The Selection by Kiera Cass


Kendra Turley, Online Manager

I have a strong hatred for princess books.

I do. I dislike how perfect and happily ever after they are. I despise the cheesy lines and glittery dresses and the oh-so-handsome prince. I gag at the sugary sweet love lines and overwhelming level of candy like cuteness. It just doesn’t seem interesting or appealing to me in any way.

When The Selection by Kiera Cass was recommended to me by a middle schooler, I was reluctant to read it. The cover was beautiful, which, while appealing, also was a bit of a turn-off. I love books with glorious covers, but this one featured a pretty girl in a gorgeous blue dress. My immediate assumption was that this was going to be exactly what I expected: full of ruffles and princes and perfect happily ever afters. I also wasn’t sure it would be for me, since, again, an eighth grader was asking me to read it. Her and I’s ideal book can be on very different levels.

But I also told myself that I shouldn’t judge a book before having read at least the first few chapters. Reluctantly I opened the book to chapter one and began to read.

Three days later I was searching Barnes and Noble for the other three books in the series. From page one I had been hooked without realizing it, and was now looking for more content to satisfy my addiction to this series. Thankfully B&N had what I was looking for, and I rushed home after purchasing them and dove back into the fantasy world.

The Selection series tells the story of America Singer, a girl born into a society where everyone is ranked in a caste system by number. Ones live in luxury and are kings and queens, Fives struggle to make money and must work in the performing or visual arts, Sixes are servants and live in poverty, etc. America is a Five and earns money for her family by singing at parties and other special occasions. Because her family is on the edge of being poor, her mother is insisting that she be entered into a contest known as The Selection, in which twenty five girls from the castes compete to win the prince’s heart and become the next princess.

America is not the princess type, and knows it. She’s very independent, and wants nothing to do with this contest, and would rather continue her secret romance with the boy who lives nearby. She’s happy with her life and the way it is. But because her family needs the money, she agrees to enter the contest.

But she never expected to be chosen, let alone have any sort of friendship or relationship with the “handsome” Prince Maxon. Yet that’s exactly what happened.

An easy, quick read, with lovable and funny characters, I absolutely loved this book. The character of America is extremely relatable especially on the level of being put in a situation that you want nothing to do with. America wants nothing to do with the prince but finds herself becoming friends with him anyway, as she tries to make the best of the situation. She stays optimistic and hopes that it will all pay off in the end. Her sometimes awkward but quirky self also gives teens someone to identify with, as it shows that even those of royal status mess up sometimes.

Impatiently I must now wait for next spring, knowing that Kiera Cass will then release the next novel in this lovely book series. In the meantime, however, I will reread each book, reminding myself that it was these pages that gave me a change of heart when it comes to books about castles and gowns and queens, and made me love them for the beautiful creative writing that they hold.