Last Updated on June 25, 2023 by Louisa
I absolutely love a good dystopian YA novel and I was a huge fan of The Selection when it first came out in 2012.
Kiera Cass’s writing style is gripping and animatic, making it hard to put her books down, which is probably why I’m always on the lookout for other books like The Selection.
The futuristic view she has of society being defined by numbers, and each number is defined as a class, is something I can totally see happening one day.
On top of that, the love triangles, romances and coming-of-age components made this novel one of my all time favorite fantasy romance books.
The Selection is the futuristic Cinderella story of the 21st century. But Kiera Cass is not the only literary genius to dominate this genre.
In fact, there are a ton of epic dystopian novels about class and romance that are worthy of any bookshelf.
If you’re a fan of Kiera Cass’s work and you’re looking for books similar to The Selection, then read on to see my top recommendations.
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Quick Answer: Top 3 Books!
If you’re looking for books like The Selection series but you don’t have much time, don’t worry, here are my top three favs!
#1 Best Highly Acclaimed Novel
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
- Winner of the Good Reads Debut Author Award in 2015.
- Fast-paced, thriller and dystopian novel
- The story of a two-class society, and two fighters who must fight for their lives, their kings, and their love
#2 Best in Romance
The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
- Tells the story of a women who tries to marry the king so she can kill him and overthrow him, only to fall in love
- Goodreads Choice Awards semi-finalist for Young Adult Fantasy and Sci-Fi Category
- International bestselling author
Summary of The Selection
Before I go into the best books like The Selection series, let’s quickly recap the general story. Don’t worry, I won’t reveal any spoilers if you haven’t finished reading yet.
Set in a dystopian world where society is divided into numbers, and each number resembles a class, The Selection series is about a world divided and tantalizing love triangles thrown in for good measure.
Number 1, is the most elite class, of Kings, Queens, and those in power. The lowest class, number 8, are the workers – those who man the kitchens of the silver palace and work as servants.
For thirty-five girls, The Selection is the opportunity of a lifetime. But not for our main character, America Singer.
They have the chance to escape a life of low status and to be swept up into the world of ballgowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the hand of handsome Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, The Selection is her worst nightmare. It means she can no longer pursue her secret love with Aspen, a level below her, as well as leave her home.
Living in a palace that is always threatened with attack and marrying the crown is not what America wants.
But when she finally meets Prince Maxon, she starts to question what it is she truly wants.
Related Reading: The Best The Selection Quotes
Standalone Novels Similar to The Selection
If you love dystopian love books and fantasy romance stories, then you’ll love these stand alone books like The Selection.
1. Only Ever Yours – Louise O’Neil
Only Ever Yours is a dystopian novel set in a world where women are bred in schools and are raised to become companions for men.
Throughout their schooling, competition forms, and tensions run high. Not all women have the luxury to become companions after graduating.
The ones who don’t get picked, become chastities, a teacher at the institute, where their sole purpose is to raise and train other women – a life nobody wants, which is why the teachers are not very kind to the young girls.
As Fredia nears her graduation, tensions heat up, enemies are made, friendships are put on the line, and she is forced to fight for her future, even if it means betraying her best friend and the only person she has ever loved.
2. Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard
Red Queen is the New York Times bestselling novel by author Victoria Aveyard. It tells of how two classes, Silver and Red, divided society and rule it.
Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old girl, had no idea what her destiny held until fate intervened and she was forced to serve the Silvers.
As Mare discovers her powerful abilities which could disrupt the existing harmony, the Silvers keep her identity hidden from the outside world and label her as a long-lost Silver princess engaged to a Silver prince.
In response to Silver’s injustice, Mare decides to help the Red Guard in their militant resistance against them.
Now she finds herself stuck between two kings who wish to control her powers and a looming battle with no clear winner in sight.
Follow Mare on this journey as she discovers who she truly is and which path she should take.
It was also the winner of the Good Reads Debut Author Award in 2015.
Related Reading: Books Like Red Queen
3. The Cruel Prince – Holly Black
The Cruel Prince is a breathtaking modern fairytale from another dystopian world. Jude (and her twin Taryn) are both human, but their older sister, half-fairy Vivi, is not.
When their mother discovered that she was pregnant with Vivi, she fled to the human world. However, their small family could not remain hidden for long.
Many fey despises humans. Especially the High King’s youngest and most evil son, Prince Cardan.
As Jude becomes more involved in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her capacity. But, as betrayal threatens, Jude is forced to put her life in jeopardy to save her sisters and Faerie itself.
