The Selection by Kiera Cass
Set in a dystopian America, society is divided into a caste system where your lifetime occupation is determined at birth and few are privileged. The only opportunity for escape from the struggles they face on a daily basis is The Selection. A competition between 35 girls selected from each of the areas across America, to compete to win the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon and become a princess.
For most girls and their families, The Selection is a chance of a lifetime; but, for ironically, America Singer, being chosen among the Selected would be a nightmare. America doesn’t want the glittering gowns and priceless jewels. She would rather hope for a happy married life with her secret boyfriend Aspen, who is a caste below her and try not to get caught.
When America is selected and meets Prince Maxon, she learns that the plans she originally had might not be what she really wanted after all, and the life she always dreamed of might be lacking in compared to a future she is gradually beginning to imagine.
A Hunger Games meets The Bachelor; Kiera Cass set the stage perfectly for her trilogy. Hosting a strong female lead, two completely different males fighting for her heart, and a backdrop of political undercurrents and violence, The Selection is my top pick for YA in 2013.