Oh man, it’s JULY. I feel a weird mix of “I can’t believe we’re halfway through the year” and “March was 5 years ago.” ? Anyone else feel that way?! Honestly, if I knew what June had in store for us, I might have picked something a little more substantial than a silly young adult novel for my June Book Club pick… that being said, we could all use a little fluff in our lives, right? Don’t worry, July’s pick is definitely more timely and important. I’ll talk more about why I picked “I’m Still Here: Black Dignity In A World Made For Whiteness” by Austin Channing Brown for July below, but let’s talk about the fluff first…
About “The Selection”
The Selection takes place in a dystopian future with a monarchy and caste system that essentially separates the people into different classes. The book begins with our lead, America. She is being encouraged to apply for The Selection, where 35 girls from varying castes are chosen to compete to marry the Prince and ultimately become Queen. Do you understand why I kept saying it’s like Hunger Games meets The Bachelor on my stories?!
America doesn’t want to apply, but after her Mom bribes her AND her secret love, Aspen, encourages her to do it so she doesn’t have any regrets. She agrees, assuming there’s no way she will be picked. Of course, I’m sure you’ve already guessed that she DOES get picked. (DUH, it’s a YA novel!) And since Aspen has also decided to break up with her, there’s no reason to back out. Especially since she is from a low caste, and her struggling family will get much needed money in exchange for her participation.
The first night at the castle, she accidentally meets Prince Maxon and admits to him that she shouldn’t be there. She’s heartbroken and her only motivation is to help her family – not to win his affection. Struck by her honesty, he agrees to let her stay in exchange for her continued honesty and friendship. Over time, the two create a special bond… and then her ex, Aspen arrives at the castle as a guard. Who does her heart belong to? How do the other girls affect her feelings? And will her low caste always hold her back from belonging in this high class world anyway? Is this world even what she wants?
Needless to say, I devoured the first 3 books in the series in just over 2 weeks – that’s how addicting they are!
I didn’t continue with the series because after George Floyd’s death, it felt important to pause and read books about race and anti-racism. But I’m sure I’ll come back to them! Apparently the last 2 books are about America’s daughter… I’m intrigued!
The Selection book club questions
I’d love to hear your thoughts in my Lake Shore Lady Community Group on Facebook!
Are you Team Maxon or Team Aspen? Why?
What do you think about the caste system? Do you think the King and Queen are good leaders?
What do you think about The Selection process?
Why do you think the rebels keep attacking? What do you think they want?
Have you ever had trouble letting go of an ex?
Who do you think is the best fit for Maxon?
my book club pick for july
As I mentioned above, July’s book club pick is “I’m Still Here: Black Dignity In A World Made For Whiteness” by Austin Channing Brown. I was looking for a book that talked about the Black experience in America to go with Me and White Supremacy, and I kept seeing that this was one of Reese’s Book Club picks for July. Then, after LOVING Austin’s episode on Brene Brown’s podcast, I downloaded her book immediately.
I’m SO glad the signs kept pointing me to it, because it’s amazing. Her storytelling really draws you in and helps you understand a lot of nuances of being a Black woman that I never really thought of before as a white woman. I am learning so much and I think pretty much everyone could benefit from hearing her perspective. If you aren’t reading on your kindle or listening to the audiobook, I’d recommend ordering it from Semicolon to support a local Black owned business, too! Who’s in?!