eARC, 323 pages.
Published by HarperTeen
Publication Date: April 23, 2013
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Synopsis: Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.
America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.
Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.
This book was filled with a lot of drama...I mean a lot of drama. There were certain instances where I just had to put the book down and walk away from it because it was painful to read. I ship Maxon and America, but I would not hold against her if she choose Aspen, but in general throughout this entire book I was like "She doesn't deserve either of you! You two should just get together and leave her for the Southerners." I think that America's feelings for both of these guys are too wishy-washy and change at the drop of a hat.
1) All the details given about Maxon's family, the palace staff, and even the history of Iléa was very interesting. I felt that I gained more of an understanding of the world that Cass has created.
2) I absolutely love Marlee, I think that she is a very strong, and interesting character and after finding more about her secrets just made me like her even more.
3) Maxon continues to attract me, he's a character that is definitely more than meets the eye. He's not just a naive, innocent, inexperienced boy. He has a lot of depth while Aspen is a flat character in comparison. Also, no matter what crazy, irrational, hurtful, and stupid thing that America does, Maxon stands by her without judgement.
1) How easily America saw fault in Maxon, he didn't do anything or gave her any reason to believe that he would do anything that would hurt her in any way, and yet she judged him so harshly while she was the one playing with his emotions and seeing her ex-boyfriend behind his back.
2) The hierarchy in this novel doesn't make any sense, it seems like there are enough rebels that could easily take out the palace, and if the palace is that weak in comparison to the peasants, how does King Clarkson maintain any type of control over Iléa. On a side note, it's called a moat, a lot of palaces had this for one sole purpose, security. King Clarkson should look into it.
3) I book sums up the very reason I hate love triangles, the main character's feelings always seem like a big joke. I mentioned this before, but the constant back and forth between Maxon and Aspen, makes it hard to believe that America loves either of them. I believe that she has strong feelings for both of them, but her actions are not that of someone who loves either of these men.
Favorite Quotes/Moments (SPOILER ALERT):
1) "'I've seen the world--admittedly mostly through bulletproof glass or from the tower of some ancient castle--but I've seen it. And I have access to the answers of a thousand questions at my disposal. But this small hand here?' He looked deeply into my eyes. 'This hand makes sounds incomparable to anything I've ever heard. Sometimes I think I only dreamed that I heard you play the violin, it was so beautiful. These calluses are proof that it was real.'"
2) "Darling? The word, so tender and personal, enveloped me. In that moment, any desire I had to fight my feelings for Maxon disappeared. I wanted to be his dear, his darling. I wanted to be Maxon's alone"
3) "'Mer, do you think I'm smart?'
'That's because I am. And I'm way too smart to be in love with a stupid girl. So you can drop that right now.'"
4) "I can't read you anymore. I used to be able to see it in the beginning when you didn't really care for me; and when things changed between us, you looked at me differently. Now there are moments when I think it's there and others when it seems like you're already gone. I'm not asking you to say you love me. I'm not asking you to suddenly decide you want to be a princess. I just need you to know if you want to be here at all."
5) "Sometimes I feel like Maxon and I are in our own version of the Selection. It's just him and me, and one of us will get you in the end; and I can't decide who's worse off. Maxon doesn't exactly know we're competing, so he might not be able to try as hard. But then I have to hide, so it's not like I can give you everything he can. It's not really a fair fight either way."