Bestseller Ebook The Selection the best work For thirty five girls the Selection is the chance of a lifetime The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth To be swept up in a world
Bestseller Ebook The Selection the best work For thirty five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare It means turning her back on her secret love withFor thirty five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn t want Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.Then America meets Prince Maxon Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she s made for herself and realizes that the life she s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.. Popular Ebook The Selection UPDATE 3/23/2016: YOU GUYS. I owe Kiera Cass a TREMENDOUS apology. Kiera Cass is the mother-effing ORACLE OF DELPHI. GET THAT WOMAN A JOB IN THE WHITE HOUSE, STAT.Because you guys. She predicted Donald Trump's America. Rich businessman. War with China. Renaming country after own self. Creating a caste system based off of how much money one has. I didn't believe this was an America that could happen, but turns out, I was the one who was wrong. *sobbing quietly into nuclear bunker*ORIGINAL REVIEWI almost never write reviews, but I had to write one to try to persuade people to read this book. Really, it has to be read to be believed. This is actually the worst book I've ever had the pleasure to encounter in my life, and I think it's only fair that everyone else get to enjoy it, too. It's the best ten bucks and three hours of my life I've ever spent. I'm not being sarcastic. The entertainment value of this novel is high. Especially if you can reenact scenes out loud with your boyfriend, which I may or may not have done.As for all you people who couldn't finish it? WEAK. Seriously. The effery gets more and more amazing and you missed some inspiring prose. I've read through many of the reviews here, and people have done a good job of covering the problems. Forgive me for treading familiar ground. 1. RIDICULOUS NAMES. I know, Collins did the same thing. But while it works in Hunger Games to underscore the absurdity of the society (the silliest names come from the Capitol or Career districts), here, it just makes all of our descendants sound stupid. Stop smoking pot, kids. Your progeny will be born dumb and name THEIR progeny things like "America," "Aspen," and "Clarkson." Please. Think of the children. (Tangent: I was describing this book to a friend, and I said, "The heroine is named America Singer. She has a really special talent, and you can tell from her name." My friend: ". . .Is she really good at freedom?")2. EXECRABLE WORLDBUILDING. Great, even good dystopians SHOULD stem from a plausible scenario of the future (e.g. 1984), and MUST make a commentary on society as it is now (Hunger Games is once again the good example here--it isn't exactly plausible, but all that War is Hell stuff is good). This book fails miserably on both points. Not only is the vision of the future ridiculous and implausible based on the world we know today, it demonstrates a complete lack of historical, economic, political, and anthropological understanding. Midway through the book, we are given a breathtakingly idiotic vision of the future (how has no one addressed this yet? It's like the best part of the book). (view spoiler)[Apparently, America becomes so indebted to China that China decides to INVADE. No, really. Because if one country is in debt to another and the first country wants its money back, that's what you do! International Relations 101!Only they find out that oops, there IS NO MONEY. Like...the Chinese are sitting there thinking, "IF ONLY WE INVADE, WE CAN GET OUR MONEY BACK"? Question: WHY DIDN'T AMERICA USE ITS MASSIVE NUCLEAR ARSENAL TO DEFEND ITSELF? Did China defy international conventions and violate the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty it signed in 1992 WITHOUT ANYONE NOTICING? Did America somehow lose its stockpile? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? If you're not going to keep things vague like Collins, you need to address the GIANT GAPING HOLES in your idea. SO then America becomes the American State of China (HAHAHAH OMFG) and they get...labor! Yeah! The Chinese want American labor! Anyway, after China invades America, the Russians attack. Because they are SMRT and expanding on BOTH FRONTS (Which two fronts? East and . . . up? I think she might mean China, but it's hard to tell). Only, like Napoleon and Hitler learned (WHEN WILL DICTATORS EVER GET IT RIGHT), fighting a war on two fronts is a BAD IDEA. Russia and China have at it, then a dude named Gregory Illea saves America and forms a new government and country