Title: The Selection
Author: Keira Cass
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopian, Fiction
Published: 24th April 2012
Start Date: 20th September 2022
Finish Date:21st September 2022
Prepare to be swept into a world of breathless fairy-tale romance, swoon-worthy characters, glittering gowns, and fierce intrigue perfect for readers who loved Divergent, Delirium, or The Wrath & the Dawn.
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape a rigid caste system, 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, and competing for a crown she doesn’t want.
Then America meets Prince Maxon—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
I do not know why it has taken me so long to read this series! As soon as I picked the book up I found it incredibly hard to put down. The Selection is a dystopian novel, even though to me it seemed similar to a Cinderella story. In the Selection, they have a caste system in this world that goes from one to eight. One is very rich/royal and eight are homeless. The Selection gets held for Prince Maxon where out of thirty-five girls he gets to narrow it down until there is one, who will be his Princess. Notices get sent out to all girls of age regardless of their caste and many girls go crazy submitting their entries for the Selection eagerly.
For our heroine of the story; America Singer this is not the case at all. She is a five in the caste system and she does not want anything to do with The Selection, but her mother on the other hand wants this for her and is begging her to take this wonderful opportunity. Even if you do not become a Princess your life changes forever, you will go up in caste which would be beneficially not just for America but also her family. America truly does not care for it, as she secretly has a boyfriend. It is forbidden for her to have a boyfriend, who later on encourages her to sign up for the Selection. This leads to America being chosen as one of the thirty-five girls.
I like America, I feel she is a very strong heroine and she is extremely unselfish. She is doing the Selection for her family, to help them but also she wants some distance between her and Aspen her boyfriend. When we meet Prince Maxon, he is everything America thought he wouldn't be. He is swoon-worthy, Maxon has very cute qualities that make your heart flutter. I adore how he uses the term 'my dear', which America hates.
Prince Maxon is so sweet and kind. All he wants is to find a girl amongst the thirty-five girls in the process that he could love. That girl may end up being America, but the question becomes is America interested? Is she over Aspen? America seems to like Maxon and it is completely obvious but she questions herself all of the time.
Gender roles in this book are another aspect of this book that felt very strange. Obviously, if you have thirty-five girls fighting over a boy there's going to be girl-on-girl hate. I didn't sign up for this book thinking I was going to get a feminist treatise on why you don't need a man in your life to be validated as a person. But at the same time, the sheer number of "boys are this way" and "girls are this way" stereotypes was a little surprising. And while the thought did occur to me that this could be part of the "critique" of this dystopian society, it really didn't feel that way to me. America, our heroine, dishes out some of these gender role stereotypes while instructing Maxon on how to treat women. One of the first things she tells him is that women don't want you to fix their problems when they cry, they just want to be consoled. And at the beginning of the book, Aspen breaks up with America because he's angry that she's been saving money for him, because; and he actually says this; men are supposed to be the providers, not women. America totally buys it! She feels bad.
I truly recommend this book especially if you like the Hunger Games!