Let me just start off by saying that I basically devoured this book. Such. A. Good. Read. I was recommended this book by a coworker of mine and it did not disappoint. If you’re wondering what this book is about think Hunger Games (minus the bloodshed) meets the Bachelor.
The setting is a dystopian future where everyone lives their life according to a number in a caste system. A One is royalty while which each increasing number you decrease in status. If you’re an Eight, you’re homeless. The heroine of this book, America Singer is a Five. She’s just an ordinary girl and she’s perfectly satisfied with the life she has already. This all of course changes when The Selection comes around, something she’s not the slightest bit interested in participating. The Prince of Illea must choose a bride. Contestants from all castes may participate in the contest of a lifetime: winning Prince Maxon’s heart. Is America willing to walk away from her old life, her first love Aspen, and fight for a new life?
Despite some of the characters and themes being cliche I overall enjoyed this book. She had such a refreshing point of view. She makes a lot of mistakes and tends to contradict herself at times but what can you expect? She’s a sixteen year old girl in a contest for marriage and a crown. She hasn’t got life quite figured out yet. America isn’t your typical girl and you root for her because of it. I found myself at times angry with her, yet pleased with her, and overall happy with how everything played out. The plot could have used some definition but had some surprising twists. The Selection Series consists of three books. (the first book ends in a cliff hanger) I finished the first within 24 hours and didn’t waste any time at all to finish the series.
For criticism I will say that Cass didn’t spend too much time explaining why things were the way they were. I found myself at times confused about why the caste system was even in place and what made the book a true dystopia. An explanation is tossed in much later in the book but it really just left me with more questions. There are several other details in the book that could have been better elaborated on but since the main angle here was a love triangle everything else was just background.
Finally, I would recommend this book for anyone wanting a read good love story. If you can overcome some of the gaps in the world development of the book then you’ll find a love story pure and simple. I enjoyed how although the romance was almost predictable it still had its challenges and overcame them.