I’ve seen a lot of mixed opinions on this book, as well as the series in general. I don’t quite understand the hate that this book gets. Before I even read it, I had the basic understanding that this was meant to be a light-hearted YA romance series that resembles The Bachelor. I was not expecting this book to be some super plot-driven, political, dystopian, etc. novel. The point of the series is the romance and that was why I read it. If you read this hoping for something else, I can see why you would not like it but I would also say that the book is not at fault for that nor is the author.
It’s been years since I read the Matched series by Ally Condie but this book reminded me of it. America and most of the other eligible ladies enter their names to be drawn for the Selection. 35 girls will get the honor of competing to be the one the prince chooses as his bride. While America has very different motives for entering, her name is chosen and she is sent off to the palace.
Here’s the thing: no one paid her much attention at first because she is only a 5. Yet, she seems to have drawn the attention of the prince. Prince Maxon is not what she expected either; he is a good person and is kinder to her than expected. He appreciates the fact that America is real and honest, not fake like so many people he’s around. The two form a strange bond as America struggles to figure herself out and Maxon struggles to find the woman to rule beside him.
The class system is rather unique. I can see why people might dislike it if they were expecting a complex historical and political background. While it is not incredibly realistic, I don’t think that matters. Again, this book’s main point was the romance. I’m not the hugest fan of America; she is rather childish at times. She is quick to be rude to poor Maxon and her actions towards the end made me so mad. I almost want to not root for her because of that (seeing as how the winner becomes queen.) However, she wasn’t completely horrible (I’ve seen much worse protagonists) so I’ll to watch over her journey in this competition.
I’ve honestly really enjoyed this series so far. Lately, I’ve mostly been reading fantasy so a dystopian romance was a nice change of pace. I’ll definitely be reading the rest of the books if they are as impressive as this first book was.