So I had to pick a book for my copy cat challenge, and I just had to re-read (or should I say re-re-read :P) this book. And I decided it was high time I wrote a review for this book (and if I am re-reading this whole series I will also write a review for the second book).
Oh boy, I wouldn’t mind participating in a Selection like this one. Win a prince/cute guy? Well, maybe not now that I have found my own prince already, but back when I was 16? Sure, where do I sign up?
And this was just such a fun read, I sped through it and I am kind of bothered that I seem to have lost the second book. Now it is hoping that one of my libraries has the second book in English (as I refuse to read it in Dutch).
America, I had to get used to her again, her attitude was at times a bit too much for me, but eventually I couldn’t help but to love the girl. I just loved how, unlike a lot of other girls, she stayed herself. She kicks some serious butt, and she isn’t afraid to open her mouth and tell her opinion. Bonus points to how she treats her maids. Whereas most of the contestants probably saw them as servants, she saw them as more than that, even saving their lives when it was needed.
I would have liked to see her sing and see the reactions of the girls/Maxon to that.
Even her dates with Maxon were different from the other girls. Whereas the others got dates to the cinema or (shivers) hunting, America’s times with Maxon got filled with talking, enjoying each other’s company, giving advice, and just sweet little moments. I know that it may have to do with what America said at the beginning, but I also feel that there is something more to it than that.
Maxon? I just love the guy, how underneath his stiff princey looks he was actually really sweet, open, kind, friendly, and I love how he treated all the girls in the competition. With respect, with kindness, even if there was no immediate spark he tried to go on a date with them, or talk to them to see if there may be something.
Plus how he treated America, made sure she was comfortable, gave her time to think things over, listened to her. Ah, he was just the best.
Marlee is my second favourite girl. She is sweet, caring, kind, honest. I would like to know more about her and her life before the Selection. Since I read the next books in this series I know that she will be going through some hardships soon, the hints were also around in this book.
The story was just the best, we see how the Selection goes (food, lessons, tv-shows, the whole course), how girls are going home (either by choice (homesickness) or because they weren’t the one Maxon was looking for). We see the going-ons in the palace. I just could imagine walking there, wearing a gorgeous dress (aahhhh the dresses, the other reason why I wouldn’t mind participating in the Selection), and going on a fun date with Maxon!
Then there are the rebels, and boy, I did like that it was added. While I would be OK with a supersweet sugary romance fest, this gave it something extra and made the story more exciting. Of course, also more sad given that there were causalities and it made girls leave to go to a safer home (well, it seems outside is also not safe, but you get the idea).
The castes? I am still unhappy that someone thought up those castes. Yes, life is good if you are a 2 to 4, but anything lower than that, and you will have to work very very hard to get everything right. And even then you will still experience hunger. Some don’t even have anything any more. Not to mention the silly thing that things like birth-control are not distributed among the poorer people. 🙁
Oh, and of course the fact that each caste has their own jobs, and that they will need to do those. Like for Caste 5: artists/musicians, America’s poor brother would rather do something totally different but has to be forced to find something that is artisty/musically to earn money. 😐
So I am really happy with what Maxon planned/made in this book. I am sure that plan will help a lot of people. Crossing fingers people will actually donate/help.
The only thing I didn’t like, or well… I have two things that I didn’t like but this one definitely wins and made me unhappy, the love triangle. Aspen x America x Maxon. Of course at first I was all happy with Aspen x America in the beginning, but HE BROKE UP with her before she went to the Selection. So he has no right to do what he did when we meet him again. Sorry, but America was finally getting over him (even if she may deny it fully), and was getting cosy with Maxon (again she will probably deny this). Then he waltzes in and it is like America just forgot all the pain he caused her and doesn’t seem to get that by doing what she did she is causes a lot of pain and unhappiness (plus breaking the rules). I am of course happy with her decision at the end (though it feels like a cop-out), but I still was pissed as I know that this will come to haunt her very soon.
Celeste was the second thing I didn’t like. I definitely didn’t like how the girl just stayed in the Selection regardless of what crap she pulled. She did so many harmful things, yet it seemed like no one cared.
Plus points to the fabulous cover which is giving me a serious case of dress envy! 😛
All in all, this is a wonderful book, and I just loved it oh so much! I could probably continue on and on about this book for days. 😛 I would highly recommend this book to everyone.
So more of my favourite quotes:
“I hit your thigh!”
“Oh, please. A man doesn’t need that long to recover from a knee to the thigh.”
“Do you think, that I could still call you ‘my dear’?”
“Marlee, what are you doing? Get under a tent before you burn your skin.”
She gave me a polite smile. “I’m happy here.”
“No, really,” I said, putting a hand around her arm. “You’ll look like my hair.”
“Prince Maxon surveyed the room and found me. Our eyes met for a moment, and he smiled.”