Friday, August 8, 2014

More YA Dystopian - The Selection Series

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


  1. Those are some of the loveliest covers! I hadn't seen these, but now I'll look for them. Thanks for sharing!

  2. The covers are stunning. I'm still waiting for the opportunity to read the first book.

  3. The covers caught me, and also the sample chapters.

  4. After some facebook chatting about the Esther elements, I found this interesting quote by the author. "The Selection was born after thinking about Esther and Cinderella. Esther is from the Bible, and her story is that after the Queen offends the King, he decides to have a beauty pageant to replace her. Esther is one of the hundreds of girls scooped up to take the Queen's place. I always wondered about her heart. Before she was taken away, did she maybe like the boy next door? And Cinderella, well, she never asks for a prince, just a dress and a night off. So, when she gets the prince, is she happy? Did she get what she actually wanted?"

  5. You've convinced me to check these out, Dina! I love a good romance with a HEA. Nice that these are PG, too.

    And those covers. Oh MY.

  6. Someone on facebook thanked me because her teenage daughter has been wanting to read them and she didn't have time to preview.

  7. I've been seeing those covers pop up everywhere I look lately and have wondered if the books are good as the covers are gorgeous! I'm on a dystopian kick right now too. Might have to check them out. =)

  8. Is that a glimmer of a WhiteFire dystopian imprint I see on the horizon ;)


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