Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
I’ve been reading a lot of YA fiction lately, all dystopian genre books. This is probably the lightest kind of book that can be made in the genre and it’s totally a guilty pleasure book. And in that way it’s awesome guilty pleasure.
The plot is symptom: the United States is gone. Having gone bankrupt, first the Chinese invaded and then the Russians. We finally got our independene back, but they took on the name of the man who defeated the Russians, a man named Illea. The man married into royalty and so we have a monarchy. There’s a caste system, everyone numbered 1-8 with 1 being the monarchy and 8 being the homeless and no official role in society. There is no explanation for how the caste system came into being. At any rate, whenever the Heir looks to take a bride, they host the Selection, a Bachelor-esqe competition as kind of a morale boost. And that’s what the book is about: the protagonist America Singer, a lowly 5 (1-3 are the upper classes, 4 and blow the masses) and her journey through the Selection. It’s not complex. You know how it will eventually end. And it doesn’t matter. It’s a fun and easy read and because it’s a limited POV you don’t have to deal much with the more annoying girls in the contest.
It does have problems (the lack of info about the castes make some of the behaviors of the lower castes questionable – they almost come off as the ‘happy slave’ archetype) but I enjoyed it for what it was and I’ll totally read the sequel.