SUMMARY: Though most other girls her age are dying to be "selected," America Singer wants no part of it. She is in love with Aspen, a gorgeous and hard-working boy who happens to be a caste below her. Though their love must be kept secret, America longs for the day that she and Aspen will be husband and wife. When America is among 35 girls selected as possible brides for handsome Prince Maxon, she reluctantly travels to the palace to live in the lap of luxury and compete for Prince Maxon's affections, all on live television.
REVIEW: Ever wonder what would happen if "The Bachelorette" took place in a politically uncertain future with royalty, palaces, rebels, and a caste system? What if, before she met the prince, Cinderella secretly loved another boy, and society was determined to keep them apart?
The Selection attempts to answer these "what ifs" and is absolutely one of my favorites of the year! I swallowed this book whole, reading it in two days during a school week. I'm a fairly slow reader, so that is lightning speed for me! I just could not get enough of America and Aspen and Maxon, and I can hear the cries of Team Aspen or Team Maxon already. At school, an eighth grade girl and I discussed the merits of Aspen versus Maxon (I prefer Aspen; she prefers Maxon). Though the publisher's trailer isn't all that intriguing, I've talked this one up so much that my students are putting The Selection on-hold faster than I can keep it in. I recently ordered two more copies to help satisfy the high demand.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A must for middle and high schools. I plan to add it to my Lone Star Plus reading list for next school year.
STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: We currently have one copy and are awaiting two additionals. So far, it's a hit at my school.
READALIKES: For Darkness Shows the Stars (Peterfreund); Under the Never Sky (Rossi); Wither (DeStefano)
- Overall: 5/5
- Creativity: 5/5
- Characters: 5/5
- Engrossing: 5/5
- Writing: 5/5
- Appeal to teens: 5/5
- Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5
- Language: none to mild--I don't recall any language (I read it so fast, I may have missed something though!)
- Sexuality: medium; talk of intercourse, virginity, and the repercussions of an unplanned pregnancy; intense horizontal kissing; one character was previously raped (gives no details)
- Violence: mild; some rebels storm the castle, resulting in some deaths of non-characters (castle guards)
- Drugs/Alcohol: mild; some social champagne/wine drinking
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