The Selection: A Book Review

There is something about a book's cover... it calls to serious book lovers... Do you know what I'm talking about?

Well not long after my youngest was born I headed to the library to find some books to read during the hours of sitting and cuddling/nursing that were on my horizon.  The thing was I had been out of the reading world for months, almost years.  I read only books that were submitted to me for review or those assigned for studies.  I was ready for something new, and I had no idea what to pick!

Then I saw this gorgeous cover.  I mean who isn't drawn into that dress! Especially as one who was lucky to get a shower, let alone clothes with no kid stains, this was a cover that was speaking to me.  I didn't even read the jacket. Just picked it up, and heading home.

A book review of The Selection by Kiera Cass on Reading List

Boy am I glad I picked this one up!

Story Overview 

The Selection by Kiera Cass is the first book in the series that follows America Singer as she finds her self chosen to be part of the Selection.  The Selection is a process in this future/dystopian society that once was the USA where the eligible young ladies enter a competition to compete for the hand and heart of the crowned prince. Prince Maxon is looking to marry before he takes on the role of king and as is tradition, he will pick from a pool of young ladies during a competition that will take place inside his own palace,  All those ladies selected to join move into the palace and learn how to be a queen while winning time and dates with Maxon.  

America doesn't want to marry Maxon, but she enters the competition mostly to please her mother. She is sure she won't be chosen to enter the actual competition and doesn't care because her heart is set on another young man.

The main reason why so many women even enter into the competition is to move up in the societal caste system that is in place in the country.  All citizens are born into a caste that determines their careers and income. There isn't much movement, really through marriage and extreme situations does one move up or down... 

This caste system is causing great unrest among the citizens, and there are rebellions forming. Of course America doesn't realize just how great this unrest is until she is in the palace... 

Personal Likes

I really loved this story.  It was exactly what I expected after finally reading the jacket... a traditional clean romance story for young girls.  America is sure she knows what she wants from life, but circumstances demand she make some decisions that set her on a path she wouldn't have chosen otherwise.

Overall America is very believable - a teenage girl in love who is pulled away from her dream.

The story was fun because it really is a melting of the popular show, The Bachelorette and The Hunger Games.  There isn't all the violence of the Hunger Games, but the need for position and survival runs steady throughout.  The competition between teens for love, well come on, isn't that just high school?

The Selection a Review on Reading List   art by: Danemar Calise

Personal Dislikes

There are many complaints about America as a character if you check out the popular reviews on this book.  And yes, she does whine, she is wishy-washy, she isn't the most respectful or polite character I've ever read, but she's a TEENAGER!  Have you met a teenager recently?  They tend to think they know everything and that comes across in such ways often, because we all know that teenagers have only just begun to learn about reality.

My biggest set back with this book was the amount of story lines in this first book.  I felt like I needed more background right away, and while it is certain to show up in later books of the series, I wanted more faster... that might be why I read this book so quickly.  So if you don't want to pick up a book and struggle to put it down, this might not be for you.

Reasons to Read

This whole series is topping many many bestsellers lists.  If you have a teenage daughter, an almost teenager daughter, or you work around/near teenage girls, there's a good chance they will have read this one, or want to read this one.  So wouldn't be awesome if you could talk to them about a book they are probably dying to talk to their friends about?

Before you throw this one aside as being predictable YA fiction, remember how great it was to read a book for fun?  This book is fun. Adults who are aware of the popular TV shows will pick up quickly on the themes and concepts that Cass pulled from when she created this world, and enjoy it.  Kiera Cass has a great way of developing characters that you will love and hate and groan over.  You won't want to put this book down once you start it because you'll be dying to know what happens to your favorite character next, and with a large group of catty girls as characters, there are plenty of characters to love and hate!

Reading List Rating

I have to give this one a rating of five hearts.  It was my favorite read so far this year, and kept me grabbing for the next in the series.  They all read fast, and are simply fun.

Five Heart rating on Reading List.... for The Selection by Kiera Cass

My Suggested Audience

This is aimed for teenage girls, and for the most part I think that is an accurate place to start. The subjects brought up in this book would fit right in with most teens school classes on history and literature.  So really any young girl would be the perfect fit.

The Selection would also be a fun summer read for any girl, no matter her age. It's fun to reminisce over being a young teen, and this book would feed into that easily.  Besides the story is interesting enough and the characters are entertaining.  Kiera Cass writes to really engage the reader. 

Have you heard of the Selection Series?  Have you read it?  Are you into the light, fluffy read?

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!

Marissa @ Reading List

**If you are considering purchasing this book, please consider using the affiliate link here and support Reading List in the process. 

***If you're interested in writing a book review on Reading List, please message me on the Facebook page! If you're curious about a book, ask me...  I love to hear from you!

**** Image credit: Danemar Calise

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Split Second... A Sneak Peek

Welcome to Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List! 

Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List  a glimpse into what I am reading currently

Current book:

Split Second
By Kasie West

Sneak Peek:

"His gaze lingered on the blue stripe in my hair, and he asked, 'What's the story with the blue?' I let out a breathy laugh."    p 99 

Sneak peek of Split Second by Kasie West on Reading List's Saturday Sneak Peek

Join in the fun with these fun blogs...

Teaser Tuesdays  from A Daily Rhythm

Oh and here are some rules if you decide to join in:
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
 BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


If you want to just leave your two sentences, book title, and author just here, please do so in the comments.  I'd love to get a sneak peek of the book you're reading!

Marissa at Reading List

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Cozy Reading Spot #98

Welcome to Cozy Reading Spot! This is your chance to share your posts, and then grab your favorite drink to curl up with and read other's posts.  We share posts on books, reading, and all that is inspiring us (basically that means, we love to read what you have done this week!).

