'The Selection' Is Another Jewel In Dystopia's Crown

If you follow the Hollywood hullabaloo as closely as we do, you've likely heard more than a few royal decrees regarding Kiera Cass' new novel, "The Selection." Though it doesn't hit bookstore shelves until next Tuesday, the dystopian tale's TV rights were snatched up earlier this year, with a CW series—starring Aimee Teegarden, Ethan Peck and William Moseley—already in production. And, of course, it's just one of several YA books being dubbed the next "Hunger Games." So it seemed a long time coming when the novel finally crossed my desk recently.

The world of "The Selection" is one in which society is divided into distinct, numbered castes. Ones are wealthy; eights are dirt poor. America Singer, our story's heroine, is a five; her family is composed of artists who make the bulk of their meager living during the festive holiday months. (To them, "starving artist" isn't just a meaningless idiom.) America, much to her family's dismay if they ever found out, is in love with a six named Aspen, whom she clandestinely meets at night in the relative privacy of her treehouse, where they share food and snuggle. Yep, adorbs.

And it's all pretty great considering, until Aspen has a crisis of conscious and decides he can't drag America down to his six standards without first giving her a chance to flourish. He insists she enter her name for the the titular Selection, in which 35 girls will compete to be the bride of sheltered Prince Maxon. America initially balks (what in-love lady wouldn't?), but eventually concedes figuring she has no realistic chance of being drawn from the thousands of girls entering. But if a certain Reaping has taught us anything, it's that the odds aren't always in your favor.

America's name is indeed selected, and she's jettisoned off to the palace to compete against a bevy of pretty young things in a "Bachelor"-style romance-off for the prince's affections. But as America gets to know the romantically inexperienced heir, she begins developing feelings she didn't expect, creating a love triangle of monarchical proportions—all while rebellion rumbles outside the lavish walls.

The first installment of a trilogy, "The Selection" is reminiscent of other dystopian tomes we love, like "Wither," "Divergent" and even "The Hunger Games," albeit with less overt social commentary. Kiera's crafted a supremely readable—if not, at times, oversimplified—novel that's chock-full of romance, royalty and refinement. We can hardly wait to see how this tale translates to the small screen!

If you haven't yet, be sure to check out the book trailer for "The Selection" below!

Will you be picking up a copy of "The Selection" next week? Sound off in the comments and on Twitter!