I have always loved princess stories. I guess it goes back to childhood when my mother called me “her princess” and I dreamed of meeting a Disney princess. I devour books like Shannon Hale’s Goose Girl, Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted, and Margaret Peterson Haddix’s Just Ella. I also enjoy dystopian novels like Hunger Games, The Giver, and Divergent. When the teens at my library told me about a new dystopian series that is also a princess story, I knew I needed to read this. I am not disappointed.
America Singer, the protagonist, lives in a future America but with a different government and a different name, similar to Hunger Games. Unlike Hunger Games, there is not a horrible game where children murder each other every year. Instead, there is a game of “who will be princess?” every two decades or so. Thirty-five single, young women are chosen from around the country to live at the palace until the prince and future king chooses one to be his bride. Kind of a future royal version of the tv show The Bachelor, this one is called “The Selection.”
I enjoyed getting to know America Singer. She is a strong, intelligent protagonist who has a lot to learn about herself and the people around her. I also really liked Prince Maxim. He takes his role as future king seriously, including finding his future queen in the selection. Still, he is a kind, responsible, regular kind of guy with a great sense of humor. I especially love watching their relationship develop, although sometimes I couldn’t believe all that Prince Maxim forgives America for.
This is a book I have recommended to one of my favorite mature ten year olds all the way up to adults looking for a fun new series. The romance does not move beyond kissing, there wasn’t any swearing, and any violence happens behind the scenes. I definitely recommend it as a book for both mothers and daughters who want an entertaining romance without having to worry about skipping pages or words.