By Kiera Cass
America Singer’s life used to be simple. She worked, she took care of her family, and she snuck out at night to spend time with Aspen, her secret boyfriend. Everything changes when she is chosen for the Selection, a competition between thirty-five girls and the chance for one of them to become the next princess of Illéa. America leaves behind her life as a Five—one of the poorer castes, but not the worst off—and enters a world of equal parts luxury and rivalry. She has no intention of marrying Prince Maxon, but the more time she spends at the palace, the more complicated her feelings become for him, Aspen, and the other girls.
I wish I had read this book when I was just a little bit younger—I know I would have gone crazy over it! While I may not be gushing over Aspen and Prince Maxon the way I would have been in seventh grade, I didn’t find myself rolling my eyes at the cheesy parts, either. This book may have all the tropes (The Average Girl Who Everyone Falls in Love With? Check. The Mean Girl Who Always Gets Her Way? Check. The Love Triangle? Check.), but there’s a certain “feel good” quality to it that makes it easy to ignore these things.
In fact, I think part of what makes ‘The Selection’ series so appealing is the lack of doom and gloom. I feel like some YA protagonists spend their entire books shifting between varying states of fear, anger, and despair. America, on the other hand, remains optimistic throughout. She knows how to make the most of a bad situation.