I’ve been making strides on reading from my TBR list than going to the library or the bookstore. However after reading this particular one (and the first of a series), I might have borrowed the rest of the series from the library and plan on reading it in the next few days.
Here’s more about the book
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.
Ok, reading The Selection was definitely like reading a fictionalized version of The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games.
In this new universe they are living in (which I wouldn’t call dystopian, but it seems like it), the prince must choose a bride from one of the 35 different provinces. This is where it feels like The Bachelor. You have to be within a certain age range in order to be eligible and you must submit a headshot. From there, 35 girls are chosen and then asked to live in the extravagant palace with the King, Queen, and Prince Maxon.
America Singer is a musician from one of these providences and of course she’s reluctant to be one of the Selected let alone leave her family behind. For America, this is all a formality to make her mom happy and also a way to get away from her own true love, a member of a lower caste.
I thought the caste system felt very closely to the districts in The Hunger Games. Depending on your caste, you are designated a number. Eight is the lowest and One is straight up royalty. America is a five, which is only designated to artists and musicians. Her love, Aspen, is a six, which is considered the working class and therefore would be a bad match for her. If she were to marry Aspen, she would then become a six. It’s a weird system, but depending on where you marry, you take on your husband’s caste number. Or at least that’s what I’m assuming. I hope that makes sense.
And now she’s faced with the possibility to be a One, which is pretty much what everyone else is going for.
The book reads like a dating competition. There’s the catty girls who may only be here for the fame or even the caste status. Some of the girls are more excited about the free hot meals and comfy beds. All of them are vying for the love of the prince and eventually becoming the queen. Girls that aren’t compatible with the prince are asked to leave while the numbers dwindle down during the weeks they’re there.
At first, I thought Prince Maxon was going to be one of those bad boy princes who gets into too much trouble and has had a few too many women. However, he’s turned out to be such a gentleman not only to America (who he gives a little bit more attention to), but to all the women.
Unlike other fantasy books, this first book in a series combines action with backstory. While America goes through the motions of being a court lady, she’s telling us the story that leads to this new world. Without breaking from the story, you’re able to get all the world building you need. It’s great. I love it when the author doesn’t waste your time with getting all the backstory and showing very little action. I mean, you could argue that not a lot happens in this book either, but Kiera Cass does leave you hanging at the end so you’re intrigued about what happens next (spoiler alert).
I think just enough happens for you to keep interested in the story, but the big buildup doesn’t lead to much by the end. I was presently surprised to see that the main conflict America has is that 1) she’s not really interested in being the winner 2) she’s still in love with Aspen. I was worried this would be insta-love and it’s not. If anything, it’s more insta-love for me because I totally cheesed over this book.
You also see hints of possible political intrigue. Throughout the story, rebels keep attacking the palace and I wonder if that’s going to be addressed in the next few books. America appears to be really interested in these facts and it seems like she’s the only one asking the Prince about it.
All in all, this is such a quick and easy read that you’ll enjoy it over a weekend on the beach. You’ve got a little romance, a little intrigue, and a little action. It’ll definitely have you pining for the next read especially to see what happens between America, Maxon, and Aspen.
- Paperback, 336 pages
- Harper Teen (April 24, 2012)
- Rating: 5/5 stars
- Find The Selection on Amazon
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