by Dina Sleiman
Yes, my obsession with all things YA Dystopian continues. As I've mentioned before, LOVE the Hunger Games, LOVE Divergent, meh on Matched, although the covers are gorgeous. And speaking of gorgeous covers, drum roll please...
And I'm just getting started. The Selection brings to mind classic stories like Cinderella and Queen Esther, but is set in a dystopian future. Of all the series I've mentioned so far, this one wins for best romance. Despite the dystopian caste system and civil unrest, it is for the most part a romantic and at times even comical read. Our heroine, America Singer, is one of a group of thirty-five normal girls chosen as a potential wife for the handsome Prince Maxton. Problem is, she already has a secret love from a lower caste. The dystopian elements are not the strongest, even a little cheesy at times. The caste system seems a bit illogical, but maybe that's part of the point. And the northern and southern rebels are hazy, hokey, and not terribly believable. But...the love story is awesome! Author Kiera Cass has a light, breezy style that is sure to keep you reading. Now for more gorgeousness...
In book two, The Elite, America has made the cut to the top six girls. She has come to truly like and admire Prince Maxton, but meanwhile, she discovers more about the warped political system surrounding her. Can she ever picture herself as a queen? Then comes...
Let's face it, this series is worth reading for the exquisite gowns alone. Unlike many of the other dystopian series, book 3, The One, is just as good as (if not better than) the other books. The dystopian elements finally become clearer and more believable. The climax to the series is exciting and full of twists and turns. And for once, YES!!!, a happy ending full of light and hope.
As for younger readers, this series is very appropriate for teens. The books are safely PG, and there is nothing I need to warn you about beyond some steamy kissing scenes. Unlike some of the other dystopian books, there is no dark, psychological trauma. I felt it offered good lessons about what is truly important in love, life, and friendship. Some adults might find the heroine a little young for their tastes, but if you enjoy a good fairy tale, I doubt you'll mind.
I can't really put this series in the same category as Hunger Games and Divergent. It's a little silly in comparison. But if you would enjoy reading "dystopian lite" with lots of romance, then I say go for it.
What is the most romantic book you've ever read?
Dina Sleiman writes lyrical stories that dance with light. Most of the time you will find this Virginia Beach resident reading, biking, dancing, or hanging out with her husband and three children, preferably at the oceanfront. Check out her novels Dance from Deep Within, Dance of the Dandelion, and Love in Three-Quarter time. And please join her as she discovers the unforced rhythms of grace. For more info visit her at http://dinasleiman.com/