searching for him, but after all they did, might also enjoy the book as well. It is a sweet escape from reality, which seemed incredibly real.

And though the book ended on a cliffhanger, it felt like a good place to stop. Of course, if there would be more pages, I would keep reading them and be happy, but this was fine. I will read the next book, definitely!

I gave this book fours stars in my goodreads page, just because I liked it so much that I did not care about the mistakes.

What did you think of the book? Tell me please! I’m dying to hear what other people think! And please – no spoilers, I haven’t read anything after the first book. I’m saving myself!