Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Selection Series

Cass, Kiera. 2012. THE SELECTION. New York: HarperTeen.
Cass, Kiera. 2013. THE ELITE. New York: HarperTeen.
Cass, Kiera. 2014. THE ONE. New York: HarperTeen.

I had my doubts before I started this book. I thought it sounded like The Hunger Games meets the reality television show The Bachelor. 

Set sometime in the future in a politically rearranged North America, The Selection follows the story of America Singer. A caste system has been established in the society - people are born into a certain group or level and can only move up by marrying and paying a hefty fine. America is a Five, which is a caste of artists and creative people. She's in love with Aspen, a Six. Sixes are servants and workers. They meet in secret in America's treehouse. 

America's mother wants her to apply for the Selection. Thirty-five girls from across the nation will be chosen from the pool of applicants to move to the palace and compete for Prince Maxon's hand in marriage. Even if they are not chosen by the prince, they are moved up a caste and their families will receive money in their absence. Aspen also encourages America to apply, so she does.

America plans a special date night with an elaborate meal for Aspen. Aspen feels that he cannot provide America with the life she deserves because he comes from a lower caste. Soon after, America applies and is shocked when she hears her name and sees her face on the TV announcement of the selected girls. With her broken heart, America decides to go forward with the selection - what does she have to lose?

The palace is larger and more opulent than anything America has ever seen. Some of the other selected girls are friendly; some are from higher castes and look down on America because she's a Five.

Soon she meets Prince Maxon and is surprised that he's honest and funny and they soon strike up a friendship. While she is still heartbroken over losing Aspen, Maxon agrees to give her some time at the palace to get over the breakup. However, Maxon's feelings for America grow stronger, and America begins to feel the same way about him.

The best way I can describe reading this series was that it was a total guilty pleasure. Once I got about halfway through the first book, I was completely hooked. The books are a bit melodramatic, but I was there with America, cheering her on, shaking my head at some of her impulsive decisions, and trying to figure out which boy I liked better myself - Aspen or Maxon. Once I finished the first book I immediately went out to the shelf and grabbed the second one, The Elite. I finished it quickly and then grabbed The One. Along the way the plot reveals more about the political history and rebels who are trying to overthrow the King, Queen, and Prince.  There are many twists and turns, but the ending is one I was happy with.

Like I said earlier, this series isn't one of the best books I've ever read, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Of course, girls will be much more likely to read this series than boys. I was a little sad when the books were over, but Ms. Cass has written a new one, The Heir, to be released in May 2015!

Until next time,
Mrs. Cox

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