Monday, February 27, 2012

Book Review & Apoc Love Interview: The Selection by Kiera Cass + swag giveaway

America Singer doesn’t want to be one of the 35 girls chosen for the selection, a process by which Prince Maxon will choose his bride.  She’s in love with Aspen, a noble young man in a caste below her who she is forbidden to love. But getting chosen for the selection would mean extra money for her family and possibly moving up from caste 5 to caste 1, so America reluctantly enters the lottery – and is not only chosen, but becomes a front-runner for the prince’s hand.

THE SELECTION is primarily a love story with a “The Bachelor” –like premise.  America has been secretly dating Aspen for two years and she desperately wants to marry him.  However, Aspen wants the best for America, and the best is not marrying down to servant class (caste 6), but trying for a prince.  So while all other 34 girls go gaga over Prince Maxon, America still pines for Aspen. Could her indifference turn out to be her secret weapon?

All three of our love triangle characters are decent people and I found America’s relationship with both boys well drawn. I honestly can’t tell you what “team” I’m on  – I could see America ending up with either one.

The dystopian elements do take a backseat here - but I was so caught up in the story, I didn't even care.  America tells us about the rigid caste system and the harsh consequences of her life (such as a lowly 6 being beaten for stealing food because 5s and below tend to go hungry). But she doesn't really act like you might expect a girl from a lower caste would. She’s bold, stubborn, and talks back to royalty without compunction. She snuck around with Aspen for two years of heavy make-out sessions without anyone – even her family – catching on.  If you’re a stickler for your dystopians making total sense, this one might bug you.  But if you’re looking for a fun love story with a high-concept premise, you've definitely come to the right place!

And lucky us - because the author is an Apocalypsie, we get an Apocalypsies Love! interview with her today.

What is your favorite scene in the book?
This is hard! I don't want to give too much away! Maybe Maxon meeting America. It was just the antithesis of everything he was expecting, and I love that about her. She's just who she is, and that person isn't necessarily very princess-like, so I dig that scene a lot.

What is your favorite line in the book?
I do have one! And it's an opinion I wish more girls had sometimes. But it comes close to the end of the book, so I'm just going to stay hush hush for now. Ask me in April!

What setting was most fun to write?
One of the highlights to me is mentally spending all this time in a palace! The lush gardens and opulent bedrooms and people catering to you all the time... it's just so beautiful in my head. Visiting that place never gets old. It's huge, and there are always new corners to see, new secrets to find.

Who is your favorite supporting character - one you could see getting a spin-off book - and why?
When I get a bit confused on how characters are acting, I try to jump out of America's head and hop into Aspen's or Maxon's. I have some scenes from their POVs, and I think I'll get to share that with people eventually. I really appreciate how honest they both are about where they are in life and what they want, and both of them are going for it with all they have. They're passionate, and I respect that.

What has been your favorite part of your publishing journey so far?
Just one? Are you kidding? I loved getting my agent, Elana Roth, and I adored getting my editor, Erica Sussman. These two women have made the whole process amazing! It's also been wonderful to get to know other authors and see that we all go through similar ups and downs. It's been fun to watch readers get excited, and the book is still two months away! And the whole adventure of translating The Selection to a television show has been a whirlwind of coolness. It's all been a blast!

Thanks Kiera! Congrats on the casting of Ethan Peck as Prince Maxon.  If I wasn't already excited about the show, that'd do it!

THE SELECTION comes out on April 24, 2012.  Find out more about it at the author's website.  Kiera is giving away one swag pack with bookmarks and buttons.  Enter via this form by March 6, 2012 at 11:59 pm CST. Open internationally.

FTC disclosure: I received a review copy from the publisher.


Unknown said...

Great Review! love the interview too :D -TheUnseelieNerd

Steph said...

I am really looking forward to this book. Thanks for the interview!!!

Anonymous said...

Great review! I recently posted an interview with Kiera as well. The Selection sounds great and I can't wait to read.

Safari Poet

Ellz said...

This sounds great. While dystopia isn't the main theme, the story sounds interesting. Thanks for the review!

Unknown said...

As any good fan of The Bachelor knows, acting indifferent is the key to success. This season's Courtney = exhibit A. But let's get back to the book :) This is one debut I'm particularly excited to read. I think America Singer (might have a silly name but) sounds like a strong, interesting character. Thanks for the interview!

bermudaonion said...

That does sound somewhat like the Bachelor. What fun!

Zibilee said...

This seems like a relatively new concept for a dystopian, and it also sounds like a really involving read. I can imagine that I would really like this one, and will be looking for it. I love that Kiera didn't give too much away in the interview. The suspense is very enticing!

BookChic said...

I absolutely loved this book and glad that you did too! Great interview as well!

Jessy said...

Gorgeous cover!

Good Choice Reading said...

*sigh* i loved this book!!! Great interview & review!

Anonymous said...

Everytime I see this cover I think she's sniffing her armpits! Sounds like an interesting book though. Reminds me of Wither and Fever but of course, America is willingly married off.

Julia @ That Hapa Chick said...

I'm the kind of person who will probably be a bit annoyed at the unrealistic nature of the dystopian world in this but I think I'll still read it. The cover is just too gorgeous not to. Haha. :)

roro said...

good luck all
not really 4me