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The book I chose to read for book talk is called “The Selection”. It’s an extremely popular book, having sold over three million five hundred thousand copies worldwide. Here’s some more information about the book I read in the form of a summary.
This story takes place in Illéa, located in North America with 35 provinces, where a competition known as The Selection takes place. The competition features 35 girls, each one from a different province. The 35 girls compete for Prince Maxon’s heart, and the winner of the competition becomes the wife of the beloved Prince, and henceforth the queen of Illéa. However, this country is problematic, because of the caste system. The caste system depends on how much money you earn, as well as your occupation. The castes start at 1, being the highest (royalty) and end at 8 (homeless people & beggars). Our protagonist; low-caste America Singer, whose family is poor and desperate for money, was selected to take part in the competition. Because of the competition, America has to leave her family to live in a palace; and abandon Aspen- her boyfriend who she has been dating in secret for 2 years. Aspen; who is a caste below America, convinces her to sign up for the competition, sacrificing his love for her in the process (in hopes that she can have a chance at living a better life). Due to America’s low caste, the king discriminates against her, despite Maxon favouring her over the other competitors. America is trapped in a seemingly endless love triangle, where her love for Maxon is no greater than her love for Aspen.
Moving on, the reasons I like this book is because of the point of view and symbolism. To begin with, this book is narrated by America; in first person. The quote, “But still, it was mine. I didn’t think I could sacrifice my dreams, no matter how much my family meant to me,” shows that it’s narrated in first person because it includes the words “mine, I, and my”. I like how it is narrated by America because of her interesting character; she’s young, naive, stubborn, and quite sassy. Plus; the way America narrates the story lets the reader experience and feel as if they were in the story themselves; which engages our emotions (especially if you get absorbed into books).
Next, I’d like to talk about the symbolism in this story. One example of symbolism in this story is America’s jar of pennies. America states, “When I sang, Aspen loved it. From time to time, when he had anything at all, he’d give me a penny to pay for my song. Having these pennies were like a reminder of everything Aspen was willing to do for me, of everything I meant to him.” This jar of pennies reminds America of everything Aspen was willing to do for her. When they broke up, America gave the pennies back to Aspen. However, one of the pennies get stuck in the jar, but America takes the jar with her to the palace. The fact that America takes the jar with her- demonstrates how she can’t quite get over Aspen, who she undoubtedly still has feelings for. Whether it’s the point of view or the symbolism in the story, undeniably, the story is very interesting.
And finally, I’ll talk about the design process for my book cover. On my book cover, we see America standing in the garden of the palace. The reason the background is more noticeable than the foreground is because everyone else is happy, but America isn’t. America doesn’t want to become a princess, and she misses Aspen so dearly, that she ran out into the garden on the first night of the competition. Moreover, the brick wall represents how America feels like an outcast, because of how different her life was before this competition. So, this concludes my presentation, thank you for listening!
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