The Selection by Kiera Cass is a fantastic mix of a falling in love story and political intrigue.
When I first heard of this book, I thought it would be similar to Ally Condie's Matched which I didn't particularly enjoy. However, I'm not gonna lie--the cover got to me. I kept seeing it around and it's such a great cover!! I found out my friend owned a copy, and she agreed to loan it to me. I really enjoyed it!
I'm a little surprised I liked it as much as I did because it's frequently compared to The Bachelor (a show I don't really like) and The Hunger Games (which I loved! but couldn't see how this could be similar). I can definitely see the similarity to The Bachelor but not so much to the Hunger Games. I think the only reason it's compared to the Hunger Games is that it's set in a dystopian future United States. Other than that the similarities are frankly non-existent (or I guess the fact that she's selected from a "random" drawing?).
I knew it was going to be a love triangle based story, and it's not an entirely unnecessary love triangle. Cass sets up the story so it makes sense. America has already given her heart to her neighbor Aspen, but they're of two separate castes and that matters in Illea. America is sent a letter to apply for the Selection--a process by which the Prince will choose his future spouse. The women chosen to participate are each paid per day that they are part of the process and America's family is in a low enough caste that they can use the money. Aspen also encourages America to sign up because he thinks she'd regret it otherwise. Aspen and America end up fighting the day before the drawing, so when America is chosen--they've broken up. This leaves America free to develop feelings for Prince Maxon when he enters the book.
Frankly my only problem with the book was the extreme heteronormativity. I mean, Aspen gets upset because America "provided" for him and that's a "man's" job and it's irksome to say the least. I know the set-up of the novel is 35 girls and 1 man, but come on, at least mention the fact that there are other routes to love than man and woman.
Overall, I'm excited to read the next book and find out what happens, but I wasn't devoted to the story.