Jude and Taryn immerse themselves in this wondrous and terrifying world, finding their place among the creative, beasts and beauties, miseries, and fears.
4. Divergent – Veronica Roth
Veronica Roth’s dystopian world set in Chicago has similar themes to The Selection as it centers around categorizing people based o their personality traits. In this case, each personality is defined as Abnegation, Candor, Erudite, Dauntless, and Amity.
Every year, all sixteen-year-olds must choose a faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives.
Beatrice must choose between remaining with her family and being herself, but she cannot have it both ways.
As a result, she renames herself Tris and struggles with her fellow teen girls to live out their decision.
They must all work together to survive physical and mental assessments, some of which have disastrous outcomes.
Tris must determine who her true friends are as the onset changes them all. As exposed to turmoil and growing dispute that threatens to destabilize her seemingly peaceful world, she realizes that her secret may create a do-or-die situation.
Divergent was also made into a blockbuster movie.
Related Reading: Books Like Divergent and The Hunger Games
5. Cinder – Marissa Meyer
Cinder is a futuristic novel similar to The Selection, that can be best described as Cinderella meets Star Wars.
Set in New Beijing’s strident streets, which are teeming with humans and androids.
The world has been affected by a deadly plague that kills in a matter of days, and it has become painfully clear that Earth’s only hope for a cure is an alliance with the evil Lunar Queen – Cinder, a cyborg.
Cinder holds a mysterious past, hated and held responsible for her stepsister’s illness.
As her life encounters a handsome Prince Kai, she tussles between an intergalactic fight and a secret attraction.
Apprehended by duty versus freedom, loyalty versus betrayal, she must unearth the mystery in this middle ground to save the world.
6. Delirium – Lauren Oliver
Delirium by Lauren Oliver is an intriguing young adult novel set in a dystopian society.
In this world, love is a fatal disease and all citizens must take a cure at the age of eighteen.
Despite being willing to accept the cure, Lena, who lives in Portland, has her views challenged after she meets Alex from the wilds; an area for those who are hesitant to take the cure.
This encounter throws her into a state of confusion as she begins to ponder whether or not it is possible to have love and companionship without risking her own life.
Will Lena find a way to survive while still allowing herself to experience true love? Follow her journey as she discovers how far she will go for love and happiness in this captivating story.
7. Cinderella Is Dead – Kalynn Bayron
Cinderella’s fairytale, but with a twist. The author reimagines the classic tale with young girls who are now supposed to attend the Annual Ball, where the men of the empire choose spouses based on the elegance displayed by the girls.
If a suitable match cannot be found, the girls who were not chosen go unnoticed.
Sophia, sixteen, would rather marry Erin, her childhood friend than be placed on a show for suitors.
Sophia flees the ball in desperation and ends up hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum.
Constance, Cinderella’s last known descendant, meets her there.
They vow to depose the king once and for all and discover that there’s more to the fairytale than they ever imagined. A story that would make you reconsider fitting in a man’s desired shoe.
8. Numbers Game – Rebecca Rode
Treena is terrified of Rating Day, where people are judged based on their intelligence, activities, and nearly everything they do.
A single number will forever distinguish her as a vital citizen or a pitiful waste. Her high-scoring boyfriend is confident they will attend the academy together.
When the big day arrives, everyone is surprised by her true number.
Now, to reclaim her life and boyfriend, she must go incognito to expose a military spy.
Then there’s Vance, the mysterious soldier with a dark past and stunning brown eyes. They uncover a dark numbers conspiracy that threatens the future.
Treena needs Vance’s help to survive the perilous game of numbers—and the terrible war within her. Numbers Game is a dystopian book with a lot of action and a gripping plot.
If you think this book sounds enticing, then you might also like these books like Darkest Minds.
Book Series Similar to The Selection
If one book isn’t enough, I hear you! For those looking for a book series similar to The Selection, you will love these recommendations!
9. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games is possibly one of the most well-known dystopian novels similar to The Selection.
Like The Selection, The Hunger Games series has a numbered society, where each number has a different class, from the wealthiest district such as District 1 to the poorest district, District 12.
The twelve outlying districts serve The Capitol, the wealthiest of all districts.
To ensure each district knows its place, each year one boy and one girl from each district must compete in The Hunger Games – a battle to the death with one sole victor, who earns a lifetime of food and riches for their family.
The three-novel series follows the main character, Katniss Everdeen, a teenager from District 12, from her first battle in the Hunger Games in the first book to a much bigger battle in books 2 and 3.
