Meredith here, and I'm excited to participate in MEReadAlot's Monarch Madness Blog Hop!
Be sure to check out all of the blogs in the links below for great books and giveaways.
So, on to the book (or in this case) books I read for this hop...
Now, actually I didn't "read" these books. For the first time I enjoyed a series via Audible.
I was on a long car ride, alone and needed something to keep me awake as I cruised the desolate Florida Turnpike (seriously, most BORING road ever).
I can't tell you how I ended up picking this series. I believe I was at a stoplight and it was on my phone screen so I tapped. I wasn't planning to "read" this series, but I'm so glad I did.
I will admit that it took me about an hour to really get into the narrator. It was a bit strange to hear a woman try to lower her voice and "act" out the male parts. But after a while I got used to it (so used to it in fact that I insisted on getting the second two books in the series on Audible).
I knew of this series before I started it, so I haven't been living under a rock or anything. I also knew that people either LOVED it or completely despised it. There just doesn't seem to be any in the middle for this series. I didn't read any reviews until after I completed all three books so that I wouldn't have a tainted view of the series.
Personally, I enjoyed it. It was romantic, swoony, and fun. For me there was no contest, I was Team Maxon—beginning, middle, and end. He had me from the moment I met him. Nothing against Aspen. He was sweet enough and had a "first love" history with America. But he wasn't the one she was meant to be with in my opinion.
This series isn't perfect (seriously what series is??). But I thought it was quite enjoyable. I was fine with the world-building (or I guess lack thereof in some instances). Mainly because I felt the story was about America and her journey in the Selection. Yes there were hints at society and the rebellion against the class system, but that wasn't what this book was about. We know how America feels about the system and we see her in a few instances fight back. But overall, this is a romance. If you go into the series expecting a full-blown romance you won't be disappointed. However if you go into expecting the next Katniss or Tris, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
As a whole, I gave the series 4 stars on Goodreads. I read it in a weekend (or rather listened to it).
I loved the secondary characters and the relationships between the girls (especially the progression and changes that occur up until the end of the Selection). I admit I got a bit tired of the wavering between Aspen and Maxon, but at the same time I do understand where America was coming from. It's hard to give up the comfort of that first love, especially for America who is never sure if Maxon feels the same way about her. Her insecurities are genuine. She's a 5 after all competing against girls that come from better classes for a prince for goodness sake. Her emotions and lack of confidence (even when Maxon seems to make it clear he loves her) feel real and I thought were believable.
There were a few things I'd have liked to see play out a bit more, but generally speaking, I found this to be a fun and totally swoon-worthy YA romance. Bonus points in that it also got me out of a YA reading slump. I NEEDED this book AND Amy Rubinate (the narrator). I actually miss listening to America and Maxon soothe me to sleep each night.
I'm giving away an ecopy of The Selection.
If you've been on the fence about this series, or if you've sworn not to read it, I'd love for you to give it a chance.
So to enter, simply comment below on your thoughts about the series. Do you want to read it? Have you held off because of reviews? Are you willing to give it a try?
That's it, just comment and I will pick a winner on Friday, April 10th.
The Selection by Kiera Cass:
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 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.