For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself--and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
OK, I've been warned. I read all the one-starred reviews first, and for a while they stopped me from getting the book. But look at that cover! Look at the synopsis! The premise!
For such a fan of girls vs girls America's Next Top Model meets The Hunger Games (that's an apt description for this book, minus the actual gory fighting), I simply wanted to read this book.
What I didn't know:
- there is a sequel, a trilogy maybe? or perhaps a saga for this book. I think one book will suffice, actually, unless the author has prepared something about the rebellion and prepare a special surprise regarding the Selection.
- there will be a Twilight kind of love triangle: I love him, but I like the other guy too. I don't know which one to choose, till the end of the book.
And yes, the book is juvenile. The banter is sometimes fun, sometimes not. But it is fun. The whole book is fun. The concept of 35 girls fighting for the crown or the prince (either one is the motivation, but the winner will get both) is fun.
What I like: the character is strong. The side characters are alright.
What I don't like: the names. America Singer? I keep thinking her name is Meredith when Aspen calls her Mer. Maxon? I'm sorry but it doesn't sound very gentlemanly to me. The semi-dystopian setting is unclear. The castes, the rules, they're explained in semi details and we don't get a proper background when it could've been one of the strongest assets of this book, and it can also provide a strong foundation if the rebellion is going to be one of the main topics of the second book. And then the love triangle. For such a strong willed character, she sure does not know who to pick and what to do. I'm betting that she'll end up with Maxon.
Overall, such a fun read in one sitting. If only, if only. 3.5 out of 5 stars.