The Selection by Kiera Cass
The Selection series is probably one of the ones I see most online. Everyone seems to have read this series and whilst some rave about it and absolutely love it, others are less than impressed. So despite being very late to the party with this one, I am one of the ones who loved this book. The Selection follows America Singer as she is (kind of) forced into applying for 'the selection' - a competition where ladies all over the country are able to enter for a chance to win the Prince's hand in marriage. Not surprisingly, America gets chosen from the staged 'lottery' and has to leave her boyfriend and family at home in search of a new life.
The book has been compared many times to the Bachelor but in book-form and I can definitely see where this has come from. There are a large group of girls living in the palace, all vying for one man's attention, fighting each other for him (or his crown) along the way. Whilst the "sassy confident girl who stands up for herself against men" has become a bit of a cliche in YA lit, I still really enjoyed this character. Perhaps one of the first characters to start this trend, as this was first published in 2012. Another character I really liked was Maxon, the Prince everybody wanted. He seemed like somebody I personally would like to know and I can't wait to see where the story develops with regards to him. As for Aspen, America's home-town boyfriend, I really disliked him from the beginning. There was just something about his character that grinded on my gears and I couldn't wait to see the back of him which unfortunately for me, didn't happen as I'd hoped (no spoilers!)
I thought The Selection was a really fun read and I can't wait to carry on with the rest of the series. I would highly recommend this book if you like contemporaries as I see it as belonging to that genre more so than the dystopian genre it actually falls into.