by Kiera Cass
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 the palace and compete for the heart of the 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.
Expectations: Beautiful cover! Not the first to say that I know. Having read a few of the reviews, there seemed a lot of negative ones; people who thought the story was trite and uninspired. So I didn't have high hopes going into this read.
Well, not as bad as I was expecting. It kept me interested and turning the page; I really wanted to find out what was going to happen in the competition. I think I like seeing (imagined) behind the scenes of a reality show. Though I don't like watching them (but I'll be honest, except for America's Next Top Model- guilty pleasure), I find it fascinating to imagine what being on the inside of such craziness must be like. And also characters in competition hold my interest, especially if I'm rooting for the main character, and the main character has the edge due to character or talent or both. The love triangle at the heart of this story is a little one-sided I felt, because we got to see Maxon and America bonding, but the backstory behind America and Aspen's relationship was not very developed nor did I see what they really had in common. (They see each other and feel that instant attraction! Enough said!) At least with Maxon, you know why he was intrigued by her, what he wants from a relationship and his intelligence and how sweet is his awkwardness around women? So just because I have only the first book to judge; you might already guess what team I'm on!
So although the story didn't take the premise or the characters to new heights of literary creation, I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it was a light and entertaining read. I only wished there was more of a concrete ending. For that was my only real disappointment - we don't get an ending to the actual Selection process! I didn't figure the love triangle would be resolved, but I wanted a certain β-itchy contestant to get her comeuppance and get kicked out! Some resolution in that form would have made me extremely happy. Oh well, that's how they make you pick up the next in the series!