NAMED AFTER HIMSELF.Yes. The nation that didn't even name itself after George Washington, decided to name itself after a "private citizen who donated his money and knowledge." (Also, in the history of the world, how many countries are named after a PERSON? Not even the worst dictators in the history of the world have done that.) (ETA. Regarding the naming-a-country-after-a-person, I might be wrong. Not sure. See comments.) (hide spoiler)]I suspect that the attitude of this author is best summed up in what one of the instructors says to the Selected: "Dear girls, history isn't something you study. It's something you should just know." If Cass had actually studied history at any point, she would have realized how asinine and ill-concieved this vision of the future is.Moving on, though I guess it's hard to move on from that idiocy. Anyway, the book also doesn't make a particularly cogent argument against misogyny, class-ism, or even basic stupidity. For example, (view spoiler)[the palace is constantly under attack from rebels. I fail to see why the king doesn't DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS. Nope. The rebels just keep on breaking in. The king's response? Get some metal window shades. Seriously. He could build an actual fort (which, you know, people managed to do thousands of years ago before they had like tractors and shit). He could move to a secret bunker. He could DIG A MOAT AND FILL IT WITH ALLIGATORS. But no. He got some metal window shades. He deserves to die and this country deserves to fall, just because of the principle of evolution and survival of the fittest. These people ain't it. (hide spoiler)]Finally, the book actually perpetrates and supports misogynistic ideas. For example, Marlee tells America that girls are all bitchy and out to backstab each other. America takes this in stride, instead of, oh, pointing out that her sisters were great to her? Why is it okay to say this or perpetrate this kind of belief about women? Of course it's true of some women, as it's true of some men. But it's not GENERALLY true of ALL women, and to say so is grossly misogynistic. 3. TERRIBLE CHARACTERIZATION. People lack depth, subtlety, and consistency in this book. You have the classic Bitchy Mean Girl, the Devoted Maids, the Kindly Best Friend, the Adorable Young Tyke, and on and on and on. As for lack of consistency: Maxon, for example, is described as being not very good with girls ("I don't meet very many women," he says at one point). . . and yet he goes around calling everyone 'my dear' (ewww sleazy, by the way?) like a dedicated Regency rake. It would be one thing if this was described as being awkward, but instead the women all seem to really like it--so he's inexperienced, yet smooth with the ladies? WTF?Maxon is in general the least sexy 'hero' I've ever read. First off, he's a shitty prince. Even America studied the names/faces of the other Selected, but Maxon asks to be "[forgiven] if [he's] slow with names; there are quite a few [girls]." You're a PRINCE, Maxon. Learning people's names and remembering them is a PART OF YOUR JOB, especially because you have access to that information. Sit your ass down. Memorize their names and faces. He's also completely ignorant of what's going on in his country until America tells him (and then he becomes an overnight communist because of her. Not that there's anything wrong with communists per se, but I'm still amused). I get that as the prince he was maybe really sheltered from the realities of the caste system, but it's still really unsexy that he hasn't even tried to find out before. It demonstrates a complete lack of curiosity, empathy, and imagination. As a love interest, Maxon is just really creepy. He says, "You [the Selected girls] are all dear to me. It is simply a matter of discovering who shall be the dearest." Oh, ick. The problem isn't that Maxon has clearly never been laid, which is fine (I love non-man-ho heroes!), the problem is he's so awkward/sketchy that he also couldn't get laid if his life depended on it. Actually, I wonder if he actually has all his manly parts intact, because he talks/acts/thinks like a not very bright woman. I also really enjoyed this description of Maxon: "He just looked . . . thoughtful. It was an interesting expression on his face." Because, you know, Maxon usually just looks dumb as a brick, so when he's thinking, it's totally weird. As for America, her stupidity is kind of endearing. Watching her navigate the world is like watching a toddler cross traffic, only really hilarious. She's unbelievably self-centered, egotistical, and smug. For example, her treatment of her maids is poorly thought out. It's like Cass wants to make America sympathetic