The Selection Book Review

HarperCollins

"No I'm not choosing him or you. I'm choosing me."

“The Selection” by Kiera Cass is a young adult dystopian novel that spans into a five book series. The novel is set in a kingdom where when a prince comes of age he must hold a selection process. Fans of the ‘Bachelor’ and any of its spin offs will love the plot of this book as the selection process consists of inviting 35 young girls to the palace to compete for the prince’s heart. The prince, Maxon, has just come of age and is ready to begin his own selection process.
The fictional kingdom is set up with the people split into eight different castes based on their income with one being the richest and eight being the poorest. When the selection takes place, girls of eligible age are selected and it is well known that most of these girls will come from the upper castes. However, our main character, America, comes from one of the middle castes and is selected for the process. America has no desire to participate, and already has a boyfriend, but when it becomes a way for her family to earn some extra money she accepts her invitation to be a contestant.
On the surface level this book may come off as a cheesy, reality-like romance, but underneath its glossy exterior there are many underlying themes. Themes such as society and class, family, and a woman’s role in society.
The story gives an interesting look at a futuristic version of society where people are so clearly split based on their income. During the selection process, we see America interact with girls from upper and lower castes alike and are exposed to how they all view society. America holds a bit of hatred for the royal family in her heart, because of the caste system, but as she gets to know the prince and his own views on the society, she begins to see there is more to him than she originally thought.
In addition to this caste system, we also see how the selection process almost dehumanizes these girls and turns them into objects for the media to scrutinize. When a princess comes of age in this kingdom, she does not have a selection, and it brings into question why females are the only ones ever put on display. There are also many scenes where America confronts Maxon about women having lesser roles in the royal family.
If you’re a fan of a cheesy love story, but an intense look into societal issues, this book is for you. It will definitely give you a lot to think about while also keeping you entertained, and possibly making you cringe from time to time. However, if you can’t stand love triangles, this book may not be the one for you. I would give it 3.5 out of 5 Spartan heads.
In addition, Netflix just announced that they will be adapting “The Selection” into film. Little is yet known about that adaptation, but we know the director will be Haifaa Al-Mansour. I’m super excited to see how this turns out as Netflix usually delivers on book to film adaptations.