Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Narrator: Amy Rubinate
Genre: Young Adult; Romance; Dystopian-esque
Audio: 8.1 hours
Publisher: Harper Audio
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
Book Rating: 3.5/5
Audio Rating: 4.5/5
America Singer is a 5 in the numeric caste system that governs her society (1s are the highest, 8s the lowest), but the boy she loves, Aspen, is only a 6. Meanwhile, the Royal Family is holding The Selection to find Prince Maxon a wife. One girl from each of the 35 provinces is brought to the castle and they are slowly eliminated until Maxon chooses his bride.
At first America doesn’t want to enter The Selection, but when things end badly with Aspen and she’s chosen to represent her province, she discovers life at the Palace isn’t too bad and finds herself fighting to stay in the competition.
This felt a little like The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games without all of the dying. While I don’t watch The Bachelor, I think fans would really enjoy this one. I certainly did.
America is a very likeable character, and while the story was mildly predictable at times, I still found my engrossed in it because of her. This isn’t exactly a dystopian novel (not yet at least), but it has the elements. It’s very clear we don’t know everything (like how we got to the current state of things) but it feels believable enough for now, and I am sure world-building details will be given as the series continues.
This is very much a first book in a trilogy. It doesn’t stand alone well at all. Things don’t wrap up and had really only just started to get going. In fact, I didn’t even realize how close to the end of the book I was and I stopped it for the evening with less than a minute left. I had a bit of a confusing experience the next morning when it was over 30 seconds later. So be prepared to commit to the trilogy if you start this one.
Overall, I really enjoyed this one. Fans of reality television and YA novels alike should check it out.
I enjoyed listening to this one and I think the audio format fits the reality show-like feel of the book well. Amy Rubinate did a great job narrating – she managed to sound young without sounding fake (I think fitting a narrator with a YA book is a really tough job).
Make sure you check out the other Audiobook Week discussion posts and audiobook reviews over at Devourer of Books.