by having her care about her maids ((view spoiler)[such as her concern for the girls during the two rebel attacks (hide spoiler)]), but America's actual behavior towards the girls is condescending and smug. First, she can't be bothered to learn their names/distinguish them from each other. Later, she self-righteously says that she "enjoys the company of Sixes." How about saying that YOU NEVER NOTICE CASTES, AMERICA? That would be a better way of putting it. Finally, America seems to think that the girls are TOTALLY HAPPY to just be America's maids and have no outside interests/lives. According to America, they just LIVE to serve her. All people have their own agendas, Cass, and to describe the girls otherwise--especially when you are using them to make a point about America's kindness/thoughtfulness--ends up making America look even more self-absorbed, naive, and oblivious.4. WORSE DIALOGUE. There is no subtlety, no tension. If someone wants to know something? SURE. Any character will spill the inner workings of their mind immediately. Case in point: when Aspen is angry at America for cooking dinner, instead of drawing out the tension and creating a sense of unease with Aspen withholding this information, Aspen simply bursts out the (chauvinistic) truth. Or when Maxon asks America whether or not she can love him (the second time they meet), instead of saying, "no, you're really creepy/desperate, ew" or "how the fuck should I know, I just met you last night," which is I think how most girls would respond to that kind of question on the second meeting (NOT even the second date), America says no and then TELLS HIM WHY--a reason that can technically GET HER IN TROUBLE. Who does that? Someone who is acting according to the dictates of plot instead of human nature and their own characterization.(Then another character describes America as 'mysterious' at one point. America, who literally cannot keep her mouth shut about ANYTHING, even her own darkest secrets. Clearly, the author's definition of 'mysterious' is very different from everyone else's.)Cass is also VERY fond of using the dialogue tag "sing" or "sang out." Of the 7 or 8 times she does this, it fits ONCE (when May sings the "sitting in a tree" song.) This is a really idiotic move because I sort of imagine everyone singing in a Miss Piggy tone of voice. 5. PECULIAR DICTION. The queen is described as sitting "not in an icy way," in contrast to her husband and son. Which makes zero sense. Posture is not described as icy: tone is, mien is, but not THE WAY YOU SIT. You can't just use words because you feel like it. Words mean specific things. Also, someone twirls her fork "menacingly." No, really. This is one of those fun things you can try to do at dinner tonight. (I get what Cass is trying to go here, but she hasn't described it right. The girl's expression can be menacing WHILE she twirls her fork. Or it can even be something like, "She was merely twirling pasta on her fork, but she somehow managed to make the gesture look menacing, like she meant to stab me in the eye with it after I was finished eating." But the way it's written is just abuse of the English language.)America also puts her books on a "helpful" shelf. That's how I describe all my furniture when they fulfill their function: chairs are "helpful" when I sit in them, beds are "helpful" because I can sleep in them, and "stoves" are helpful when they HELP ME COOK DINNER. THANKS, STOVE. At one point, America describes Aspen's hair as "scraggly." Here is the definition of scraggly:1. (of a person or animal) Thin and bony.2. Ragged, thin, or untidy in form or appearance.Now, I recognize the use of the word "or" in this definition: that it can mean ragged, thin, OR untidy. However, words have connotations as well as denotations, and using the word "scraggly" implies dirty and thin.Probably not how you want people to imagine one of the love interests' hair. Cass also likes to juxtapose words weirdly, like when America "whisper-yelled" at Aspen, or when Maxon laughs "with a bizarre mix of rigidity and calm," or a character who smiles in a way that's both "excited and timid."