I've recently developed a little bit of a crush on Kiera Cass, author of The Selection. I fell in love with her cover first, which features a redhead in a beautiful gown and this tagline: "35 girls. 1 crown. The competition of a lifetime." I adored it for about three months before I was able to save up the money to purchase the book, and it was worth every penny.
The Selection is dystopian meets The Bachelor meets the Queen Esther story*. A fun combination, right? It ended up being both frightening and indulgent. The book is about a girl named America; the only girl in the nation who doesn't want to be drafted into the reality show to win Prince Maxon's heart. But what if the opportunity provides her with a life and a purpose greater than she could've imagined? What if the royal family and the country need someone just like her?
Cass' world is compelling and deeply layered with the history and societal structure of her Illea (America's country). America is a girl you can genuinely like and root for. And both Aspen and Prince Maxon have dream-worthy qualities. I happen to be a Maxon girl myself--his desire to do the right thing and his treatment of America as a lady won my heart. Sure, America may have tons of chemistry with Aspen, but that respect Maxon has for her? It makes me swoon.
Okay, stopping. This post is about Kiera not her characters :)
After voraciously reading The Selection in one night, I hopped online to see when book two comes out. (It's a trilogy like most YAs). What I found was one of the most delightful author sites I've looked at. There aren't cutesy graphics or flashy extras, just one really fun lady. When I read her bio, my first thought was "She talks like me and Erynn, we could totally be BFF." She's also really cute. She has great musical taste. And she's down-to-earth and completely approachable.
Also, The Selection has been picked up as a CW pilot. How cool is that?
Kiera was in Winston-Salem last weekend for the Bookmarks Festival. I had planned to go, meet her, and get her to sign my book, but alas, my own writing goals got in the way, and I was majorly bummed. I do, however, plan to stalk . . . I mean, meet her sometime this fall. Even if I have to make a trip to Charleston in November for YAllfest. I'm not above it; that's how cool I think she is.
Suffice it to say that I could go on and on. Instead, I'll just link you to her website and let you decide :)
*Full disclosure: this is my own description. I have no idea whether Cass intended the Queen Esther allusions or whether I'm just reading them into the book.