Friday, April 27, 2012

The Selection

America Singer is part of  the low end cast reserved for artists and musicians. Her family isn't the richest and sometimes struggles to make ends meet. Her situation is nothing compared to Aspen's, the boyfriend she has in secret who is a lower caste than her. When the Selection comes about, her mother sees it as a dream come true. Thirty five girls are chosen out of all the applications of every girl who wants to be in the running (which is just about all of them within the eligible ages) to go on a reality television show and try to woo the prince. The girls' families get money and prestige and the girl who marries the prince shoots straight to the top of the caste system. Even the girls who don't win rise above their born stations. America is one of the thirty five girls and it's her worse nightmare. She has no interest in a stuffy, boring prince when she has true love at home, but her family needs her help. So she is in the running for a crown she doesn't want in a palace periodically under attack. Things change when she actually meets Prince Maxon. Will she win The Selection or will she choose her true love at home?

I kind of expected to hate The Selection because it's all about romance and love triangles. However, the writing really drew me and and the characters are just wonderful. I described this to my friends as The Bachelor mixed with The Hunger Games without the killing. I appreciate that the romance is right up front so I know what I'm getting into when I read. I get annoyed when books look like they would be awesome dystopias but turn out to be romance centered and the dystopia is pushed to the background. The dystopia in this novel is interesting: a futuristic society after the fall of the US where inhabitants are born into a caste and can never move up. Each caste has a kind of theme where the people in it can only do a limited amount of jobs. It sucks if you have no interest in the caste's jobs like America's little brother. I think it makes sense that music and art are so low in this system because of how our society views them. Music and art are considered luxuries and are the first be cut in schools when money is tight even though they are essential to every society in existence. I would love to see more of this world.

America is a great assertive and strong character. She doesn't let the low caste she was born into hinder her in any way. She cares fiercely for her family and will stay as long as possible to benefit their lives as much as possible. Her romance with both Aspen and Maxon actually make sense and isn't just the instalove that is so prevalent in YA novels. They grow to like each other over time and actually build a relationship. America has complicated feelings about these two love interest and I wasn't annoyed for one second like I thought I would be.

The Selection is a great romantic dystopian read that mixed a fairy tale with science fiction. The characters are wonderful and their relationships are believable. I was just a little annoyed that The Selection wasn't finished by the end of the novel. I will definitely be reading the next book and I hope the world building gets more detailed and explains more about the dystopia.

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

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