May 26, 2016
Book of the Month: The Selection
As soon as I read this book, I loved it. For starters, just look at that dress. It's amazing. Going by the dress, the font, and the tiara on the cover, you might guess this a story about a princess.
You'd be close. Our story takes place in the kingdom of Illea, which is America in the future. After World War Three, there was a war with China, who took over the United States, then Russia tried to take over. The people fought back and gained their freedom. The man who led that war, Gregory Illea, named the country after himself and set it up as a kingdom. He divided everyone into eight castes based on how much money they had (bad idea).
All right, with that history lesson out of the way, let's move on to the synopsis. America Singer is a Five living in Caroline. Fives are musicians and artists. The young prince, Maxon, is ready to find a wife. Thus, the Selection. Any girl of a certain age range can sign up for the chance to be one of the 35 girls that will be picked for him to date. The whole country will be watching it on television. America reluctantly signs up. She's picked. She thinks she'll hate the prince, but actually comes to like him. Will America make it to the Elite, the ten finalists? Will she fall in love with Maxon? You'll have to read it to see.
I love so much about this book. Let's start with it's setting. Doesn't the history of Illea sound like something that could actually happen? The Chinese invade the US to reclaim their debt. The caste system is an original idea and adds a lot of debate and depth to the story.
Another thing I enjoy is that it's in the future, but it's different than the tons of others out there. It's not in present tense, it's in past; it's not first person, it's in third. I like the change. Also, this is not a dark book with giant world problems. It's nice to once in a while have a lighter read.
America is a nice heroine. She's feisty, and a red head. Unlike most of the candidates, she isn't in it for the prince. She stays so her family can have the money they need. I love her spirit.
The Selection is fairly light, so it would be good for most teenagers just starting into YA. If you like a strong female character, royalty, and are looking for a different futuristic novel to read, this book is perfect.
And if you like this one, be sure to read the rest of the series. There are four more books, two with America and two with her daughter. Movie wise, I'd love to see one. Warner Bros. has the film rights, so I can hope, right?