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Parent reviews for The Selection, Book 1

Common Sense says

Entertaining futuristic take on reality TV dating shows.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 95 reviews
Adult Written bySchatz July 15, 2015

Engaging, but...

My 9 year old was recommended this book by our librarian. I told my daughter I would read it first since it came from the teen section. The book has some violence, but the heavy petting and conversations about abstaining from sex because they would get in trouble with law is what caught me. Not something I want my 9 year old reading just yet. Sex is an open discussion in my home, but in books? Not just yet. just a caution for parents. With that said, the story is engaging. It teaches kindness, honesty, hard work and sadly, the cruelties of the world, which our children should be aware of.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written bypoppyblu April 25, 2012

Great YA dystopian book with strong female role models.

I thought the heroine was well developed, and the last sentence in the book implies that America has a strong sense of self. I liked how the history was wound into what we know now and the explanation of how it evolved did not feel like exposition. I look forward to sharing it with my daughters.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written bygigiv1 February 6, 2018

The perfect series. However, you have to be dedicated and persistent reader. There is some mild content to be aware of.

This is an amazing series, my daughter and I are obsessed with it. It is extremely romantic and lovely. There are another two books before America's story finishes, and sometimes, it can feel like it is taking forever to finish. There is a love triangle involved, as well as laws prohibiting sex until marriage. Rape is briefely discussed but is not shown. The word "bitch" is used one time in the third book. Furththermore, there are several rebel attacks to the palace that involve mild violence. There are several deaths in the third book; however, there is nothing graphic throughout any part of the series. There is a lot of kissing throughout the book. If you or your child does not like romance, love triangle, or reading a long series, these books are not for you. Overall, there are many great role models in this story and this series of books is a great and interesting way to pass the time.

This title contains:

Positive role models
Adult Written byApril R. February 17, 2016

Great series for a teen girl

This series is basically harmless compared to most YA today. There are a few times in the series that the emotional aspect of the love triangle and teen drama can take on an intimate feel, but nothing is described in detail. The good thing to spotlight is how strong the female lead and supporting characters are.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult Written bymônicaa October 5, 2014
Adult Written byEllaEnchanted August 2, 2018

For a Romantic Person

The Selection series is one of the best series of books that I have read. I finished the three books for 2 days and I keep on rereading some scenes even up to this day. I like it because it gives me so much love in the air and it quite different because despite that there are outside forces that hinder the main character to fully let herself fall into love, it is really the main character's own self who is her enemy or who hinders her in achieving her best life. I love it because Maxon,who is a prince, and is handsome and highly rich and above other people, is really drop dead in love with America who is quite poor and is not confident with her love and devotion to him.
Adult Written byMiranda962 October 30, 2018

Great Idea, but not the best characters

The Selection is a young adult fiction book. The main character America now lives in post-world-war-three America, Illéa, which was named after its founder, Gregory Illéa. America is a Five, which means she is of the fifth status in Illéa’s caste system. Currently 17, she is eligible to be a girl in the Selection, a televised competition where the Prince, Maxon, has to choose a wife from 35 contestants picked ‘randomly’ from each state. The winner and her family all become Ones, the highest caste. America is picked to become her state’s Selected. This would be amazing if not for the fact that she is in love with her next-door neighbor Aspen, a Six. Sadly, she is shipped away to the palace. When encountering Maxon by accident in the royal gardens, she accuses him of being shallow and playing around with the women. She realises, though, that he is truly trying to find love. America makes it clear to him that she does not intend to fall in love with him, but they strike a trade in which he lets her stay (because her family needs the weekly allowance and she cannot bear seeing Aspen again) so that she would be his confidant, his friend he could talk to. As the Selection progresses, America and the Prince become quite close, to the point where he begins to develop feelings for her. He confesses and although America is still unsure of Maxon, she agrees that it is not impossible for them to be together. The book ends with the Prince sending away all but 6 of the Selected - including America, of course, making them the Elite. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The main idea could seem slightly cliché, but although the romance was not the most well written, the plot hooks you, making you so invested in it that you just can’t put it down. The idea of a prince choosing you out of 35 contestants is like a Cinderella story and as a reader, I just cannot wait to watch it all unfold. The main character tries to always be herself even if it means insulting the Prince along the way. Sadly, I do not think that the characterisation was that good. For one, America is meant to be a relatable character who came from next to nothing, but instead, she comes across as slightly self-absorbed when she’s clearly supposed to be the opposite of that. For example, although she is supposed to not care about the castes, she says “In my mind, they were all Sixes.” about her maids. Additionally, for someone who is ‘relatable’, she does seem a little too perfect, as she is able to speak three languages, play multiple instruments and is constantly called pretty. Secondly, Maxon, the Prince, is extremely awkward and slightly creepy, for example, he says, "You [the Selected girls] are all dear to me. It is simply a matter of discovering who shall be the dearest." He also 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 seems extremely conceited because he does not mention whatsoever that he will provide for his wife and befriend her friends and be her confidante. Despite the problems I encountered with the characterisation, I think that this is a story with a splendid plot. Overall, I would rate it 3.5 out of 5 stars ( if there was that option) and definitely recommend you to read it.