16 year old America Singer, citizen of Illea-caste 5, was just chosen as one of 35 girls who will compete for the hand of Maxon Schreave, Prince of Illea-caste 1. So begins The Selection, a “Hunger Games meets the Bachelor” dystopian novel by Kiera Cass. Any other girl in Illea would have been thrilled to be picked to go live at the palace in Illea and have an opportunity to become the next Princess, and then Queen, of this new nation founded in the remains of the former U.S.A. But unfortunately for America Singer her heart was already committed to another.
This is the first of the trilogy intended by the author and it does a good job of preparing the reader for the next novel, The Elite, released in April 2013. As a reader of numerous YA dystopian novels (everything from The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness to Matchedby Ally Condie) I enjoyed this lighter more romantic version of the genre. The violence in the book is subtle compared to most dystopians and the focus is on the relationships between Prince Maxon and America and the other girls competing in the Selection.