Want to learn the ideas in The Selection better than ever? Read the world’s #1 book summary of The Selection by Kiera Cass here.
Read a brief 1-Page Summary or watch video summaries curated by our expert team. Note: this book guide is not affiliated with or endorsed by the publisher or author, and we always encourage you to purchase and read the full book.
Video Summaries of The Selection
We’ve scoured the Internet for the very best videos on The Selection, from high-quality videos summaries to interviews or commentary by Kiera Cass.
1-Page Summary of The Selection
The Selection is the story of America Singer, a 16-year-old girl who lives in Illéa. She’s living in a dystopian world where there has been an apocalyptic war and her country (the remnants of the USA) is now ruled by a monarchy. There are strict rules that determine what each caste can do with their lives, which leads to people being denied education and forced into positions of servitude. In order for someone from one caste to move up in society, they must either amass wealth or get married to someone from another caste.
America Singer is a singer and violinist. She belongs to the Fifth caste, which was made up of artists who relied on patrons for financial support. America’s family struggled to make ends meet in Illéa due to their low economic standing.
Political struggle is a fact of life in the country of Illéa. The royal family maintains control over their people to keep peace within its borders. Two rebel groups, one in the north and one in the south, stage attacks on the palace which they hope will help them achieve some unknown goal. America receives an invitation from Prince Maxon, asking her to join him at his Selection ceremony where 35 girls are chosen by random drawing for a chance to marry him and become princesses themselves. She resists joining at first but finally decides that participating would be beneficial because it could help her escape poverty and give her mother better living conditions.
When America is chosen as the princess of Illéa, she must go to the palace and compete for the love of a man she doesn’t like. As they spend time together, though, they develop feelings for each other. She helps him decide which girl he should marry by opening his eyes to the inequality in his country. He encourages her to stay in the competition until there are only three girls left because he likes spending time with her.
Rebels attack the palace, and America fears for her life. The royal family uses this to distract people from their failings as leaders. They believe that the rebels are trying to weaken the image of the monarchy and therefore weaken the state itself. Maxon starts courting America after he kisses her during an attack on a rebel group. He later reveals that he’s in love with her, but she still feels conflicted about him because of Aspen. When another attack occurs at the palace, America realizes how much power she has now that she is one of six girls left in competition for Maxon’s heart. She decides to end things with Aspen so they can both move forward in their lives without any secrets between them anymore.
When America Singer receives a letter that she’s been chosen to compete in the Selection, her mother pushes for her to enter. Her mother sees it as an opportunity to make their lives better, but America thinks of it as something close to death because she has to give up so much in order to participate. The country of Illéa is made up of eight castes that determine people’s social standing. America and her family live in the fifth caste, which consists of artists and classical musicians who aren’t rich but are able to get by on national holidays when they sell their art.
In order to celebrate the prince’s birthday, every woman between 16 and 20 was invited to meet him. The kingdom would pay each family a sum of money for their participation in this event. In addition, the contest would be broadcasted on television so that America could see it. She didn’t want to watch because she thought it would be humiliating for her and her family if she were chosen as one of these women who married the prince.