One of my guilty pleasures in life is trash TV; Dinner date, Take me Out, Celebs go dating, The real housewives off.. and of course one of my absolute favourites: The Bachelor. The Selection was published in 2012, so it’s a bit older, but it seems to have gained many varied reviews. Some people absolutely adore it, others hate it with a passion. Very much like trash TV it seems. I decided that if this book is anything like The Bachelor, I should at least give it a shot.
Goodreads describes the plot as follows:
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.
As mentioned before this book very much is The Bachelor, but in book form. Girls competing with each other to be picked by a prince to become the next monarch of the country and it’s all captured on TV for the masses. The story is somewhat predictable at times and if you can get past the ridiculous names of the characters, you actually have a pretty entertaining story.
There’s a reason why The Bachelor has so many series and that is because it works. The same goes for a book around this concept. As with the TV series I feel very conflicted about the fact that 1 guy can have his pick out of all these girls and kiss each and everyone of them to see which one he likes best. The big difference from the book and the TV programme is that Prince Maxon has no experience with girls and he is just stumbling his way through awkward dating situations.
The one thing I will have to tick it down for is the cliché of a love triangle. Ever since Twilight we can’t seem to get rid off that in any YA book that has a love interest. But there is a small difference with this book; the love triangle doesn’t have as much drama as some other books do with this concept. It’s incredibly subtle and doesn’t make you want to grab America and shake some sense into her. Unlike what I wanted to do with Bella, over and over again.
Let me be blunt, we have all read books which have post-apocalyptic worlds. This book is no different; America lives in a new version of the USA and there has been several World Wars. The country is now called Illea and there is a caste system. People are now marked by numbers in where they rank in society. America is a 5 which means she is a working class performer. The top tier is royalty, which is a 1 and the bottom tier is an 8. These are people who are essentially homeless.
The caste system is is actually quite interesting to me, and reading the later novels gives you a more chilling insight into what the first leader of Illea wanted from the caste system. For good measure we get some unrest in the country and rebels who fight for a good cause. Again, it is a bit cliche at times, but it works for this book.
If you love shows like The Bachelor then I think you will enjoy this book a lot. It doesn’t have anything mind blowing new and it loves it’s cliches, but the writing is pretty decent and the story did suck me in. I am by no means a romance lover, but I just wanted to know what was going to happen and what the girls had to do to stand out all the time. The Selection is a book you can easily pick up on a rainy day and digest quickly. If you are looking for something similar, but a bit darker, I would suggest reading The Jewel by Amy Ewing.