Fantasy and Fiction: A Review of “The Selection”

Audrey Jarrett

Staff Writer

On April 14, 2012, The Selection by Kiera Cass was released for the public to read. Later becoming a New York Times Best Seller, it is a five-book series packed with heartbreak, romance, drama, and royalty. Set in Illéa, a fictional country, the crowned prince, Maxon Schreave, holds a competition in which there can only be one winner. The competition involves 35 girls coming to the palace to compete in a The Bachelor-esque style competition. 

Fans of romance-heavy books and plot twists will love this series. In just the first chapter of the first book, there were major ups and downs in each character’s storyline. Dramatic cliffhangers made readers wait for each book in the series to come out. 

Before introducing the characters, the book adds to the separation of people by introducing a caste system,  a rigid social group in society categorized by occupation, race, or wealth. 

Within the caste system, the contestants live in numbered classes from one to eight. The Ones are the royalty, the wealthiest people who hold the country together, while the Eights are poor and are less important, as they live secluded from basically the whole country.

A map of Illea, the country where the books take place, photo courtesy of Kiera Cass

The main characters in the series include America Singer, a multi-talented girl of the middle class, Maxon Schreave, the crowned prince of Illéa, and Queen Amberly, the sweet and loving mother of Maxon. Noteworthy side characters are Marlee Tames, Celeste Newsome, Aspen Leger, Kriss Ambers, Natalie, and Elise, other girls selected for the competition.

According to Goodreads, the first book was a major hit: it made the top 10 in young adult books of 2012. The first three books in the series, titled The Selection, The Elite, and The One, show America’s experience in the Selection. The last two books, The Heir and The Crown take place 20 years after America’s experience and are about her daughter. 

On April 11th, 2020 an official announcement was released saying that the hit book series will be turned into a Netflix movie directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour and produced by, P. Shahbazian and D. Di Novi.

Featured image courtesy of Liv’s Wonderful Escape

Hey! I'm new to journalism and haven't figured out my passion yet. I like to learn about new things and how they fit into the world. As a sophomore, this is my first year writing for Theogony. In my free time, I like to swim, travel, and read romance novels. Thank you for reading my article!