By Kiera Cass
I had been putting off reading this series by Kiera Cass but now I think she is one of my favorite writers. The Selection is a dystopian teen novel that falls somewhere between The Bachelor and The Hunger Games. I kid you not. However, I was drawn into the series when I became very emotionally involved with the main characters and felt helpless when they did stupid things. Sometimes I had to put the book down and go do something else because I became so nervous at the outcome. That, my friends, is the work of a good writer!
The Selection is the first book in this series. This begins the story of America Singer who is labeled a five in this futuristic caste system. She is chosen for the Selection: a generational event in which the next princess and future queen of the nation is selected along with 35 other young women between the ages of sixteen and twenty. She has been secretly in love with a young man who is below her caste level. When he breaks up with her, she enthusiastically travels to the castle to begin her part in the Selection.
America is talented but very naive, co-dependent and self-centered. Her interactions with Prince Maxon were actually kind of embarrassing at first (she yells at him and later kicks him between the legs). But as their relationship develops, you begin to see what the Prince sees in her. Things get complicated when her old flame shoes up – now a palace guard and labeled a two. We also begin to see that America has a heart of compassion and a great need for justice. Whom will she choose?
What did this book have to do with my faith? As Christians we are told to love others as we love God. Sometimes that is easier said than done, especially when we look at others as they appear on the outside. It is when we get to know someone and can admire them for who they are that makes others easier to love. In The Selection, much of the judging by the Prince is based on the outside appearance of these girls. In addition, the entire royal family is hiding a great deal from the nation and the girls vying for attention. What makes the reading powerful is that the Prince begins to understand who America really is and that is what makes him favor her. In any relationship, whether or not it is romantic, getting to know the other person is often the key to loving them. It is about the relationship, not appearances. It is so important that, as Christians, we take time for relationships with those around us.
I highly recommend The Selection.