If You Love The Bachelor, Here Is The Book You Should Read

Since its first season in 2002, "The Bachelor" has evolved into an unrivaled reality franchise — it's not quite the MCU, but it's getting there (minus the aliens, of course). With several spin-off series like the campy "Bachelor in Paradise," the franchise truly has a monopoly on reality romance. It's even expanded around the world, with "The Bachelor" leads handing out roses everywhere from Vietnam to Sweden, per Insider.

The concept? One lead dates approximately 25 contestants, each hoping to leave the show engaged (or at least with a social media endorsement deal). The Bachelor or Bachelorette eliminates options over the course of 9 weeks and a series of one-on-one and group dates. The ultimate goal is true love, of course. But a little drama doesn't hurt — it's an added bonus when one of the contestants is labeled the season's "villain" or another is suspected of being "there for the wrong reasons."

Throughout the course of its decades on air and multiple spin-offs, the franchise hasn't resulted in many successful couples. Engagements have a habit of ending after just a few months. However, "The Bachelor" has changed the way we talk about romance — finding love is "a journey," couples say they're "falling in love," and "hometowns" are code for meeting the parents (via Refinery29). While you're waiting for the franchise's next lead, Zach Shallcross, to begin his journey, a bachelor-esque novel might help you satisfy that romance itch.

The Selection combines reality TV and fantasy

"The Selection" is the first book in a five-part series by best-selling author Kiera Cass (via Goodreads). Fans of "The Bachelor" might recognize the premise: 35 women compete for the affection of one man. However, "The Selection" is set in a fantasy world — so, rather than vying for the attention of a former football player or a midwestern mamma's boy, contestants hope to win the heart of the handsome Prince Maxon and consequently, a crown. "The Selection" gives these women an opportunity to escape the steadfast social stations within their world, living in a beautiful palace — rather than an overcrowded LA mansion — along the way. Like contestants on "The Bachelor," competitors are forced to follow a series of specific rules.

Unlike the other women, America Singer is less-than-thrilled to be competing for Prince Maxon's heart. She's really in love with Aspen, a boy back home from a lower social class. However, the more America gets to know the handsome royal, the more conflicted she feels, according to the author's website. In the end, which life will she choose?

Fans of "The Selection" will be curious to see how America's journey continues in the four sequels. Much like "The Bachelor," the story doesn't end at the final rose — or, in this case, the final crown.

The Bachelor often results in heartbreak

Over the course of its 20-year run, "The Bachelor" franchise has resulted in dozens of engagements (and counting), per Brides. However of those many happy couples — and ridiculously expensive diamond rings — only a select few are still together. As former Bachelorette Becca Kufrin jokingly commented in 2019, "I will say there is a ring graveyard. They get to keep them all locked away, hidden from everyone — all the scorned rings," StyleCaster reported.

As noted by Huff Post, "The Bachelor" has a 16% success rate while "The Bachelorette," which has been running since 2003, comes in at 33%. According to Bachelor franchise data tracker Suzana Summers, "If we look at 'The Bachelor,' for example, there are only two seasons right now where the final guy is with the final girl that he originally chose."

The franchise is no stranger to controversy. As explained by Huff Post, it's been criticized for its lack of diversity — the show's first lead of color, Rachel Lindsay, wasn't cast until 2017. Since then, a not-insignificant number of contestants have been outed for their problematic pasts, the most recent being "The Bachelorette" season 19 winner, Erich Schwer (via Us Weekly). Ultimately, as former contestant Jubilee Sharpe told BuzzFeed News, the show "speaks to who America is in probably one of the realest ways ever." However, "people don't realize it."