If you haven’t read The Hunger Games books, and only watched the films, make sure you read the books as there is a ton more information in them.
10. Xvi – Julia Karr
Nina is 15 years old and like other girls, will get a Governing Council-ordered tattoo on her 16th birthday.
Those three letters will signal to the entire world including the most predatory men – that she is ready for intimacy.
Nina’s normal life is shattered by a single brutal strike, and she realizes that nothing she thought she knew about her life is true.
But there is one boy who can help her.
Nina must try to figure out who she is while staying one step ahead of her mother’s assassin.
Despite the line between attraction and danger is a thin line, one thing is certain – Nina’s sixteenth birthday isn’t going to be a walk in the park.
11. Chains Of Gold – Nancy Springer
After his marriage to Lady Cerilla is consummated, Arlen, the Summerking, will be sacrificed.
Cerilla, the sheltered, castle-bound heroine of this moving fantasy book is determined to avoid this bloody fate.
Arlen’s devoted comrade, Lonn, takes Arlen’s place so that the lovers can flee, but their joy quickly turns to despair as they are undertaken by both their persuers and the paranormal.
Chains of Gold is about finding your chosen journey and staying faithful to yourself, as it displays the greatest context of compromise. It’s like Romeo and Juliet meets The Selection.
12. Serpent & Dove – Shelby Mahurin
Louise le Blanc ran away from her coven two years ago, seeking refuge in Cesarine, abandoning all magic and subsisting on whatever she could steal.
Lou is a witch, and she is hiding from her mother, along with her best friend. Her mother wanted to use her for the good of humanity, to put an end to the war between witches and the Church, and to unite the untied kingdom.
However, they are pursued and also set on fire.
Reid Diggory, a Chasseur, who has sworn allegiance to the Church, falls into a cruel trick leading to an impossible union—holy matrimony.
The conflict will result in a tragedy worse than fire as Lou tussles between her growing feelings and learns more about who she is.
13. The Shadows Between Us – Tricia Levenseller
The Shadows Between Us is a fantasy romance novel with a dark twist. It follows Alessandra, who is fed up with being neglected.
Kallias is the freshly proclaimed Shadow King, and he is Alessandra’s way out of the perpetual shadow cast by her sister, as well as her path to power.
Alessandra arrives at the glittering Court with only one goal in mind: to draw the king’s attention, marry him, and then murder him. But, she cannot let him be slain until they marry.
As assassination attempts are made, she finds herself attempting to ensure the king, and herself, stay alive long enough to make her his next queen, all while trying not to fall in love.
Eventually, they both grow more devoted, and considerate and their romance makes them both stronger.
14. Girls Of Paper And Fire – Natasha Ngan
This year marks the ninth year – Lei’s year. She’s not made of paper, either; she’s made of fire. Lei is a member of Ikhara’s lowest and most loathed human class.
Every year in this mythical land, the ruthless and tyrannical Demon King selects eight young females as Paper Girls to serve the monarch.
She is tormented by the ten-year trauma of witnessing her mother’s kidnapping by royal soldiers who have again returned, this time hunting for Lei.
Her fabled beauty has piqued the king’s interest. She falls in love with another concubine.
Her unrelenting and desperate descent gets entangled with an explosive conspiracy that threatens her society’s basic way of existence.
Lei must now decide how far she will travel for justice and vengeance. This is a love triangle story with relatable different characters and a gripping storyline.
15. The Belles – Dhonielle Clayton
Belles are loved in the affluent realm of Orléans because they oversee beauty and utilize their abilities to alter the people.
Being a Belle, however, isn’t enough for Camellia Beauregard.
She hopes to be the favorite chosen by the Queen of Orléans to dwell, serve in the royal palace, and be renowned as the nation’s most competent Belle.
But it soon becomes clear that being the favorite isn’t what she expected.
Dark secrets exist behind the gleaming palace walls, and Camellia’s abilities are even more dangerous.
And when the queen asks Camellia to put her own life at risk to help the sick princess, she is forced to make a difficult decision: save herself, her sisters, and the Belles’ way of life, or resuscitate the princess.
16. Wither – Lauren Destefano
Another great book like The Selection is Wither. It follows Rhine Ellery who has four years remaining before she turns sixteen.
This genetic time bomb links to contemporary research, which states that all men have a life expectancy of 25 years and all women have a life expectancy of 20 years.
Geneticists are on the hunt for a miracle cure to rescue the human race. Rhine swears to flee after she is sold as a bride.
