The Selection series is a 5-novel book about two girls named America & Eadlyn written by Kiera Cass.
I managed to read all five of the books in July and found them very easy to understand and to follow.
“The selection,” “The Elite” and “The one” were all written between 2012- 2014. Without giving too much away for people that have not yet read the book, I would like to give a small description of the whole thing before I comment on my feelings about it.
The tale starts in the future after the world war 4. America has been taken over by a country called Illea. The monarchy running the country pass their daughters to other nations, in the hope of strengthening their allies, and the prince has to choose one girl from a selection of girls picked after each sector of their lands.
People live in a caste system where if you are a “one” you are like royalty, a” two” you are a celebrity, and if you are an “eight,” then you are a nobody. Every caste number has a category of jobs they can only take as a profession. The girls are to be virgins before marrying, and any marriages between higher castes to lower ranks are not received very well.
I have read many reviews and heard many comparisons to the Hunger Games & The Bachelor on this book. However, I was surprised to see that no one mentioned anything close to what I am about to say and review on.
The books almost reminded me of Jane Austen and her famous “Pride & Prejudice.” Jane Austen demonstrated people ranked by their status and their financial position. While in Pride & Prejudice, people were not legally bound by what jobs they had to take or be marked by the public with a number which represented their status; they still suffered between an invisible line of being degraded and treated with prejudice due to their status. They were not able to move any higher in status unless marriage, affiliated them.
While Elizabeth grabbed the attention of Darcy with her gracious behavior and performed with dignity and pride even though she was of a lower status, America’s personality and behavior from the selection was almost the opposite.
I found America to be obscene, almost always confused as to what she was doing. She behaved very immaturely towards many important decisions she had to make and yet Kiera managed to make them sound all appealing to the one Prince of Illea. There was no grace, extreme pride, constant snapping or yelling and almost always insulting the prince. Kiera was excellent in giving us a visual view of the beautiful gowns, scenes and her skill in writing made you almost cry or gasp at certain moments.
America was pursuing another man in the palace who happened to be her ex-boyfriend, Aspen, all at the same time. Most of her dates with the prince would end up half finished due to her temper and attitude, and she was playing with two hearts trying to decide which one she wanted and which one she wanted to break. I kind of was hoping that once she had reached the palace, she would forget about Aspen or at least America would let him go when she saw him at the palace.
Nevertheless, don’t be alarmed and decide not to read this book as it had many enjoyable parts where if you dug deeper into the story you would understand and want to know more. There were politics, history, love, affairs, dramas and many sudden changes to the book that was very refreshing and kept you on your toes wanting to find out what was going to happen next. Love is not perfect and compared to Hollywood stories that seal our minds with images of what we should perceive as romantic and genuine love; the selection series takes you to another level of perception.
Just like anything in life, you start confused or even unwilling to participate. You then realize that it isn’t so bad and start finding your true self, understanding that in fact, it was what you have been looking for the entire time. You pursue it with all you have and hope with your whole heart that you succeed. Subsequently, since you never lose until you give up, America did just that, and she won.