“I hope you find someone you can’t live without. I really do. And I hope you never have to know what it’s like to have to try and live without them.”
― America Singer, The Selection
During the first months of 2016, copies of The Selection Series were all around the bookstores in the country. By then, I thought it was a mainstream love story judging on the book cover. I ignored the books for quite some time.
One afternoon, I randomly selected a book to buy. I was feeling hopeful that time to discover another genre of book apart from all the medieval fantasy books that I usually read. I picked The Selection at the nearest shelf.
Good thing I did.
The story of the series is simple. There is a prince and he has 35 young charming girls who want to win his heart and wealth (or perhaps the latter only). Then, there’s the protagonist, America Singer, who will of course, win the selection.
At first glance of the book, I already knew that that’s what’s gonna happen by the end of the story. The general plot is a cliché. That was why I ignored the book for a couple of times. But then, I’m glad I gave it a try, because, the story has more to offer than its fairytale-like love story.
Two Thumbs Up for the Caste System of Illéa
I would like to give Kiera Cass a huge round of applause for creating a creative and ingenious caste system for Illéa. In the community where America and Maxon belongs, the caste system is structured per profession. Here’s the complete list of the caste system from The Selection Wiki:
- Ones are Royalties and religious figures.
- Twos are Celebrities; including athletes, singers, actors/actresses, models, politicians, police officers, firefighters, guards, and military members.
- Threes are great minds; including inventors, teachers, philosophers, scientists, doctors, veterinarians, dentists, architects, librarians, engineers, therapists/psychologists, film directors, music producers, lawyers, and writers.
- Fours are Businessmen; including jewelers, real estate agents, insurance brokers, head chefs, construction managers, property/business owners, and farmers.
- Fives are Artists and Performers; including stage actors, classical musicians, singers, dancers, photographers and circus performers.
- Sixes are Workers; including secretaries, waiters/waitresses, housekeepers, seamstresses, store clerks, cooks, and drivers.
- Sevens are Manual Laborers; including gardeners, construction workers, farm hands, gutter/pool cleaners, and “trash collectors, ditch diggers, movers.”
- Eights are “Untouchables”; including mentally/physically unwell people, addicts, runaways, illegitimate, and the homeless.
The Caste System turned out to be one of the big challenges for the lead characters. For me, the existence of the caste system is the only thing that made the story interesting and deep. That is why, I would like to give Cass millions of thumbs up for having this.
America’s Mainstream Personality
America Singer is a strong-willed young lady who is quite mature for her age. She is also compassionate, humble, and kind. Then that’s it. That’s just America Singer. The usual princess-to-be description that readers always wanted. That disappointed me because it has made the story so predictable.
The books also say that she’s artistic and very talented but her love for art and music is not emphasized. Actually, she does not seem to bother with her love for art and music at all, as if it is not part of her life. That is an inconsistency on how America’s personality was created.
The Not-so Difficult Selection
The selection was extravagant and I love it! Somehow, the 35 young ladies were right away narrowed down to batches and there have been few challenges only for the girls. I would have loved a good deal of a (formal) fight between 35 girls. That would be fun to read!
The Entertaining Love Triangles and Confusions
America is in love with Aspen and Aspen loves America. Then Maxon loves America and America does not. Later on, America loves him in return. But then Maxon has a lot of girls to consider and he becomes very confused especially that America is still unsure of what she wants. Then America becomes sure of what she wants but Maxon likes another girl. Then around and around we go! *laughs
Overall . . .
The Selection Series is fun to read, even though, the story and the reactions of the characters are very predictable. The plot makes the mainstream characters and story interesting.
Some parts are also dragging and a little boring, but, the story has its own exchanges of highs and low points. So, you will get bored in the next 2 to 3 pages but then we will get excited in the next few pages.
Expect that what you expect will happen, but, your emotional experience is not gonna be what you expect. The way the story is written will make you feel for your heart.
The series is more inclined to teenagers, more specifically, to girls, obviously. If you are craving for some chick flicks today, this series is gonna be a page turner.