Series: The Selection #2
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Published by HarperTeen on April 23, 2013
Reviewed by: Abigail
Kissing, mild sensuality
The hotly-anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller The Selection.
Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.
America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.
Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.
I'm actually a little embarrassed by how much I liked the first book in The Selection series, because I loathe the entire concept of The Bachelor (and THE SELECTION was described as The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games). I gave it a shot based on a few reviewers who likewise were surprised by how fun the debut was, and honestly, I couldn't put it down once I started and I had a similar experience reading THE ELITE.
My hatred for The Bachelor still remains, but the whole concept of girls competing for one guy actually translates to a much more tolerable situation in this series (plus it actually reminded me more of the book of Esther from the Bible). Because The Selection is a traditional practice designed to elevate a 'commoner' to royal status and in a sense offer the people a sense of inclusion in the government, the whole concept takes on a different light.
But really, it's the relationship between America and Prince Maxon that continues to keep me riveted. There are so many obstacles between them (and I'm not even talking about the other girls), and not one feels contrived. The friendship-turned-something-more is full of agonizing betrayal, juicy secrets, and heartbreaking sacrifices. We learn so much more about Maxon this time too. His crown isn't quite as untarnished as we thought, but neither is America's--regardless of her justifications.
And Ilea itself is so fascinating since it has its roots in the USA that we all know. I loved digging more into the radical transformation that created the world that America and Prince Maxon live in. From the origin of the caste system, the first King, the rebels, and so much more. The balance between the romantic developments, character growth, and worldbuilding was so well done. I'll be be anxiously looking forward to the final book in The Selection series, THE ONE, when it's published on May 6, 2014. It's really too bad the the TV show didn't get picked up. I would have loved to watch this story almost as much as I loved reading it.
- The Selection
- The Elite
- The One