When America Singer enters The Selection, her life changes forever. She must compete with thirty four other girls in an attempt to win the heart of Prince Maxon and become the next queen of Illéa. But America’s heart lies with Aspen Leger, a boy from caste 6 who she has been in love with for the past two years. All America wants is to go home so she can marry the boy she loves, but with the palace providing her family with much needed money, America knows she has to stick it out for as long as she can. But everything is not just pretty dresses and dates with the prince. The palace is under attack by rebels, and America must hold her nerve if she is to remain in the palace.
I will admit that I only decided to read this book because of it’s popularity and the gorgeous cover. When I realised there was a love triangle I was highly skeptical, but knowing that it was set in a dystopian world kept me reading as I am always trash for dystopian YA. I loved the idea of capitalism going crazy and people being stuck in a certain trade based on who their family are. It seems like a frightening prospect that seems that it could easily happen in the future. The mention of a world war three had me curious, and I was desperate to learn more about what had happened to the USA to create Illéa. I was slightly disappointed that this new country had so much potential to have an interesting and exciting back story, but it was not elaborated upon past the girls having a history lesson that didn’t go into too much detail. I was also interested in the rebels and the reasons why they were attacking the palace. The idea that they were looking for something specific was interesting and made me wonder what could be so important to them.
The main plot consisted of America competing with the other selected girls to win the hand of Prince Maxon. Like America I was initially unsure if i was going to like Maxon, but he grew on me as the story progressed. Where there is a love triangle, I usually have a strong preference for one boy, and this was definitely the case for The Selection, as I grew to love Maxon but I found Aspen to be quite cringy. I hated the idea he had of having to be the one to support America because he was the male. With the novel being set in the future, I was surprised that he still had this traditional approach, and I hated that he seemed offended by America bringing him food rather than being grateful.
I was worried that i wasn’t going to like either of the boys involved in the love triangle, but I was glad when Maxon didn’t turn out to be pompous and big headed like I thought he was going to be. Despite being the prince, Maxon was down to earth and seemed to genuinely care about what was happening to the people in lower caste’s. I was rooting for America to see how sweet and caring Maxon was and to forget all about Aspen. I am definitely on team Maxon!
Although the book was quite slow in parts it definitely kept me entertained for the most part, and I enjoyed reading a light hearted book with a dystopian setting that wasn’t all about death and destruction. However I would love it if things were stepped up a bit in the rest of the series, as I am dying to know what the rebels are looking for! Although it wasn’t the best YA book i’ve ever read, it was interesting and I would love to find out more about the rebels, and of course find out who Prince Maxon chooses to marry! I would describe this book as a slightly darker Disney princess story, and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys romance novels with a bit of a twist.