As an avid reader, I am always on the lookout for a new book to read. I read across a variety of genres, but must admit I have a serious affinity for young adult literature. There are times when I’ve read books on a similar theme and found the young adult novel to have been far superior to the adult one. The Selection by Keira Cass is the latest young adult novel (a romantic dystopian book) I’ve read and I am HOOKED on this author now.
From the moment the book entered the house, I couldn’t wait to sit down and become enveloped into its own little world. I’ve shared before that my love of a book is directly related to how willing I am to stay up late reading the pages. That’s exactly what happened for me with The Selection.
Just looking at the cover, you can get an idea that a competition is involved and it potentially has ties to a beauty contest. The tagline on the cover is “35 Girls. 1 Crown. The Competition of a Lifetime.” Reading the back cover, you learn that in this future location the royal family holds a contest to determine which girl from the kingdom will become his bride and rule alongside him.
America Singer enters the contest begrudgingly as she is secretly in love with Aspen, a young man in her geographic area from a lower caste. Yet, once she becomes one of the Selected and begins to live in the palace like other ladies of the land, she discovers that the life she thought she wanted might not hold a candle to a life she never imagined. It isn’t just the luxurious rooms, beautiful garments, or abundance of delicious food she had no access to in her birth caste. But, rather, she begins to see that Prince Maxon is a real person and someone she enjoys being around. And, she learns that there is more to their country’s origins than she suspected.
While there is a plethora of young adult dystopian literature on the shelves, I found The Selection to be a great romance book with everything kept ‘clean’ while also evoking some thought about how the world could be in the future without being exceptionally dark. The writing is ‘light’ so that you do not need to pay super close attention to detail as you proceed through the book.
Ms. Cass interjects a fair bit of humor in the storyline, including a scene where America is on a ‘date’ with Prince Maxon when they walk out of the line of sight for the guards. Having been told ahead of time to NOT refuse anything asked of her by the prince, she assumes him to be a person of unsavory character looking to get girls alone and soil their reputation. Thinking he is making advances she knees him in the thigh and tells him she’ll do worse if he lays a single finger on her. Of course, he wasn’t acting improperly and she fears that he’ll send her home making the stipend paid to her family while she is there end.
I can see this being a wonderful read for a mom with a tween or teen aged daughter as there is so much that can be discussed afterwards. Things like whether marriage is all about intense feelings of love. Or does the family you are born into determine the type of life you will have for a lifetime. I also found it interesting that part of the ‘rules’ for life in this future society was to severely punish anyone who has intimate relations outside of marriage, so that you find people marrying younger as they don’t want to wait.
As I said, I am now hooked on Keira Cass’ series. Our local library has a copy with a LONG waitlist for the next books, so I have been checking my gift cards to see about purchasing an electronic copy of the next few books to continue reading the story. Yes, I enjoyed it THAT much that I’d seriously consider buying them instead of having to wait 6 months or longer. The plot and characters have me hooked into the story and I really want to see how it all plays out. Just looking at the titles, I can predict that America finds herself falling for Prince Maxon and leaving her dream of Aspen in the past. And, the newest title, The Heir, hints that they will have a son so that the entire selection process will happen again. Even if my predictions are correct, I know that I’ll enjoy the process of binge reading the titles (The Elite and The One are already available.)
What is the last book you read which your recommend to others?
Is young adult literature a favorite in your home?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.