Welcome to a new series! So many times, after reading a book I love, I’ll go on to furiously search online for similar books which I’ll (hopefully!) also love, so in this ‘Books like…’ series, I’ll be taking a popular book and giving you some suggestions on books you might also enjoy. First up in the series: The Selection by Kiera Cass.
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Beauty Queens is a sort of dystopic satire – it’s set in an exaggerated version of our world, ruled by the corporation, who encourage endless shopping! It’s a fantastic, hilarious book that’s great in its own right, but I’d really recommend it if you enjoyed The Selection. Beauty Queens follows a group of girls who are all set to compete in a pageant together, but while they’re flying to their destination, the plane crashes and they end up stranded on a desert island.
For the first little while, most of the girls assume they’re going to get rescued and taken straight to the pageant, so they take the time to practice their talents, go over interview questions, and work on their tans. As time goes on, they realise that treating each other as competitors isn’t going to work out so well if they want to survive.
This book has a great ‘girls in competition‘ theme that The Selection has, which is so fun to read about. It also has a great, diverse range of characters, which is something I loved about The Selection. In that book, all the girls come from very different backgrounds, whether that’s their caste, their family, or their nationality/ethnicity, and this book is the same. You really get to know each girl, which is something I really enjoyed in The Selection. The other great thing this book shares with The Selection is the great female friendships that develop! Oh, Marlee…
The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
This book was released recently and was often compared to The Selection, and suggested for people that loved that series. I think the comparisons between the stories aren’t as strong as they were made out to be over the release, but it definitely has some Selectioney vibes! The main similarity is the fact that all of these girls are living together in a grand house, and are taught things like upper class etiquette and style, which we get a lot of the in Selection. The reason I’d say the similarities were overplayed is that this isn’t the whole book, it’s just a part of it. Don’t let that stop you from reading it, I just was prepared for that to be the whole book so was surprised when there was so much more to it than that!
This has similar upper class/royalty vibes, with plenty of descriptions of outfits and dresses which sounds superficial but who cares I love it. It also has similar themes of female friendship and rivalry. The main friendships continue to develop throughout the book which I like, but the rivalry isn’t expanded upon too much and I hope we learn more about that character in the rest of the series! There are some really great scenes between the main character and her rival though – lines that make me want to shout ‘you go girl!’ and other things which I am far too white and British to be saying.
The setting has similar vibes too, as it’s set in a semi-fantasy world in that it’s a nonspecific historical time in terms of their technology and it has parallels to our own world. There’s also a fair amount of politics about different religions and ties with different countries, so if you like that political aspect of The Selection you’ll enjoy that!
The Winner’s Curse – Marie Rutkoski
Now, the plot of The Winner’s Curse is pretty different to the plot of The Selection, I’ll say that straight away. But the reason this is on my list is, again, because the setting gives me similar vibes. It’s set again in a nonspecific historical time that feels sort of medieval. Now I know The Selection had TVs, but there weren’t things like phones and the internet, and the whole royalty thing really gave it a historical feel, so I get the same kind of vibes from The Winner’s Curse. (Note to self: look up synonym for ‘vibes’ – or just think of a better way to express yourself.)
This series also has an upper class/royalty things going on, as our main character is the daughter of a general and lives on a large estate with plenty of servants. Well, slaves, actually, as the book is set ten years after the main character’s people have taken over Herran and enslaved its people. So this book also has plenty of politics if you enjoyed that part of The Selection, as there are obviously huge strains between the countries, and there’s plenty of strategy and tactical thinking in this one too if you’re ready for the next step up!
The Siren – Kiera Cass
If none of these are jumping out at you and you just want more of Kiera Cass’ writing – she does have another book! I’d preface this with a little note to bear in mind, which is that The Siren was originally self published, and was written before The Selection, and I do feel the writing is just not as good. It’s still an enjoyable story, but I don’t think it’s quite at the same level as The Selection series.
This is a pretty different story – it follows a girl who is chosen by the sea to become a siren, essentially working for the sea. She lives her life with the few other sirens, and that’s where I feel this book is similar to The Selection, as it has great female relationships and writes women really well. Each of the girls have their own strong, unique personalities, but they all accept each other and get along. They go through ups and downs together, each coping with their odd and difficult life in their own ways, and I really feel that the female characters are the strongest part of the book. Well worth checking out if you enjoyed that aspect of The Selection.
So – do you think you’ll be checking out any of these books? Do you have any of your own to recommend? Please let me know!