By Kiera Cass
I read The Selection on a dare from a coworker. One of my coworkers had read the book and rated it a 2 on Goodreads. She also liked an incredibly negative review on Goodreads that intrigued me. the reviewer was just so passionate I had to see what all the fuss was about. So after an energetic discussion at the reference desk I decided to take the plunge.
The Selection is a dystopian ya romance. Think Hunger Games meets The Bachelor. Teenager, America Singer (age never quite specified) is among a group of girls (all between the ages of 16 and 20) who will compete for the hand of Crown Prince Maxon, heir to the throne of Illea. Maxon, (age also unspecified) has recently come of age and is required to choose a wife from among the daughters of Illea.
Illea is a futuristic North American nation, created after the United States was destroyed by war with China and then Russia and then finally rescued by billionaire Gregory Illea, who creates a monarchy to replace the democratic republics that existed on the continent, and for good (but unexplained measure) he includes a rigid caste system with the lowest of the low living as homeless, outcast, vagabonds.
Author Kiera Cass has created a best-selling, popular series including selling the movie rights. The world-building is shaky, the writing is sometimes amateurish (The Selection is a first novel, after all), and the characters are two-dimensional, but it's hard to argue with success.
All that being said, I got caught up in the story and couldn't put it down, so Cass must be doing something right. Unfortunately, for a real resolution to The Selection I'll have to read the rest of the trilogy, and I'm not sure I'm up for that much teenage drama.