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The Selection is a 2012 young adult novel by Kiera Cass. The first book was published on April 24, 2012 through was optioned for a potential television series through the CW, but was not picked up.[1] The novel is followed with the 2013 release of The Elite, the second book in the series, followed by the third book in the series, The One. The fourth book was released on the fifth of May in 2015, named The Heir.[2] The next book titled The Crown came out on the third of May in 2016. The Prince, a novella narrated from the viewpoint of Prince Maxon, was also released, along with The Guard, a novella told by the point of view of Aspen. Two other novellas, called The Queen and The Favourite were also released.[3]

The Selection
The Selection.jpg
Cover art for The Selection (Book 1)
Author Kiera Cass
Country United States and Canada
Language English
Series The Selection Series
Subject Corrupt Government and Romance
Genre Dystopian, Young adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher HarperCollins
Publication date
April 24, 2012
Media type Print, ebook, audiobook
Pages 327 pages
ISBN 978-0-545-61494-8
Followed by The Elite , The One, Happily Ever After (contains:The Prince, The Guard, The Favorite, The Queen, The Maid, Scenes from Celeste,after the one and Where are they now, the heir and The Crown

Of the series, Cass stated that she began writing The Selection after thinking about the differences between Esther and Cinderella, wondering if either of them were happy with how they ended up.[4] She also commented that she had written the book "from start to finish", while her writing process for the other books differed.[5]



America Singer lives in a world with eight castes depending on one's social and economic status. Ones are the royals and most desirable, with Eights being the lowest and poorest. America is a Five, which consists of the entertainers (Musicians, Artists), and are often fairly poor. Crown Prince Maxon Schreave will be holding the Selection, a competition for the prince's hand and the crown for a princess. Despite pressure from her mother, Magda, and younger sister, May, America has no interest in entering the competition because she has been secretly dating Aspen, a Six. Aspen urges America to accept the opportunity at a better life. Her mother later bribes her into the Selection by offering to let her keep half of what she earns at her jobs. Later that night, America brings food to Aspen, and Aspen gets upset, believing that he must be the "provider". America is devastated, and at her weakest state, she is chosen for the Selection. Without the support of Aspen, she travels to the palace where she has to compete with 34 other girls to win the prince's heart.

On the way to the palace, America meets some of her competitors: Marlee, who will later become her best friend, Ashley, and Celeste, someone she does not get along with. The night before the girls meet the prince, America accidentally meets Maxon when she goes through a panic attack, and out of need for fresh air, tries to get out of the palace into the garden. When the guards refuse to let her outside, Maxon hears the commotion and demands the guards to let her out. On the verge of tears, America shouts at the prince, calling him "shallow", which surprisingly amuses him. Through their first meeting, America dislikes Maxon, but as the story progresses, a friendship develops. America asks Maxon to let her stay so her family could be supported. All the competition's girls' families will be provided with money.

Eventually, America realizes that she likes the prince. Meanwhile, rebels constantly attack the palace, making things very tense, especially when the rebels seem to be winning. During one of Maxon and America's dates, she notices Aspen and realizes that he entered the palace as a new member of the royal guard. Aspen's appearance confuses America, eventually leading to her realizing that she still loves him. One of the Selection's rules states that having a romantic relationship with someone else is considered treason, with the punishment being death. Despite the consequences, America seeks Aspen's help when her jealousy gets the best of her.


  • America Singer – The protagonist and narrator of the novel and a member of the elite competing for Prince Maxon's hand. America is 17 years old and has fiery red hair and ice blue eyes. She is very important to Maxon. She was born a five giving her the job of musician. She is described as feisty.
  • Prince Maxon – Prince of Illéa, he must eventually decide which of the elite to select as a wife.[6] He enjoys photography and has dark blonde hair and brown eyes.
  • Aspen Leger – A palace guard and America's ex-boyfriend from her home province of Carolina.[6] He has black hair and green eyes and was formerly a six.[6]
  • Marlee Tames – A member of the elite and best friend of America, she harbors a secret. She is blonde and described by America as bubbly.
  • Kriss Ambers – A member of the elite. She has brown hair and is a three. America remarks that Kriss has grown closer to Maxon throughout the course of the book.
  • Elise Whisks – A member of the elite who has family connections to New Asia, a country that Illéa is at war with.
  • Natalie Luca – A member of the elite who deals with a family tragedy (her sister was killed by rebels). She is blonde and viewed by America as someone who has her head in the clouds. Carefree spirit.
  • Celeste Newsome – A member of the elite, she is a two and worked as a model. Celeste is a brunette. Celeste and America do not get along and are often in conflict.
  • Clarkson Schreave – King of Illéa and Maxon's father, he is often seen as strict. The girls react with fear when he gets angry. America dislikes him.
  • Amberly Schreave – Queen of Illéa and Maxon's mother. She is from Honduragua and was a four until she married King Clarkson at the end of his selection. She is described as kind by America.


