In a future time, people are once again divided into castes (similarly as factions, districts, etc.) and the number of your caste not only decides your wealth, but also your career choice and the likelihood of marriage partners. There is a monarchy with each country and the future kings choose their new bride from the local girls, both in an effort to remain loyal to the community and in a way to choose the future queen based on talents, intelligence, and looks. It’s The Bachelor reality show meets royalty. Once girls are 16 they receive an invitation to enter “The Selection” with girls from across their country, and all of the castes – but they have the choice whether or not they want to participate.
Our narrator, America, is in love with her friend and none of the parents realize it so they encourage her to enter the competition. Why? Because not only does the winner become royalty, but her family will move up into the realms of royalty and for the Singer family, artists and musicians and lower caste number, it means food and financial security. As America is convinced to enter the Selection, she must say goodbye to her family and Aspen, and hello to her new life – with parties, fancy clothes, and the other girls for The Selection begins.
[This really is like The Bachelor for younger viewers]
As America enters the palace, and the selection process, she finds diversity among the girls, the few who are clearly trained on the formal practices of royalty, and finds a few friends. A chance encounter with Prince Maxon grants her an early introduction, one in which she thinks the Prince may not be so bad after all. While she still isn’t interested in becoming his wife or falling in love with him, a friendship begins.
As the Selection process continues, America and Maxon get closer and she is informed of the groups of Rebels who attack the palace: Northerners and Southerners. One group more violent than the other, but both attacking the palace for reasons Maxon isn’t sure. Soon the girls begin having feelings for Maxon, America included, at the same time more girls are sent home. Of course right as America feels confident in her feelings, Aspen returns.
It’s an interesting plot if you like The Bachelor. I’m curious as to how the plot continues, but I don’t think I’m rushing off to read the next installment. I’ll read it eventually – but right now I have more enticing novels waiting for me.
Safe for 10 year olds – at least the first in the series.
Series Continued: The Elite, The One, The Heir