NEW RELEASE REVIEW – Select by Marit Weisenberg

Title – Select
Author – Marit Weisenberg
Publication Date – October 3, 2017
Series – Select #1

Julia Jaynes has the perfect life. The perfect family. The perfect destiny. The daughter of a billionaire investor in Austin, Texas, it looks like Julia has it all. But there’s something rotten beneath the surface‒dangerous secrets her father is keeping; abilities she was never meant to have; and an elite society of highly evolved people who care nothing for the rest of humanity. So when Julia accidentally jeopardizes the delicate anonymity of her people, she’s banished to the one place meant to make her feel inferior: public high school.

Julia’s goal is to lay low and blend in. Then she meets him‒John Ford. He’s popular, quiet, intense, and strangely compelling. Then Julia discovers she can read his mind and her world expands. Their forbidden love is powerful enough to break the conditioning that has kept Julia in the cold grip of her manipulative father.  For the first time, Julia develops a sense of self and questions her restrictive upbringing and her family prejudices. She must decide how she will define herself—and whom she will betray.

I decided to try Marit Weisenberg’s The Select on a whim because the cover was just too pretty to pass up. Plus, I’ve been itching for something in the dystopian, alternate world for some time and the premise of a super-evolved race sounded like it definitely fit that bill. With an interesting premise, a different genre from what I’ve been buried in, and a stunning cover, I had high hopes that I’d hit the trifecta of perfection.

“After weeks of being a ghost, I recognized myself again. Defiance felt so much better than shame.”

Unfortunately, I was left feeling intrigued, but not very satisfied. Even though the story was written in the first person (which I normally adore), I had an incredibly difficult time connecting to any of the characters, but especially the heroine. I expected a strong leader who stood up for what she believed in, and instead I felt like I got someone who second guessed herself for three quarters of the book. Ironically, I connected most to the human, our hero, the most – despite never receiving his voice. By the time Julia started to question her upbringing, it was a little too late for me personally. Furthermore, I often felt like the storyline was going in circles with no real driving force to push the book forward. It wasn’t until I reached about 75% that I felt inclined to keep turning the pages. It was at that point that the action really took hold and unraveled pieces of the mystery that was hinted at in the beginning. However, I still have no real idea what type of “special” Julia and her people are supposed to be, which also left me a bit disappointed.

“There was no sign I’d ever been here. There was no real sign we’d ever been together.”

Though I did have some issues with this story, I am intrigued to see where Weisenberg will take it in the next book of the series. The writing is great and the plot is intriguing, but I am hoping to see some growth and ability to invest readers into the characters more. Select doesn’t end on a cliffhanger per se, but I have faith that it will leave readers, like me, wishing they could continue on with these characters right away!

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