Linden, her spouse, adores her and brings her into a brilliant new world of deception. But, Rhine quickly finds the truth.
Rhine is frantically trying to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive.
Right before her sixteenth birthday, she attempts to leave with the assistance of one of Linden’s slaves, Gabriel. Is there any possibility of freedom over anarchy?
17. Song of Blood & Stone – L. Penelope
Jasminda is an outcast in her homeland where her Earthsong ability is dreaded.
When a cruel army seeks refuge in her kingdom, they bring with them a captive – a wounded spy, named Jack, who threatens to steal her love.
The peace between the two kingdoms, Elsira and Lagrimar, is about to disintegrate and nearly kill Jack, but he is spared by the healing song of a mysterious young woman.
He must now protect the kingdom of Elsira but he cannot do it without Jasminda’s Earthsong.
As an ancient evil rises in power, Jasminda tries to solve a riddle that holds the key to redemption. To meet their destinies and end the fight, Jasminda and Jack must choose between affection and responsibility.
18. Princess Academy – Shannon Hale
Miri is an adolescent who lives in a small, modest mountain town where everyone makes a livelihood by quarrying a beautiful marble rock.
Then word comes that the king’s priests have chosen her little hamlet as the future princess’s home.
The prince will visit in a year and choose his wife from among the local ladies.
The king’s ministers built an academy atop the mountain, and every adolescent girl was compelled to learn how to become a princess.
Miri gets tested by a strict schoolmistress and a heated rivalry is formed among the girls. Miri must battle against her conflicting desire to be chosen and gain the adoration of her childhood best friend.
However, when criminals target the institution to seize the future princess, Miri must use a unique power to defend herself.
19. Sky In The Deep – Adrienne Young
Sky In The Deep is another book like The Selection with themes of family, togetherness, battles, and loyalty.
It follows the story of an ancient blood rivalry that has fostered hatred in Riki and Aska, yet their fates are entwined.
During a battle, Eelyn discovers her brother, Iri, who was supposed to be dead, fighting with Riki.
Later, she is kidnapped and held as a slave by Riki’s family to protect her long enough to run away.
Even though Eelyn was designed to murder Riki, the more time she spends with them, the more she learns they aren’t so different.
Then there’s the dreadful foe that appears at night and pours oceans of blood, who must be fought before both Riki and Aska perish.
Eelyn must confront her sense of loyalty and understand her true feelings in order to save her clan.
20. The Maze Runner – James Dashner
The Maze Runner is a series of books like The Selection series that tells of teenagers thirst for survival and dramatic means of escaping a place of confinement.
These dystopian books are set in a distant future, where a group of teenagers are kidnapped from society and wake up inside a giant, stone maze.
It follows the story of Thomas, a teenager who finds himself in the maze. When Thomas wakes up, his memories have been wiped, and he has no idea how he got there.
Others have already been in the maze, and are desperately searching for an exit. But it’s not easy, because the maze is only open for a short period each day. If you don’t get back to the base before the maze closes, you are never seen again.
Every time they enter the maze, they are met with new dangers, and new threats, but are they closer to finding the exit?
If you’ve already read The Maze Runner, then you might like these other books like it.
21. The Crown’s Game – Evelyn Skye
The Crown’s Game is another series of books like The Selection that deserves a place on this list.
It follows two enchanters from Russia – Vika Andreyeva, who has the special ability to summon the snow and turn ash into gold, and Nikolai Karimov who can see through walls and make bridges form out of thin air.
With the Tsar threatened by the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs, they need powerful enchanters to help them defeat their enemies.
And so begins the Crown’s Game. An ancient game where those with magical skills must duel. The victor wins the chance to become the Imperial Enchanter, but the defeated are sentenced to death.
Vika is eager to showcase her skill, but can she kill another enchanter? Especially when Nikolai’s enchanting isn’t just of magic, but of seduction.
But for Nikolai, the Crown’s Game isn’t just a chance of a lifetime, but a chance to make something of himself. Only his opponent is a beautiful, smart, and imaginative enchanter that he can’t stop thinking about, and his thoughts are not on the battle.
Only Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and future king, has also taken a liking to Vika. Now this dangerous game has turned into a dangerous love triangle. Can there be a happy ending, when it’s kill or be killed against the one you love?
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Final Thoughts on The Best Books Similar to The Selection
So there you have it, our top recommendations for books similar to The Selection from standalone novels to a full book series.
For all The Selection fans out there, I hope that you manage to find something that suits your fancy from this list.
Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments.