I think I mentioned this already. I read this book mostly in the airport waiting a flight from Cork to Edinburgh. I read this book, honestly, because Rissi at Scribbles and Scripts and Such mentioned it a few times on twitter.
In futuristic America, there is a caste system: you are born into a class and there is little room for upward mobility. Farewell to the American dream, you can marry a step or two up (or down), you can work your way as hard as you can; but you must remain contented within your sphere: no matter your talent, beauty, drive.
For America Singer, we believe christened for the happier times of old, there is one chance to bring her family from their redundant poverty and into a world they never dreamed of: a reality series not unlike Katniss running around shooting down people---but with ultimately less violence.
The Selection: Think The Hunger Games meets the Biblical Book of Esther: women from across the classes compete for the hand and ultimate love of Prince Maxon. The shortlist of ladies, which includes America, is plucked from their usual social norm and thrust into dystopian fairytale: food, banquets, lavish dances and clothes bely their new purpose: to refine themselves for the prince’s choosing.
America, who previously has fallen head over heels for the hard-working if somewhat stern and marginal Aspen is torn between her blossoming new friendship and the early realization that her informal pact with Maxon ( to let her stay in the competition ‘til near the end while he steers in the direction of the lady of her choosing ) limits her burgeoning attraction to him.
Throw in some uprising between provinces ( think the Hunger Games districts) and pepper in some unexpected Aspen-in-the-Palace-What’s-HE-doing-here action and you have a really interesting teen read sans the violence that propels The Hunger Games.
|Peter from Narnia should probably play Maxon if they ever make a film...
And, yes, it DOES remind me of the contest in which the soon-to-be Queen Esther of the eponymous Bible story vies for the hand of Xerxes after Queen Vashti is tossed aside. Like Esther, America is skilled, willed and talented… she just needs to use advantageous position to speak her mind, to abolish unfairness, to set the world alight.
I will read the rest of this trilogy. …And not just because the cover has a pretty dress.