The Selection is the first in a bestselling trilogy. Be sure to check out the second, The Elite, and the novella, The Prince.
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.
The first person voice is very well developed and draws you right into the story. Even though it’s obvious America will be chosen for the Selection (I mean, it’s a princess story, she has to be), I found myself rooting for her the entire way. You want her to succeed. You want her to do well.
What sets this book from others in its genre is America’s relationships with boys. The emotional impact of her breakup with Aspen is well executed. I liked how she was hurt, angry, and acted on her feelings. Very realistic. Maybe I appreciated it because I see myself in her reactions. I also appreciated having a valid reason behind their decision of abstinence. We see abstinence a lot in YA lit, but without reason.
Some say America’s relationship with Maxon is inauthentic and argue her blurting her secret about Aspen is unrealistic. I disagree. America’s feelings for Maxon developed at a natural pace. I loved watching their friendship develop into something more. And America wasn’t in a relationship with Aspen at the time. She was doing nothing illegal that could get her into trouble.
Side note: I also loved Celeste, as well as you can love a bully. Girls can be so catty and manipulative. Well portrayed.
I probably should’ve seen the plot twist coming at the very end, but I didn’t. Probably because I was so involved with America’s thoughts, I thought the past really was in the past. You’ll see what I mean.
A couple things that did irke me were America’s last name (any guesses as to what she does for a living?) and her insistence that she wasn’t beautiful, especially in the beginning.
Most girls have some awareness of how they look. Or at least have a body part or two they really like. And since she was in a relationship with man enamored by her beauty and one of the Selected, I had a hard time swallowing she really didn’t believe she was beautiful.
You might not like this book if you dislike anything princess or fairy-tale related, or if you are such a fan of Caesar Flickerman you can’t stand to read about other similar characters. But if you enjoy reading friendship romances, or are a fan of The Bachelor or of the beggar-turned-superstar motif then The Selection is for you.