*There are minor spoilers in this review, but quite honestly, there isn't much to spoil in this book if you know anything about common sense.*
I am just going to jump into what I thought about this book, since you have probably read the synopsis already.
1. Character Names. Our three characters caught up in a hopeless love triangle are America Singer, Aspen Leger, and Prince Maxon Schreave. Speaking of which, why does the royal family have a last name? Yeah, it's all the FUTURE and stuff, but no. Just no. Other horrific names include Amberly, Clarkson, Markson, Kamber, Gavril, Mitsy, Kota, Gerad (I swear I thought that name was a typo at first), Sosie, Celeste, Emmica, and Tallulah. And no, before anyone disagrees with this complaint, a rose by any other name does NOT smell as sweet.
2. Love triangle. Love triangles are fine in YA literature, if you can make them work. Here? Well, we have two star-crossed lovers by chapter 3 already, and the third point in the triangle is added later on. All three characters' so-called "love" for each other seemed dramatic, fake, and cheesy. And boring and unnecessary.
3. Whiny narrator. America's voice, to put it lightly, stinks. By page 231, when she remarks "No wonder I'd never had any friends. I was shockingly bad at it.", I wanted to throw the book against the wall. Believe me, I would've, except I didn't want to pay $18 to the library for damaging a book already beyond repair. America sounds like a five year old. She is given what everyone else considers an amazing chance, and she wants to throw it away. She nearly does throw it away by being disrespectful and by throwing temper tantrums. America's voice was so bleeping bad that I wanted Celeste, the bully in this book, to beat her up.
4. Other characters. All the other girls competing in the Selection were carbon copies of each other, except Celeste, as previously mentioned before. The love interests were boring. I felt bad for Aspen and Maxon trying to put up with America. But then again, Aspen and Maxon were idiots themselves.
5. The dystopian world. Honestly, I'm not even sure it can be considered dystopian. For half of the book we are left in the dark about the origins of this world. Then, when /everything/ is finally /revealed/ (note the sarcasm), it is an unbelievable and unoriginal explanation. Speaking about unbelievable and unoriginal, the caste system was also describable using those two words.
6. The plot, or lack of. I am not a good plot predicter. However, even I managed to figure out what was going to happen. The answer? Nothing. Okay, fine, the number of girls goes down by 30, and America's still there. Did we all expect this? Yes, yes we did. This book's plot does not move beyond its dust jacket summary. America gets chosen. America stays in a palace. WHOOPEE.
7. The ending. There is nothing worse than a cliffhanger ending than a needless cliffhanger ending. Some cliffhanger endings may be good. But in The Selection? IT WAS AGGRAVATING. WHY, would you choose such an AWKWARD time to end? The story could /easily/ have been contained in one book. I was expecting something to happen at the end, but no. It. Just. /Ended./
8. Mini detail holes. Example: on page 38 it mentions that that Eights are the homeless and the wandering. Then, on page 39: "...and turned the TV to the public access channel. It was the one channel you didn't have to pay to have, so even the Eights could get it if they had a TV." Excuse me? Didn't you just tell me that the Eights are freaking homeless people? I think a TV is not high on their list of priorities, yes?
9. Bad writing. Example: on page 15: "And that was bad." Oh my goodness. And that was bad? *Headdesk* Please, Kiera Cass, are you a writer? And then on page 107 America uses a word like acquiesced. I'm not even sure I can explain how terrible this is. Oh, and you know how lots of authors end chapters with action cliffhangers? Well, here Ms. Cass ends SO. MANY. CHAPTERS. with America wishing she had Aspen/Maxon. Please excuse me while I go and facepalm myself repeatedly.
10. This book was boring in general. Usually, dystopian reads fly by very quickly for me, but not this one. A snail was faster than the pace of this book. Nothing was interesting. Whatever interesting premise it had fell flat.
Oh, and does anyone want icing on their cake? If so, I present to you, reason number 11: The author of this book voted down negative reviews of this book. For anyone who wants more details, look for Wendy Darling's review (it should be the most helpful one), and read the last paragraph if you haven't done so already. Frankly, I don't care if the author makes 1,000 accounts and votes this review down. It'll just prove my point. So, Ms. Cass, feel free to do so.
Although my life thus far has been short, I have read many, many books. There are only two books that I have ever read that I would give one star: Twilight, and this book. So maybe The Selection can be the heir to the Twilight throne. And I don't mean that as a compliment.
--reviewed by a teenager.