In this episode, we do a little bit of a Wash, Rinse, Repeat and cover a book that's already been featured on the show before, The Selection by Kiera Cass. BUT WHY? Because that's our monthly Book Club Challenge theme, to read a book already on the show and/or to read your favorite book, you know, since not everyone is on the podcast. This book is HUGELY popular still and Claire had never read it, so we thought, why not? Also it's back in the works on Netflix, now as a movie adaptation instead of a TV series. Also also, the first time it was on the show was in episode two and we all know how the first several episodes were one: not great, and two: nothing like how the show is now, so really, all in all, it needed to be redone, and so it was.
The Selection is often described as The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor and originally, like even sitting to write this post, I was about to explain how that's not really true, but if you boil it down to things, there are similarities, though really that could be said for any YA dystopian novel written ten or fifteen years ago. There's not a whole lot of Hunger Gamesy stuff that happens. There are no fights to the death between contestants, that's for sure. The background is a little similar though. The leader of what is now the United States is not the best guy, but you don't super see that in the first one. Some people are poor and hungry while some people are wealthy and want for nothing. There are some pretty dresses. There is a fake relationship that eventually turns into a real relationship. There is a childhood friend/lover/guy that sticks around too long. But the actual story? Not the same.
In The Selection, America Singer is chosen to compete against 34 other girls to win the love of Prince Maxon, get married and become his queen. It really, really is The Bachelor. Maxon takes the girls on dates, gets to know them, narrows them down and eventually chooses one to marry. While this is happening, though, there are issues in Illéa, what used to be the United States. All the people have been divided into eight different castes with royalty as Ones, homeless as Eights, and everyone else distributed between based on their profession. There are also outliers, rebels, that want to end the caste system and change how the country is run. How do they do that? By stopping The Selection, obviously. By the end of book one, there have been several rebel attacks on the palace and Maxon has narrowed all the girls down to The Elite, the top six. America is of course included in The Elite, but really, should she even still be there? She tells Prince Maxon in the very beginning that she's just there for the food and to avoid her ex-boyfriend that she's still in love with, Aspen. Guess what though? Aspen ends up drafted into the Palace Guard and is always around, literally right outside America's door.
Here's an image from our recording, complaining about the main character being a brat and definitely deserving to be sent home a million times over.
Does she get better as the series progresses? Is she deserving of the crown? Come back next week to find out!