Emily fangirls over a book that’s almost a decade old


Illustration by Emily Brinkman.

On April 10, Epic Reads announced that Netflix has picked up “The Selection,” the young adult novel by Kiera Cass, for a movie adaptation. Although there is not a release date yet, fans of the novel are still very excited about this recent development. Haifaa Al-Mansour, director of  Netflix’s “Nappily Ever After,” is slated to direct the adaptation. 

“The Selection” is about a girl named America Singer who gets selected to compete against 35 girls for the heart of the Prince. The novel is set in a dystopian version of the United States, now called “Illea,” with a strict caste system in place. The book series has been described as a “Bachelor” and “Hunger Games” hybrid.

For years, there has been talk about a movie adaptation or even a television series. However, to the disappointment of fans, nothing has worked out in the end. Now, we finally have confirmation that not only a movie is definitely happening, but that there is already a director for it. Fans of the series are ecstatic for the new movie, including me.

Although I cannot wait for my favorite book to become a movie, I am a little nervous. Young adult novels that are turned into movies are usually a hit or a miss. For example, “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins was turned into a movie in 2012. As a “Hunger Games” fan, I absolutely loved the movie series. I would even say that I liked the movies a little bit more than the books! The directors of the movies accurately followed the books and the casts’ performances were all phenomenal.

However, the adaptations of Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” series were more of a miss. I really liked the books, even the controversial last one. The first “Divergent” movie was made well enough, but it did stray away from the source material. Details like Peter’s character and some of the simulations were changed in the movie. In the director’s defense, some details in books do not translate well to the screen, so it is okay to change things in that regard. However, the sequel, “Insurgent,” needlessly changed way too much. The changes instilled a fear among fans that the rest of the movies would not be faithful and inevitably lead to the franchise’s failure at the box office. 

Based on what happened with “Hunger Games” and “Divergent,” I think that “The Selection” will be a fantastic movie if the director sticks to the source material. America and Prince Maxon’s personalities and relationship are definitely what make this series stand out among other young adult novels. America is a very relatable character whose compassion and humor made me fall in love with her. Prince Maxon seems like a stereotypical snobbish prince at first, but as you and America get to know him, you realize how much of a sweetheart he is. I think that if the movie captures America and Maxon’s personalities and sticks with what happens in the book, the movie could be great.

Ultimately, as a long time fan of the series, I am so excited about a movie adaptation of the book.  Also, if you haven’t read the series yet, go read it immediately.