For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
I’m a sucker for a ball gown and the cover of the Selected is what caught my attention. When I read the description of the book, my first thought was The Bachelor goes YA. Then I started reading the book and to my dismay, it was so much like The Hunger Games, I almost stopped reading it.
First, the caste system is set up very much like the districts in The Hunger Games. Food is scarce and it’s what all the people below 3’s worry about the most. Then there is the competition. Yes, it’s not a fight to the death, but it is a fight to win the affections of the Prince, the crown, and the fight to never be hungry again. Being prepped to meet the Prince was also very Hunger Games. It was very much like the way Catniss was scrubbed and cleaned to meet the masses. Though to be fair, America voiced an opinion about her image and held to it, whereas Catniss didn’t have that option.
When I compare Catniss to America, Mer wins hands down. She is full of life, personality, and emotions. Catniss always came off a bit dry. So in that respect, Mer comes out ahead. The relationships she shares with Maxom and Aspen are very much like the relationships between Catniss, Peta, and Gale. Catniss was in love with Gale. America is in love with Aspen. Catniss falls for Peta, America falls for Maxom. Very much the same storyline there.
The story itself was different enough from The Hunger Games to say, yeah, okay, I can read it, but it wasn’t “unique” or “original” in its main core concept. The Bachelor part of it was the most original concept of the book.
Overall, I’d a give the book three out of five stars. It was well written, and different enough from The Hunger Games, to hold my attention, but in the same breathe, it was a version of The Hunger Games.