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.
Right from the get go you realize that America Singer is not into the Selection. Actually she wants nothing to do with it and would be just as happy staying right where she is as a 5. Heck she would be happy being a 6 with Aspen. The Selection is just a silly competition that is for all the 2's and 3's to fight over. Maxon in her eyes is nothing more than a stiff and stuck up royal and really how far off can she be with him being royalty. When both her Mom and Aspen both talk her into entering for the selection it was hard not to get excited and kind of worry about where things were going. I knew she was going to be picked as one of the 35 so there was a lot of different emotions going on with the events that led up to that moment for me.
I really loved America as a character. There wasn't anything special about her really and in her world she was less than average but she had her own ideas and feelings. To her the world/caste you are from is not who you are and she kind of shows it. Being sent to live at the palace is almost too much for her. It's like being in a cage but as Maxon puts it "it's a pretty cage." Her first run in with Maxon is really where I fell in love with her when she kind of tells him off. It takes a lot of guts to say your mind in a place where you have been told to mind every word you say. I guess the fact that she refused to change who she was for anyone, even royalty was impressive.
Upon meeting our bachelor Maxon (we all see the resemblance to the t.v show The Bachelor) the book kind of took a turn for me. I had expected him to be as America seen him stiff and stuck up but he wasn't. He seemed more like a lost and lonely puppy to start. When America yells at him, he just tries his best to help her. Right then was when I myself to fall for him. He never seems to pressure any of the girls and his intentions and affection seem as pure as possible in the circumstances. At times I do feel that who he picks isn't his own choice though and that does irritate me but I guess when you are one of the most important people in the country you have to worry.
The romance in this book was what really got me hooked. It was as far from forced as I have ever seen. Things progressed at a normal speed and nothing was instant. The friendship that Maxon and America build is easy and feels so natural. I was exceedingly happy that she didn't just get there and fall head over heels for him and him with her. Every inch of me at times wanted to scream at them to just love each other but at the same time it was really a breath of fresh air to have a friendship and see the relationship build up.
The dystopian world that Kiera Cass has created also really caught my attention. There are caste in which each person is a part of. 1 being royalty and 8 being the homeless. This is how everyone sees each other, as numbers. To be honest it seem like a more honest version of how things are today. There are tiers in which people live or tax brackets. In this future it's just a far more defined bracket for each person and family. There is also no room for advancement really, unless you manage to marry up or become popular in what you do. I would have liked a little more depth in how the system worked but to be honest I think that is how the book remained an easy read, by staying away from heavy subjects.
If you haven't caught on yet, I LOVED this book. The story inside that gorgeous cover is in my opinion wonderfully written. There are so many moments that I love and I know this is going to be one of those books that I will go back and read. If you are a fan of dystopian novels or even reality elimination television shows you will fall for this book. This is a fun and girly book that will have you smiling and hoping that America makes it. I wish that book 2 was not so far away because honestly the wait for it will be torturous, especially if the cover is even half as stunning as the first!