Could you ever be in a contest where your every move determines whether or not you will get to marry the prince of your country? Would you be able to act quickly and elegantly in front of the royal family, talk fluently in interviews, and find a way to win the prince over? This is what life is like for America when she enters in a “bachelor” type of contest held by her country to marry the prince. The Selection by Kiera Cass is about America and her life in a contest called the Selection. America is the not the “type” of rich girl that gushes over marrying the prince one day, but she does occasional ogle when his name is mentioned on TV. America is a five meaning she is on the lower end of the class system in a country called Illéa. Being in a low class means not having the luxury of eating proper meals and especially not having sufficient amounts of money. She lives with her parents and six siblings, which doesn't help because of the low income that her family makes. America Singer is a five meaning she majors in the music/arts category just like her whole family. In particular though she is highly skilled in singing. America falls in love with a six named Aspen, he is a lower category of the class system than America and there love is forbidden because of that. Though every night for the past two years they secretly see each other past the country's curfew, and spend time in Aspen's tree house. After Aspen feels that America is the supporter of the couple since she is in a higher class he ends up breaking up with her and encourages that she joins the Selection. This only makes America more furious, but also heartbreakingly confused. As the Selection start to arrive quickly even America's family suggest that she join the because of their financial state. Entering your daughter would mean that if she gets picked then the Royal family will support you until your daughter gets eliminated. America realizes that this could really benefit her family and that her ex - boyfriend even encouraged (who she still has feelings for) she enters in and gets picked. America’s life is changed for the better as she is showered with luxuries that were beyond her imagination and the prince who she believes is even handsomer up close. This romantic tale isn't a romance novel that everyone expects. The twists and turns and love dilemmas make this book unlike any other. America's life at first goes by like a fairy tale until she meets with 34 other girls who want to win the prince's heart. America competes with girls who are in classes above her, and fighting is hard for a someone who doesn't have much experience in wearing lavish dresses and impressing handsome princes. America's three helpful maids Mary, Anne, and Lucy, help her take on a different lifestyle by first warming her up to her competition and then soon to prince Maxon.
Love vs. Family was a big part of the Selection as it was one of the main reasons that America decided to compete in it. America never visualized herself being on TV and competing in a contest filled with nasty cat fights and unnecessary drama. Though things turn upside down when Aspen broke up with her and told her to join the Selection one night, and then America decides to go for it. Her boyfriend of two years had broken her heart and told her to go for another man, this scenario pushed America to join as she was emotionally unstable. Though she wasn't fully over Aspen before she entered, her family was in desperate times and this persuaded her to join. Since America’s family is in a lower class system they couldn't support all six of her siblings and themselves that well. The Selection was a way to financial aid them long as she didn't get eliminated, and to support her family and to heal her love wounds America was persistent to join. If America wins the competition she would be elevated to royalty, the entire family would be elevated from their poor existence to a life of privilege and plenty. This one event was a big motivation for America it pushed her to enter for the sake her family. This took a lot of courage and showed maturity, America had always wanted to support her family a little more than she already did and this was her chance to do so. America really showed courage as she wanted to help her mother and father especially because of their old age and health.
The Selection was especially hard for America as she was one of the lowest coasted girls in the Selection. Poverty was a prominent theme as she had been outshines by the higher castes ladies that were in the competition. Not only was her caste in the way of her winning the Selection but in the beginning of the book it also enabled her to have a serious relationship with her two year boyfriend Aspen. Since Aspen was a six, a class lower than America if they got married America would also have to drop down a level making their life more harder as she would then have to find another occupation in the sixes’ level. After Aspen broke up with America she entered the Selection not only because he asked her to, but because it also gave her filler to stop thinking about him all day. Then came the real struggles like finding a way to stand out between the other girls in the competition and climb up to the prince. This topic of class based systems made it very hard for America’s family and her love life. Not only was she coping with her family that needed more money but she also had to struggle with being happy and finding love because her relationship was forbidden because of the class system. America worked very hard in the Selection by not drawing attention to her social position but her personality. The press on the other hand seemed to always bring up her class which only caused more havoc between the girls. America though is a very strong young lady and was not afraid of some healthy competition the risks she makes and the big leaps she takes come out in her favor at the end.
This book is actually part of a trilogy so it makes it more interesting as they are more books to help guide you in the journey of America and her future in Illéa. This book is a dystopian/ romance novel but don't let that stop you from reading this book as the ratio of girly moments is balanced out with many dark paths and cliffhangers making it suspenseful. This series is one of my favorites, and not being much of a girly - girl I couldn't help but fall for the relationships that were made throughout this book. The Selection actually reminds me of Hunger Games mashed up with the reality show The Bachelor so if any of those entertain you, then be sure to pick up this book ASAP! I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars and the whole series a 4 out of 5 stars. If you have read the first book I encourage you to finish the series because you need to find out what happens at the end! Though beware because this book is so addicting that you will find yourself soon finishing the series and then wanting more of Maxon and America! Comment down below on your thoughts of who should have won the Selection and which book you liked best in the series.