Monday, 11 May 2015

The Selection


What a beautiful cover! I've always loved this cover; rather coveted it, in fact, since it came out in 2012, but have never quite gone the full mile and bought it.  So, when there was an extra push from the publishers (thank you Net Galley for providing it!) with The Heir coming out this May, I thought I'd request and read it!

Well, the cover was as beautiful as ever. That, obviously, hasn't changed in the couple of years I've been looking at it.

Did the inside live up to expectations?

In a word: no. Very disappointing: sorry Keira Cass!

This is another teen dystopian novel that everyone (including me!) seems to love at the moment. But... how was this dystopian? Yes, there is the class system where you had a number and this entitled you to certain jobs, privileges and social status. And there were some sort of third and fourth world war things involving Russia and China where they got into debt or something or other, but we don't know much about it because it's been kept from the populace at large. And no one seems bothered, even our narrator. So, that part was just plain unsatisfactory. And then these rebels that no one really seems to know much about either. What's the point in creating a world where there's no real back story? In fairness to Cass (I wonder if that's her real name? Seems unlikely, but it's a very nice pseudonym), I haven't read any of the sequels so maybe this is built upon in the later novels. But without even an inkling of interest in this one, it's irritating. And it's dystopian. Where's the dark? It might as well be kittens and fluff for any darkness. There's mention of money and lack of food, but the main problem seems to be the lack of make-up and pretty dresses.

Irritating. What else is irritating? AMERICA. Sorry, America. That's a person, not a place. For starters, her name is annoying. Sorry, I realise that that is petty, but it's also true. Her surname is singer. Guess what she does? A lot of the names are irritating: Celeste, Aspen, Maxon. (Aside: maybe these names just irritate me because the book irritates me? Perhaps not a fair comment.) America is just... well, to be fair, she's just a sixteen year old girl. But we're used to a bit more in our heroines, aren't we? She's meant to be different from the other 35 girls in The Selection because she is less shallow and more thoughtful etc etc. Er, not from where I'm standing. The whole book is just boys-boys-ooh, look beautiful dress!-boys-boys-makeup-catfights-boys-boys... Do you get my drift? So shallow and so juvenile.

Maybe it's more true to sixteen year old girls (although not me at that age!). But it doesn't make a good story. It isn't fun to read. It's boring.

Plot. Meh. Love triangle, blah, blah. Didn't really like either Maxon or Aspen. They were all right. But, for all his protesting about not knowing how to communicate with girls, Maxon wasn't nearly awkward enough considering he'd never been around anyone of the opposite sex. He called them all 'dear' etc. He knew to be sensitive. And his and America's relationship is just plain unlikely - that he'd keep her as an outsider to be impartial. How can she be? 

And the ending. CLIFFHANGER AHOY. Cliffhangers are okay; to me, they should be reserved for books where there is so much packed in the novel that you are just jumping-off-your-seat-desperate-to-know-what-happens-next-because-not-everything-can-be-squeezed-into-just-one-novel. There was so little substance to this novel, it really could've done with an ending. 

Sorry Keira Cass: I won't be getting the sequels. But, on the plus side, I still love the cover :)

Disclaimer: this book was provided for me by NetGalley in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions and my own.