The Selection is often compared to the TV show The Bachelor, and when I heard that, I ran. I ran so fast and so far. I absolutely despise The Bachelor. Who in the world would go on television and compete with thirty other people for this one guy? There are so many good guys out there who wouldn’t make you compete with thirty other people for his attention.
There is no need for this show! Plus, how many of these ‘couples’ actually end up staying together and making it work?
But even with all of my disgust towards the show, I couldn’t help but notice all of the amazing reviews coming out for not only The Selection, but also The Elite and The One. I couldn’t help but become interested. So I decided to pick it up, but I also promised myself that I would put it down as soon as it stopped being enjoyable.
My biggest fear when reading The Selection was that it completely revolved around a competition: that this entire book would be about dates, competition between the girls, and listening to each one of them swoon about their ‘love’ for this guy.
As I cracked open The Selection, I cringed and began reading. Chapter one went by, chapter two, three, four and five flew by, and before I knew it I was only a few chapters away from the end of the book. I couldn’t get through it fast enough, and found myself reading it during any down time at work.
Why did I enjoy it right away? Especially after all the hostility I had towards it?
Simply because of the main character, America. My expectations for this character were extremely low and I thought she would be a dumb bimbo who would do anything to get this guy’s attention and pretty much embarrass herself throughout the entire book. But America was nothing like that. In the first few chapters when she didn’t even want to put her name in for the selection, I knew I would love her…
The Selection takes place in the future, where America lives in a kingdom named Illea. Not only is this society run by a king and queen, but it is also divided up by castes: one is the royal family and eight are outcasts. These castes are divided by their jobs and how much they get paid. The only way to move up in castes is through marriage. Moving down is the punishment for breaking a law.
The prince has finally come of age and is looking for a wife to take the throne beside him. The only way to do this, of course, is to select a few girls from his kingdom (no matter the caste number), and then select a bride from there.
America didn’t even consider the idea of putting her name in the lottery, knowing she doesn’t want to compete for Prince Maxon’s ‘love’, especially when she has someone like Aspen. But when Aspen begs America to at least put her name in, telling her that the chances of her being chosen would be so slim, and he doesn’t want to hold her back from the possibility, America sees no harm in it – considering how many girls are entering, and decides to go ahead and do it anyway…
…until the chosen girls are announced on national television and America is one of the thirty-five chosen. The next day is when everything takes off and America’s life will never be the same. During her stay, her family will be paid and America will automatically become a two, even if she doesn’t win Maxon’s heart. America is thrown into this crazy world where she is surrounded by beautiful things, beautiful people, and lots of delicious food. She knows she doesn’t belong here, but she may as well take the opportunity, not only for her family, but also the entire kingdom, to get things done and fixed.
Overall, The Selection surprised me! The entire book didn’t consist of some girl going on dates, competing with other girls, and swooning about her ‘love’ for this guy. America was kickass, didn’t take anything from anyone, and didn’t change herself just because her surroundings changed. She was still the girl she was before, and I loved that about her.
While the selection was taking place, there were a lot of other elements in the story that distracted me from it. The caste system, the rebels, the society, etc. prevented the main focus from being just the competition
If you haven’t read The Selection for the same reasons I didn’t, I would recommend at least giving it a try…it might suck you into its vortex, like it did to me!