The Magical Selection
This book is not exactly new, I'll own up to that right away. When it was new, I had it on my to-read list because of another fairytale we'll talk about in this blog here. I finally got around to it this last summer, and it was the perfect inspiration I needed for my next book, but let me try to give you a quick review that has no spoilers (if possible).
I don't know how this book kept my attention from the start. I am not a big romance reader. I love romance inside my fantasy or sci-fi but when I read straight-up romance books, I normally am just annoyed at people being stupid, and honestly, this book has that same problem, so I'm not sure how it captured me. I was looking for a book to listen to while driving to visit family (I am a big audiobook fan!) And I got a different book from my local library and disappointed. It was from an author I loved, so I was really disappointed I just couldn't stand to listen to it on the drive. I got The Selection as I buy one get one free from Audible. I put it on, and unlike the last book, somehow I was hooked.
Honestly, I think it was the world. What a strange world to walk into, and the Halloween use from the start helped because I love Halloween. It's set in North America after the former countries of it collapsed, so this kingdom has Canada, USA, Mexico, and many other Latin American countries, but I'm not sure which. The book doesn't go into that more than the map on the inside, and I haven't looked at a modern match to compare. These nations are now royal lead, which is so interesting! So in truth, I think it was the world.
But it wasn't that alone. I got really invested in what on earth the first love interest in this story's love triangle, Aspen, was up to. I really thought in a scene where our protagonist, America, heard he was saving up to marry someone that it likely wasn't her. I'm a bit disappointed I was wrong, but with how the story went, that would have been dumb, so I'm okay with it now. But I won't reveal if he was playing another girl at the same time or not, but it just wasn't what I was expecting.
The first book is likely my favorite because of how it sucked me in. But I'm one of those people who normally love the last book most of the time: Harry Potter, The Custodian Chronicles, Lord of the Rings, I normally like the final book. And though it's close for THe Selection, now I've reread the series to study how to write romances better and listened to it a few times as well, I think the first book wins over the third just a little, and let me explain why.
The first book captures the essence of the story, you get all the thrills right away, and the other books follow up on that promise without breaking a sweat. The other books also give us more of the dystopian world-building which was my favorite part. The romance stuff in books two and three.... felt really forced. Most of all how she made it last longer in book two. But it works, and I'm sure people who are fans of romance thought it great, but I often feel the roadblocks in romances feel forced. But that's a me thing, I know, likely won't bother most of you.
But the romance, royalty, competition, and girl talk that this book has is second to none I've read. I'm a big fan of constant stories: The False Prince, The Hunger Games, and The Selection. I've always wanted to write a book with that kind of theme, and The Selection is the queen of examples on how to do it. (pun in intended).
If you're a big fan of competition stories, royal romances, modern fairytales, or watching anything like The Bachelor then this series is for you. You can get your copy at the link below, and if you read it for the first time, shot me a message and tell me what you thought of this blend of Hunger Games, The Bachelor, and Princess Diaries.