The Selection by Kiera Cass
"For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined."- summary from Amazon
I finished The Selection over a weekend and OMG it was so good!! I'm a huge fan of The Bachelor so something like this is right up my alley. Cass did a wonderful job setting up the world and the caste system, and dealing with a bunch of different characters which I'm sure was hard to do.
The romance aspect was divine too and I simply can't choose between Aspen and Maxon- they're both such awesome guys!! Plus, America was a great main character- loved her feistyness, sarcasm, and big heart; she's definitely a heroine readers will root for.
There's more to it though than just the Bachelor aspect; Cass included an outside war that was waging throughout the kingdom and at its borders. The war threatens everyone inside and becoming the next princess is more than some of the contestants bargained for. I'm looking forward to learning more about why the war is being waged and what the enemy is searching for. It sounds like a great twist to be explored.
Overall, I simply loved this debut and cannot wait for the next book (and also to see what the next cover will look like because this one was so gorgeous)!
FTC: Received ARC from editor at the publisher (thanks Marissa!). Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.