Please link up all you've got!  

There are just a few small requests I have. 
  • Please link to a direct post, and not just your home page (I will use my discretion on leaving links up that do not follow this as the idea is to link to your blog posts...).
  • Please include a link back to the hop in your post - the button codes are part of the flair page, but a text hyperlink is just as good! This simply allows others to join in the fun, and isn't that the whole point?                                         
  • Also, since I'm not doing features right now, I'm trying to give shout outs on Facebook, so like the Facebook page, say hi to me, so I can like you back and give you a better shout out!

Of course, this is a Hop - so hop around and check out the rest of the book lovers and writers and get to know someone!  Building community is the joy of blogging, right?

And on that note - send out a quick tweet to invite all your friends to the hop real quick - Tweet This!

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The fine print: Please understand that by linking up with the Cozy Reading Spot, you are agreeing to allow Reading List to feature you in a future post.  That includes a link to your post, and a picture you've used on that post.  You are also allowing Reading List to share any post you link up with pinterest, facebook, twitter and/or google+.  Also, by posting in this hop, you are allowing your email address to be used for a weekly reminder of the hop - your email will not be used for any other purpose, period.

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Captive: The Blackcoat Rebellion #2

Well it's a little late, but that's better than never.  Earlier this month, I shared my review for Pawn, and as promised here's my review on the second in the series - Captive.

I was equally pulled into Aimee Cater's follow up in her Blackcoat Rebellion series.  And while this might not be the genre for everyone, this book doesn't let any dystopian fan down.  There is action, and mystery and love and a few twists along the way.

Captive The Blackcoat Rebellion #2 By Aimee Carter  a book review on Reading List

Story Overview 

Captive begins soon after Pawn ended, which is nice for a second in a series.  Kitty is still masked as Lila, and trying to find a way to play the part she gave her life up for.  Luckily Benjy is still in her life, so she has a "reason" to keep trying.  

The story moves at a steady, almost slow pace through some crazy events within the royal family. We find out some more on Kitty's personal history and why she was masked in the first place - so much more than we were led to believe in the first book.  And even with the steady pace of the first part of the book things really pick up when Kitty is sent to Elsewhere - yes, she finds herself in her worst nightmare.

The remainder of the story brings new characters and difficulties for Kitty as she tries to find her way out of Elsewhere.  In a part of civilization where her new masked identity does her no good, she struggles to find her footing.  In fact it seems as though she is doomed by the two-thirds point in the book.  

Personal Likes

I was very excited to finally get the real story behind Elsewhere.  Cater did a marvelous job creating this hunting ground and final point of civilization, especially considering the genre and how many "worlds" are being created now.  She did a great job of filling in a ton of background on Kitty, Lila and Knox, which really allowed for a more in depth read. 

Also, I'm currently a sucker for this genre!  There is something about reading a book that dipicts a world that is completely crumbling and then creating characters that find ways to rise above and overcome unbelievable odds and challenges.  Granted, Kitty isn't exactly my go-to heroine... but that's a different point.

The pace of this book was also wonderful. While some complained that it started too slow, I think that slower pace allowed for some filler on characters and setting, which allowed for a great second half focused on action (and I mean a ton of action).

Quote from Captive by Aimee Carter from a book review on Reading List

Personal Dislikes

Overall, my biggest issues with this book followed the issues I had with Pawn - there was simply too much violence. Yes, this is a dystopian novel which seems to translate as violent. However, there has too be a way to allow the reader's imagination to fill in the details of the violence instead of painting such a vivid picture so often. There were a couple of characters I think were introduced simply so they could be killed with a bigger impact... and not really in a good way ever.

I go back and forth on my feelings for Kitty. Sometimes I wish she would be more mature, it seems that her life should have matured her a little more. Then other times, I just feel bad for her as she has been handed a horrible set of circumstances. More often than not she simply doesn't fill the expectation I have for a strong female lead in a teen novel.  I wish she would be a little more mature, or wise, or even street smart.

Also, I had major issue with the intimacy between Kitty and Benjy.  There is no need for teen characters in books to sleep with each other, even if they are madly in love and sure that death is around the corner... 

Reasons to Read

Overall, this book is worth reading if you read the first one.  In fact if you are thinking of reading the first one, don't let this keep you from it.  They are both quick reads and there are some great issues brought up that are worth considering.

The ideas of the value of life, and how much each person should risk to protect that value of life are central to this story.  For that point alone this is a worthwhile series. And since this is supposed to be the second book in a series that isn't finished yet, it could be a good stepping stone and the complaints I list are mostly just going to be null with the third book. 

Reading List Rating

I wanted to like this sequel more.  I can only give it a three heart rating though... there was simply too much in the way of unnecessary violence, even for the genre.
A three heart rating - enjoyed it, but didn't love it   on Reading List book review

My Suggested Audience

This is billed as YA dystopian fiction, and it slides right into that popular category.  Personally I'd say this one is for the older teenager, maybe 16 and up, mostly because the topics are heavy and the violence is a little much.  Also there is quite a bit in the physical romance side that pushes this into an older teen category.

Then again, if you're an adult that is into the dystopian fiction, this series does fit that perfectly. And it's a quick read.

Do you pick up sequels to books if you enjoyed the first one?  What about waiting for the rest of the series even if one of the series didn't live up to your expectations? 

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!

Marissa @ Reading List

**If you are considering purchasing this book, please consider using the affiliate link here and support Reading List in the process. 

***If you're interested in writing a book review on Reading List, please message me on the Facebook page! If you're curious about a book, ask me...  I love to hear from you!

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