The Selection takes place in a future version of America, now known as Illea after two more world wars. America Singer becomes eligible to enter a lottery known as the selection where 35 young women will be chosen to be taken to the palace to compete for the affections of young Prince Maxon.
For most of the women this opportunity is a dream come true, a handsome prince for a husband and becoming the princess and future queen of the land. For America though it is anything but a dream. She’s in love with Aspen and wants a future with him.
This book has ratings all over the scale. Some people absolutely love it and others absolutely hate it. For me I’m rating a 3 based on the fact that while I didn’t hate the book I still found too many similarities to The Hunger Games and The Bachelor to rate higher. I went into this knowing that the writing isn’t going to make this book become a literary classic by any means so I was a bit more tolerant of things like the lead character being named America Singer and her occupation being a singer. If you expect cheesy writing, a lack of world building and sometimes shallow characters and just read this for the fun of it it may entertain you.
The first half of the book there are so many similarities to the Hunger Games it often just made me shake me head. The world is based on a caste system from 1-8 which you can compare to the 12 districts. The royal family and palace would then equal the capital in Hunger Games. America sings, Katniss sings. America’s boy at home is a dark haired broody young man from a poor family that works all the time to take care of his younger siblings. The two discuss how they’d ever be able to have a family and feed their children. Prince Maxon is the attractive blond that America is going to meet. We have the drawing that America doesn’t want to get picked for. It mentions a grumpy guy coming to see her when she’s picked (Haymitch), a female aide to escort her (Effie) which thankfully aren’t expanded on. When getting to the palace you would think the similarities would stop but America is sent directly to a prep team to pretty her up and even sent to training… only it’s training in etiquette.
Once you get past the Hunger Games portion of the book it turns into the most dramatic episode of the Bachelor ever! Fans of the Bachelor will completely understand that reference, thanks Chris Harrison! 🙂 Basically the 35 girls meet the prince, a few are sent home right away and then we begin the one on one dates and some of the cattiness of having so many young women competing for one man. And just like the Bachelor, America is the one contestant not there for the right reasons having a boyfriend she loved back at home. I was really waiting for the roses to be handed out but unfortunately it didn’t happen.
If you’ve actually read this far you probably wonder why I didn’t give this a 1. Basically because after everything I’ve mentioned and the general cheesiness of the book overall I still didn’t hate the story and thought it was actually fun and will continue on to see where it goes. I would say if you go into this knowing it’s downfalls you may just end up enjoying it in the end.