....eh?6. TELLING, NOT SHOWING. America's family is described as poor because they are lower caste. I don't buy it. She has her own bedroom, and her family owns not only a fridge, but a TV, and they eat popcorn while they watch it. Sure, they are kind of hungry (and they don't have enough makeup *tear*), but when they ARE described as having amenities, it isn't explained. And it would have been so easy to do! Such as, "the fridge was a cast-off from the home of a Three!" "Popcorn is cheap, so it's the only snack we can afford!" "I had my own room, but only because older sis moved out!" (It's also unclear what kind of house/neighborhood the Singers live in. Suburbs? Inner city? Rural countryside? This would have gone a long way towards establishing America's poverty).Or people are described as "regal" without any indication of what that means (stiff posture? Raised chin? Expressionless face? Walks with a stick up their rears? WHAT? TELL US.) America's first breakfast in the palace: "The eggs and bacon were heaven, and the pancakes were perfectly done, not too thin like the ones I made at home." WHAT DO HEAVENLY EGGS AND BACON TASTE LIKE TO YOU, AMERICA? CRISPY? SOGGY? SALTY? DOES THE FAT MELT ON YOUR TONGUE? Writers: make your words count. Here's another stunning example of Cass's descriptive prowess: "The wallpaper, the gilt mirrors, the giant vases of fresh flowers were all so beautiful. The carpets were lavish and immaculate, the windows were sparkling, and the paintings on the wall were lovely."What kind of wallpaper is it? How big are the mirrors? What kind of flowers? What do the carpets look like? WHAT DOES ANYTHING LOOK LIKE?This is not how you write description, guys.The telling, not showing also ties into the bad characterization. We are TOLD, for example, that Aspen's mother is kind, because she "give[s] clothes that didn't fit her kids anymore to families who had next to nothing."This is not an effective example of kindness. Giving away clothes that you don't use anymore isn't kind, because it lacks the element of sacrifice. It's vaguely charitable at best. If Cass wanted to use this example, she would have had to add something along the lines of "instead of selling it for money."7. AWKWARD, STUPID, STILTED PLOT. Witness the 'bargain' that America offers the prince during their first meeting: she offers to be his friend and to help him selected a bride(after spilling all her dark secrets, natch). Then, after like two meetings (dates lol), America is hurt when Maxon didn't tell her something because she thinks that they are 'friends'. Not everyone is you, America. Not everyone tells all their secrets to their actual friends after YEARS, let alone to random people after a mere days. 8. PROBLEMATIC NOTIONS OF LOVE. For example, at one point the prince says, "I hope to find happiness, too. To find a woman that all of Illea can love, someone to be my companion and to help entertain the leaders of other nations. Someone who will befriend my friends and be my confidante. I'm ready to find my wife."This is really offensive, and it's never addressed. Maxon's idea of love is incredibly self-centered: someone whom HIS people can love, someone to be HIS companion, someone to help HIM entertain leaders of other nations, someone to befriend HIS friends and be HIS confidante. And sure, a princess is public commodity and she should be popular with his people and not embarrass the country in front of other nations. But even if you strip away the "public" aspect, Maxon doesn't at all mention wanting to be friends with HER friends, to be HER support, to be HER companion, to be a part of HER life. He wants to enfold her into HIS life. 9. STATISTICS IS FOR OTHER PEOPLE. I'm a little confused by everyone's lack of understanding of basic statistics in this book. The selection is a lottery, and your odds are Not Good. And yet this book opens, "When we got the letter in the post, my mother was ecstatic. She had already decided that all our problems were solved, gone forever. The big hitch in her brilliant plan was me."Um, I hate to break it to you, America, but technically the first big hitch in her problem is STATISTICS. Your problems are not solved until YOU ARE SELECTED. God, if the woman thinks the "big hitch in her plan" is America's stubbornness, she must be dumber than a brick--like mother, like daughter, eh? Curse you, mathematics, for being SO DIFFICULTS. Later on, America notes that "families had already started throwing parties for their daughters, sure that they would be the one chosen for the Selection." SERIOUSLY? THAT'S LIKE ME CELEBRATING WINNING THE MEGA MILLIONS JACKPOT BECAUSE I BOUGHT A TICKET. 10. FORGET ABOUT THAT MFA. I would say this is pretty much a master class in how not to write a novel. Aspiring novelists, take note. You can learn more about what not to do spending ten bucks on this than in an expensive university writing program11. AUTHORS BEHAVING BADLY. Writing a book is really hard. I respect that. I don't respect the way this author treats reviewers, because reviews are for readers, who deserve to know what they are getting for their money. Edited: You guys, thank you so much for reading. I am blown away by all of your support. The review for The Elite is up, and I'm working on The Heir. Will attach links soon.