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.With The Selection, I'm not even sure where to begin! It was a seriously delicious surprise topped with girly sprinkles. Yep, that must be the only way to describe it. I was instantly drawn to this book. Just look at that cover! It makes me regret not holding out for the physical book, but I couldn't pass up having a dystopian, girly, and The Bachelor-esque novel as quick as possible. The paperback is going to be released in the UK June 7 this year, but I apparently could not wait that long.
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 main character, America Singer, is not high up on the caste system. Her family and caste are resigned to the artisan life of supplying society with art and music, but there's one thing her family doesn't know- she's in love with someone even lower down the caste system! When Aspen, the passionate first love of America, pushes her into participating in the Selection to win over the heir to the throne's heart, he breaks hers in the process. America is whisked off to the castle to wear fabulous dresses and endure the drama of living amongst 34 other girls competing for Prince Maxon. The drama of the girls does not disappoint, but it's the underlying drama from the rest of the kingdom that brings deeper turmoil to the castle. It's something that I hope is built upon in future books.
The plot itself is very satisfying and makes me ache for the second book. The characters, specifically America, were quite fickle at times, and frustratingly so. In fairness, if America was certain of her feelings there would not need to be further novels in this series. The two love interests could not be more different from each other. The story was written in such a way that I simply cannot chose who I want America to end up with! What was deeply lacking for me, in my opinion, was the world building. I wanted to be immersed in this future North American monarchy and learn more about the caste system. Perhaps there is more to learn in the following books, but I was deeply disappointed. There was the capacity for it to become more on par with the world building in say The Hunger Games, as there are provinces and revolts, but it simply did not go there. It didn't even try. I even wanted a bit more of The Bachelor out of this book. They described the country as rooting for certain girls in the Selection, but to be honest, I quickly forgot that it was televised since it is seldom mentioned that there are cameras present.
For what The Selection is, it's an extremely guilty pleasure. I gobbled up a good quarter of this book just making sure it had downloaded to my e-reader properly. I recommend this book to someone looking for a large serving of a girly read with very small side of dystopia! It'd be perfect for anyone hesitant to read dystopia in the past.