I put off reading this book for a while due to some mixed reviews. I decided to give a try since the author is coming to town. I grabbed up the audio book from my local library and dove in. I was actually very pleased with the book. I enjoyed the story, the characters, and the writing style. The book is a quick paced read and it was very fun and enjoyable.
Long Story Short:
America Singer lives in a country that is divided by caste. A system in which a family and their generations are stuck in their roles in the society and give a number 1-8. Royalty is 1 and the bottom of the barrel is 8. America is a 5, she lives and works in the arts. She can play instruments and sing, her family range from sculptors to painters and this is how they make their living. She is happy, she is in love, but her love is with Aspen, a 6 and their relationship remains secret. It is frowned upon to date outside of your caste.
Prince Maxon is now of age? he will hold the tradition of The Selection to choose who he will marry. With coaxing, pleading, and bribing from those she loves, America signs up for The Selection and is chosen as one of the 35 women who will compete for Maxon?s affections and the crown.
American doesn?t want this life but for the money that will be given to her family she agrees. She finds herself living in a world that is out of her comfort zone. After meeting and getting to know Maxon and living the life she never had, she starts to wonder if this is a future she can endure.
I actually really liked this book. It did have some possible through provoking ideas placed in the story that I didn?t agree with, but I didn?t let those keep me from enjoying the book or change my thoughts about the book overall. I found myself smiling, giggling, and at times gasping throughout the book and to me that means it is my kind of book. I read simply for the enjoyment.I liked the characters. They all had their strengths and weaknesses, nowhere close to perfect, but that is what I loved about them. Maxon by far was my favorite. He was charming but with not so smooth moments. He really cared for his people and when he found he knew nothing about the way they lived, he attempted to do something about it. He respected others and he found the best in everyone. He didn?t want to just choose a wife, he wanted to choose the one he was would love and be happy with but also could respect and trust. I feel he tried to make the best out of every situation, including The Selection, even if he didn?t totally agree with the goings ons.
For most of the book I liked America. Not much on her name, but I dealt. For the most part, she is selfless, strong, and very independent. She cares for those around her very much. She has a bit of a temper and lets her assumptions get the best of her. She learns to play the role of a selected very well and I was amazed how well she fit in. To me she would fit the role of princess very well, especially after a little bit more growing and adjusting.
The one thing I didn?t like? the love triangle. I couldn?t hate either boy and that drives me insane. I felt for both although Aspen pretty much brought it upon himself. I do tend to love Maxon a bit more but I think that is mainly because I spent more time with him so I was more invested in his story. I also didn?t like the way America goes about the love triangle. I understood her frustration and feelings? I just can?t stand the fact she was she was so wishy washy. The love triangle makes sense in the story? I just didn?t like it.
I did, however, very much like the growing relationship between Maxon and America. No insta-love. Strangers, then friends, then feelings. It felt natural to me.The book was very fast paced. I was never bored and never felt the book drag. The narrator was very good and I felt the tone through her reading the way I imagined it should have been. The story wasn?t too original but wasn?t one that is way over done either. I felt invested from the beginning and can?t wait to read more.
In the End:
It was a very entertaining read. I will absolutely continue with the series.