Publishers Weekly gave a positive review for the book, praising the character of America.[7] The School Library Journal, MTV, and Booklist all gave positive reviews for The Selection[8] while in contrast, Kirkus Reviews panned the novel.[9][10][11] The A.V. Club gave a mostly positive review, commenting that it "is something of a Hunger Games rip-off, but at least it’s an entertaining one".[12]


On January 12, 2012, a one-star review of Cass' book, The Selection, was posted on the book reviewing site Goodreads[13] and on the reviewer's blog. Later on the same day, Kiera Cass' literary agent, Elana Roth, posted a series of derogatory tweets on the social networking site Twitter. In a conversation that Cass and Roth believed was private—but was, in fact, public—Roth called the reviewer names, and both Roth and Cass collaborated on how best to bump the negative review down and boost positive reviews by manipulating the ranking system themselves.[14] The controversy sparked an article by Publishers Weekly speaking out against this practice and raised an outcry from multiple reviewers, bloggers, and publications against the cyber-bullying of nonprofessional reviewers by authors and agents.[15][16][17]

Television series and film adaptationsEdit

In 2012, Cass announced that CW had optioned the rights to her series with the intent of turning it into a television series. The series would star Aimee Teegarden[18] as America Singer, but the pilot was not picked up to series for the fall 2012 television season.[19][20] A second pilot was ordered for the CW in 2013,[21] starring Yael Grobglas as America Singer,[22][23] but was also not picked up by the network.[24]

In 2015, it was announced that Warner Bros. had bought the film rights of the book. Denise Di Novi and Alison Greenspan of DiNovi Pictures would produce alongside Pouya Shahbazian, with Katie Lovejoy to write the screenplay.[25]


  1. ^ "CW orders 3 new sci-fi shows". EW. Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  2. ^ "AUTHOR KIERA CASS' LOVE TRIANGLE HEATS UP". RT Book Reviews. Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  3. ^ "'The Elite': Kiera Cass talks about the sequel to 'The Selection'". EW. Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Young Adult Author Kiera Cass on The Selection". Teen Vogue. Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  5. ^ Potts, Jessie (April 24, 2013). "Interviews: Kiera Cass and Cornelia Funke". USA Today. Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c Roth, Elana (25 March 2013). "The Elite". Publishers Weekly. 260 (12): 71. ISSN 0000-0019. 
  7. ^ "Children's Review: The Selection". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  8. ^ "'The Selection' Is Another Jewel In Dystopia's Crown". MTV. Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Review: The Selection". Booklist. Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Review: The Selection". School Library Journal (BookVerdict). Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Review: The Selection". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  12. ^ "The Selection, a YA book and incipient CW series, looks for royal love in a post-WWIII world". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Goodreads: The Selection Review". Goodreads. Retrieved August 6, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Goodreads: The Selection Review". Goodreads. Retrieved August 6, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Should Authors and Agents Weigh In on Citizen Reviews?". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved January 19, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Breaking the Silence: The Selection Debacle". The Midnight Garden. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Authors Behaving Badly". Pocketful of Books. Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  18. ^ Ausiello, Michael (February 23, 2012). "Exclusive: FNL's Aimee Teegarden to Headline CW's Hunger Games-esque Pilot The Selection". TV Line. Retrieved July 1, 2016. 
  19. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (May 17, 2012). "Upfronts 2012: CW Redeveloping 'Hunger Games'-Esque Pilot 'The Selection'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Pilot Update!". October 1, 2012. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Development Update: Wednesday, January 23". The Futon Critic. January 23, 2013. Retrieved July 1, 2016. SELECTION, THE (The CW) – Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain have received the green light to produce a second pilot for the project... 
  22. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (February 22, 2013). "CW Pilot ‘The Selection’ Casts Its Lead". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 1, 2016. 
  23. ^ "The Selection’ finds its new lead: Yael Grobglas replaces Aimee Teegarden as America Singer". Hypable. February 23, 2013. Retrieved February 24, 2013. 
  24. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 9, 2013). "‘The Selection’ Dead At The CW". Deadline Hollywood. 
  25. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr (April 22, 2015). "Warner Bros Buys YA Title ‘The Selection’, Sets Black List Scribe Katie Lovejoy To Adapt.". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 26, 2015.