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The Selection

The Selection - My Rating: 1.0 Okay, before you start reading this review, you should know that I very very very very rarely give a book a rating of one unless I have a damn good reason. This is a damn good reason. When I first saw The Selection on goodreads in January, it landed a spot immediately on my read asap list as soon as the book came out. The gorgeous cover, the plot idea, and the book being described as "The Hunger Games meet The Bachelor" made me just have to get my hands on the book. Then I read this: review while researching the book. And the agent's and author's response to the reviewer for just giving her opinion, calling her insulting names. One word? Disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. If you can't face criticism, then don't write a book and publish it for the world to see. It's as simple as that. We are all entitled to our opinion and state it out, hence the First Amendment in the Constitution. So yeah Kiera Cass, go and like every positive review about your book and tell your friends to do so too. But don't worry, her post would always be the first one you'll see when people look up your book and then they'll know what kind of person you and your agent are. "For reals." Despite this, and I'm still ashamed to admit this, I still wanted to read The Selection and try it despite what the author and the agent did. Although I was convincing myself that I just wanted to give the novel a fair chance, the truth was the cover just pulled me in, so I gave the book a try despite my morals. And what I found was not pretty. First of all, let me clear the misconception, The Selection is not in any way, shape, or form a dystopia novel, hence the statement: "The Hunger Games meet The Bachelor." No, just no. The definition of dystopia is this: a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding (taken from dictionary.com). The only "dystopian" thing about The Selection is the whole castle system. But what about how the poor (Five, Sixes, Sevens, and Eights) struggle in this book? you whine. Um, sorry to disappoint you, but in every society there are always going to be poor people. Take the United States for example. Every day in New York, I see homeless people in the subways, obviously poorer than poor. Does that make the United States a dystopian society? I don't think so. Illea is obviously not controlling people using oppression and there are no diseases running through the society. Many people complained about the names in the novel. America. Aspen. Maxon. Tiny. I don't really have a problem with the names (I can deal with anything name-related), but for America Singer's talent to be singing and dancing? Hilarious and so unoriginal. The first three chapters of The Selection started out okay. I got to know Aspen and America's family and was enjoying it. Then the book got tedious. Why? Well, readers knew from the beginning that America was picked into the selection from the book summary and the blurb. So why did Kiera Cass decide that it was a smart idea to fill 77 pages of the book, more than twenty percent of the entire book, of how America is nervous about the selection, thinking she might not get picked, etc. I mean, I can stand three chapters of that, but five more chapters of the oh my god, am I going to get picked?!, I just couldn't force myself to continue on reading happily. I stopped reading The Selection at page 146 and just skimmed the rest afterward, tired of the entire book. It wasn't until I reached about seventy percent of the book that Kiera Cass decided to finally explained the so-called "dystopian" society America lives in. And what I found was hilarious. Apparently, China took over the United States because we're in their debt. Right. How would that solve anything? If Kiera Cass actually took/paid attention in her economics class, she would learn that China won't take over, the United States will just default and nobody would trust our credit again. And then when Kiera Cass's explanation of how Illea got it's name came up, I couldn't help but roll my eyes. She obviously didn't pay attention in simple geography either; where in the world map can you actually point out a country or nation that got named after their leader? I think I just proved my point. While skimming the entire book, what immediately and constantly came up in my head was: Where have I read this before? No, seriously. The Selection takes several ideas from so many movies and books I've read. The book is a very cheesy romance novel where the girl enters a competition to win a guy that the girl doesn't want to enter for whatever reason, stays herself while other girls flings themselves eagerly at the guy to impress him, befriends the guy (which doesn't make sense since Maxon wouldn't really know if America was lying about not being interested in him), and the girl ultimately ends up getting the guy? Not to mention the parts where the main character claims she only stays for the food, knees the guy in the groin, insults and accuses him of things he didn't do, and happens to show off her particular talent (music) when he just happens to show up and see her and be awed by her talent? And the whole oh my god, I care for my maids! has been done before too. Not to mention the sabotaging of spilled drinks "accidentally." You can't get more original than that Kiera Cass. The Selection is book one of a trilogy. Why? The whole trilogy can be fit into one simple book. It doesn't take you three books to tell readers who the winner of the competition is nor solve the rebels problem. Kiera Cass and her agent probably decided since that trilogies are so in right now ever since The Hunger Games, they wanted to follow the trend too. But no, it just ruins the book. Not to mention, The Selection is the only book I've read that belonged in a trilogy that is so short. Hmm. Kiera Cass's writing isn't terrible. However, it isn't engaging either. The characters just goes through the motions. You don't really feel for them, they are all just stereotypes. Aspen is based on men that has too much pride and wants to take care of their significant other. Maxon is the typical nice guy. Even fifth graders can read Kiera Cass's writing, it is that simple. The Selection kills my image of The Bachelor, which I watch whenever I have time to. The plot is predictable, the ideas taken from somewhere else (been there, done that), and her attitude toward her reviewers doesn't help her book either. If I manage to get my hands on her next book, I have a strong feeling that I would be skimming most of that book too. A warning: Save your money and don't buy this book. Borrow it if you want to read it, but if you then like it, then buy it. And wow, this must be the longest review I've ever written. ohdamnbooks: the selection