Author: Kiera Cass
Title: The Selection, The Elite, The One
Audience: Teens/Young Adults
Genres: Romance, Fantasy, Dystopia
Published: April 2012
35 girls are chosen from the thousands that apply to take part in The Selection, a process to find the girl who will win Prince Maxon’s heart and become the next princess of Illéa. They are chosen from 8 different castes – ranging from the royals in 1 to the criminals and social outcasts in 8. America Singer is a 5 when she applies, when her only desirable future is being happily married to Aspen Leger, a 6. Her life is turned completely upside down when she enters The Selection, starts living in the castle and slowly starts to see a different future.
Once you get past the somewhat ridiculous names in this novel (America Singer for example, who is oh-so-unorginally a singer), I think its really easy to fall in love with almost all of the characters. The King is an excellently written villain who you’ll love to hate, especially considering how he treats America and his son, Prince Maxon. The Queen, who is the winner of The King’s Selection process that occurred about 20 years ago, understands what the 35 girls are going through so is great at giving them advice and she also seems to be the only one who can calm the King down. The Selected are all very unique and have individual qualities that make them all very interesting – some are quiet, some are crazy, some are determined (to put it nicely). Aspen and Prince Maxon are fighting, beknownst to both of them at the beginning of the Selection, to win America’s heart and I love seeing the small romantic gestures they make. Very cute.
Throughout the novel, there were various events that occurred which simply took my breathe away at times. You find out about the lives of some of the supporting characters and can actually begin to love them as you do the main characters, so when they are involved in the drama, it’s easy to empathise with them. Naturally, America and the other girls find themselves in the middle of quite a few arguments and competitions as the importance of The Selection becomes more real.
The novel does have a dystopian setting – set quite a few years in the future in post-war North America, now a nation called Illéa. I found it really interesting and sometimes quite scary imagining what life would be like if the caste system was introduced in our future and how everyone would be treated. Not something I’m a fan of to be honest. I was also intrigued about which of the luxuries were still available after the war, and was very pleased to read that she still uses makeup and wears gorgeous dresses, among other things.
I sped through this series, reading each book in under a day. I only stopped when I ran out of books to read after reading The Heir, the 4th book of the series, and now I can’t wait for the 5th book to be released next year. I will definitely be reviewing them at some point. Just before I read The Heir, I read Happily Ever After, a book full of short stories from other character’s points of view, including Prince Maxon and the Queen. If you’ve read the series but not the short stories, make sure you do read them as they really do add something to the series!
What are your thoughts?
Star Rating: ★★★★☆