Bestie Book Club
Chloe's Book Club reads one of her all-time favorites: The Selection!
Welcome back to Chloe’s Book Club — community for book lovers from Chloe Lukasiak and Girls’ Life magazine. If you're new here, hi! Here's how this works: Each month we’re reading, discussing and obsessing over a new book; so if you haven’t signed up already, be sure to CLICK THIS LINK and officially join the club. (We’ll email you with Chloe’s Book Club updates, reading guides, special contests and giveaways, event invitations and more.)
Here's a quick guide to everything you'll find inside this post (and beyond). Just remember, *major spoilers* are ahead (so look for the spoiler ratings before you read!).
THE SELECTION — THE BOOK CLUB AT-A-GLANCE
+ The Recap
+ Chloe's Commentary
+ The Giveaway
+ Details on how to participate
+ Buy the book — and get 15% off with our B&N discount code!
Our August selection is...The Selection! It's the first installment in an epic series from best-selling author Kiera Cass. To get 15% off your copy, head over to Barnes & Noble and use the code chloereads at checkout (offer available through through August 31, 2018). Pssst: Be sure to share this exclusive code with all the babes in your book club!
Ready to get started? Read on...
Spoiler level: Moderate
For thirty-five girls in the dystopian land of Illéa—in which society is divided into a strict caste system that dictates each citizen’s role—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 the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon. Whoever wins will become a princess—and, in doing so, will elevate her entire family to “One” status.
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. It means giving up her freedom and living by strict rules—even stricter than before. It means leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. It means living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Aspen convinces America that entering the Selection is the only way she can save him from a lifetime of guilt—and her mother offers a bribe she can’t refuse. With that, America submits her photo for the lottery…while beaming at the idea that Aspen might propose soon.
Instead, Aspen breaks America’s heart by breaking up with her. She’s blindsided by the pain—but nothing could be more shocking than when she sees herself on the TV screen as one of the 34 young women Selected as a potential match for Prince Maxon.
Once inside the palace, America makes friends—and enemies. She catches the attention of both the palace stuff and the entire country, which watches the drama unfold from afar during special broadcasts. But she still doesn’t want to marry Prince Maxon…
Except that all changes after a chance meeting in the garden forges a friendship between the two. Prince Maxon is nothing like America imagined—and gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself, while realizing that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined. Suddenly, America finds herself ready to fight for her place beside the prince—but the battle is just beginning.
Spoiler level: High
I discovered The Selection series when I was about 12 years old and I instantly became obsessed with it. (Don’t believe me? Check out this YouTube video I made about it in 2015!)
I recommend the series to everyone, and I’m pretty sure I’ve read it myself at least 5 times—so I’m obviously ecstatic to share this really special title with everyone in Chloe’s Book Club.
Before finding The Selection, I was reading things like The Hunger Games and Divergent. So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered this type of futuristic, dystopian narrative that *also* included princes and castles. I think one of my favorite parts about this series is how it combines really romantic, ultra-feminine elements (like ball gowns!) with a tough, strong-willed heroine who isn’t afraid to speak her mind or stand her ground. I won’t spoil it for you, but America is certainly not a pushover. She is a little bit wild, stubborn and unconventional—but it’s impossible not to root for her. And then again, aren’t we *all* a little wild, stubborn, and unconventional at times?! America may not be perfect, but she was the perfect role model for me at the age when I first met her. And she still is! No matter how old I get, I will pick up this series and devour it like I did the first time.
Even though I’m not fighting for Maxon’s love, I’m still able to relate to America in a lot of ways. Her stubbornness is one of them, but it’s mostly her singing. Anyone who knows me knows I cannot sing—at all. But I *have* been dancing my entire life, and I can relate to her love of singing through my love of dancing.
In addition to America’s inspiring passion for her art, there are so many beautiful moments in the story when you see America’s love for her best friend, Marlee, and her relationship with her little sister, May. I may not be the middle child of five like America, but I do have a little sister—Clara—and she reminds me a lot of May. The relationship America and May have is similar to the relationship Clara and I have; and even though Clara and I probably fight a lot more than the Singer sisters, deep down we love each other dearly.
The last thing I’m going to touch on is the romance. When I first read this series, I was Team Maxon all the way. I mean, I was 12 years old—of course I was going to root for the prince! He is kind, funny and caring towards America. But when I reread this series to refresh my thoughts for Chloe’s Book Club, I noticed myself finding an affinity for Aspen, too. I love the similarities he shares with America—and the way he understands her is just so special.
I’m not going to lie, though—neither of America’s love interests is perfect. I will always feel resentment towards Aspen for breaking up with America—not because he did it, since he’s entitled to make his own choices, but because of how he did it. So cold! And while I definitely adored most things about Prince Maxon, it bothered me that he wasn’t always supportive of America’s ideas. I don’t know if it’s because of my parents, the era I’ve grown up in or just the way I am as a person—although it’s probably a mix of all the above!—but I’ve always been very independent and motivated. I’m young, but I know that I definitely want to be supported and encouraged in all my relationships—and that's something that everyone deserves.
I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did—it’s been a personal favorite for a long time. And if you did, there are four more books in the series that are just as enthralling.
I love you all—and please keep reading!
One winner will score a "Princess Prize Pack" inspired by The Selection—including a signed copy of the book, a gift card to Barnes & Noble *and* luxe, royal-ready accessories.
Ready to enter—and, fingers crossed, win? Here's how: CLICK HERE to enter!
So you've read the book and you're ready to talk all things The Selection? Wondering *exactly* how Chloe’s Book Club works and what it means to be a member? There are so many ways you can get involved—whether it’s solo, on social media or with your whole squad. Here's a quick list…
+ SOLO. Take your personal reading game to the next level by using Chloe's discussion questions as a guide for your own journaling and personal reflection. If you love to read, it could be fun to start a special book diary where you keep track of all your favorite novels—and the personal musings they inspired.
+ ON SOCIAL MEDIA. Share your thoughts on The Selection using the hashtags #chloesbookclub on Twitter and Instagram. (Just remember: You have to have a public account for us to be able to see and respond to your posts!)
+ WITH YOUR SQUAD. Host an IRL book club party, of course! Be sure to tag us in your snaps so we can share them.
ICYMI: Our besties at Barnes & Noble are hooking you up with 15% off your copy of The Selection—so be sure to share this exclusive offer with all the babes in your book club! Click here to find the book on the B&N website. When you get to checkout, type in the code chloereads and hit "apply." Proceed with checkout as usual.
And...that's it! Click the pink button below (you must be logged in) to enter the giveaway. Good luck, book clubbers!