Starting this new job, and working in an English classroom (finally), I’ve had the pleasure of listening to book talks from both teachers and kids about things they are reading. Since I have some new found free time, I’ve been diving into so many books, and so excited about it too. Although most of these are young adult novels, I feel like some of their lessons permeate adult life, and teach me a little something new.
The Selection Series, written by Kiera Cass, was one of those books. Set in a futuristic Bachelor type setting, Prince Maxon must choose his bride from a selection of the local women. A deeply divided caste system plagues the nation, and pins family against family, caste against caste to compete for both Maxon’s love, and the crown.
Our female protagonist is aptly named America. Seeing the coming and going of World War Four, there is no country America to speak of. Her name is vital to the story, and to the reader, knowingly metaphoric. It isn’t until the final book in the trilogy we discover why.
The book had me captivated from the start. It took me four days to read the 1000 page, three book series. Although it follows many romantic cliches, like America being from a lower caste, her deep understanding of human nature, fairness and love at such a young age, and a deep misunderstanding of the royal family, it grabs the reader in it’s epic battle for Prince Maxon to not only discover who he is a person and a leader, but also to decide how important true love is versus the goodness of his kingdom. Similarly, America struggles to understand the other women from these other walks of life, overcome her desires and fears to possibly hold the crown, and to help bring out the good in all those around her.
The romance in the story was nothing short of perfect. I found myself at times reflecting on my own relationship, wondering why it couldn’t be as perfect as this? Although those moments were brief, Cass writes to suit every woman with the perfect balance of sex and the gentelmanliness of Prince Maxon. For any young adult, the ups and downs of Maxons relationship with all the women could easily hold your attention throughout the entire series. Is he really in love with America? Will her choose her as his bride? Will America get over a deep lost love she had before the competition? Are the other women there for other reasons? Is Maxon in love with any of them? Is the royal family sabotaging the competition? Are the rebel forces in the country going to destroy everything the nation holds near and dear?
For a guilty pleasure read, and a captivating story, I highly recommend it.