Monday, July 23, 2012

The Selection

I love books.  Almost everyone I read appeals to me.  But, I've got to say The Selection (watch the trailer here) by Kiera Cass really has my heart.  It's one of those books I've been nearly giddy to write about.  If you've been thinking about reading this one, skip it to the top of your pile and fast.  Seriously.  I love it, for real, for true, forever!  Let me explain.

I can best describe The Selection as a Hunger Games meets The Bachelor set up.  (Are you breathless yet?  You should be.)  America Singer is a sixteen year old girl living in a future version of North America called Illea.  In Illea citizens are ranked by their skills and talents.  Except, these ranking were handed out to families when Illea was formed.  So, you are ranked according to the skills of your great-grandparents, with whom you may not share this skill.  And, moving up casts is advantageous economically, but really difficult.  Most people pretty much remain in the cast in which they were born.  This means some people experience poverty and hunger continually, while others never know or worry about this problem.

This country is ruled by a monarchy.  In this royal family, princesses have arranged marriages with royals in neighboring countries.  But, princes, well, that's where the excitement is.  A prince selects his wife from a pool of thirty-five "daughters of Illea."  This process is called the Selection.  Girls of a certain age complete an application process and submit a photo.  Then the field is narrowed from thousands to thirty-five.  If a girl participates in the Selection, her family is paid for her services to her country and she and potentially her family will be able to move up in the caste system. 

America Singer is a five.  She and her family are artists.  Some are musicians, others produce visual arts.  As a five, America has never known the luxury of, well, anything.  She and her family usually have just enough, but sometimes that is a stretch.  She is uninterested in participating in the Selection as her heart belongs to the dashing Aspen.  Aspen and America have shared a secret love for the past two years.  There are lots of problems with this.  The biggest being that Aspen is a six, a servant.  If America and Aspen were to marry, America would become a six and her life would change.  As a result, Aspen pushes her to apply for the Selection.  Plus, there is also pressure from her mother and the fact that she will be able to help her family if chosen.

As luck would have it, America is selected.  She is now whisked away to live in the glamorous palace, where she and thirty-four other girls are expected to compete for the attention of the handsome prince Maxon.  America isn't really in to this.  She's determined to be here for the money.  But, things begin to change.  Ahhhhhhhhhhh.  I love this book!

The current America! 
Love her from Friday Night Lights!
I cannot encourage you to read this book enough!  If I could send a copy to everyone in the world, I would.  Here are some cool things I know about the book from reading Kiera Cass's website.  First, the next book will be out in the spring of 2013.  As of yet, the exact date hasn't been released, nor has the name.  Crass promises the name will be forthcoming soon.  Also, there is the possibility the series being televised by the CW.  One version of the pilot was shot, but the focus group did not think it quite hit the mark.  The good news there is that the network didn't drop the show, but is reshooting the pilot.  This means that if this time is successful, we might be viewing the show next spring/summer.  Exciting!  I imagine this would be a very beautiful show to watch.  Finally, Cass will be at YALLFest, which you know is also on my "Things I Can't Wait For" List!  I will be waiting on pins and needles for news about the next book and the show. 

Read this!

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