Rating: 2 Stars
Synopsis via Goodreads:
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
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.
My one reaction to this whole novel:
The first thing I understood before I picked up this novel is that it has been said it is a mash-up of The Bachelor and The Hunger Games.
The sad part? It’s totally correct.
Now, you’re probably going, “Hannah, if it’s like The Hunger Games, what can be so bad about it?”
Well, I’ll tell you, me-talking-in-third-person.
I’m a fan of both, actually. Yes, I do watch The Bachelor and The Bachelorette; one of the very, very few TV shows I do watch. And, of course, I’m a fan of The Hunger Games.
I wasn’t even a chapter into the book, when I began to ask myself how in all heaven and hell Kiera Cass hasn’t been sued by Suzanne Collins’ lawyers. Because it is practically a cut-and-dried-copy of the beginning of The Hunger Games.
America Singer is introduced in a (barely there) dystopian world that used to be North America with siblings to take care of, not enough money, and food to worry about. She has a love interest, who she hopes to marry. He wants the best for her, and convinces her to put her name in the raffle to possibly be picked for the Selection.
And guess what? She wins! She is then sent off from her home with her town rooting for her to win via the help of Elfie – I mean Silvia – and is then taken to the palace to have her body scrubbed from head to toe, fighting off the professionals who want to re-make her into someone the public and Prince Maxon can like. Once there, she is subjected to multiple interviews by a very famous talk-show host on live television.
The Bachelor part is obvious. One dream-worthy guy (debatable) and thirty-five girls all there for him to choose from, sending them home whenever he feels like it.
At this point, I’d usually start listing (read: ranting) about everything wrong with this book, but if I did that here, I would just end up talking about the whole book. So let’s not go there, because I don’t feel like picking apart the barely there characterization and plot.
There is only one redeemable thing about this book, and it’s the fact that it was incredibly funny.
But! But! Here’s the thing – it’s obviously not meant to be.
I’m honestly having a difficult time writing this without laughing. America, Maxon, Aspen . . . they’re all so cliché, stupid, and downright laughable. Which I did. Laugh, that is. A lot.
Like, the whole way through.
If you look up the saying “It’s so bad, it’s good,” you’d find a picture of this book. Because that’s what it was. The characters and plot are ridiculous, but in such a way that it was an enjoyable read. I got through it in a day.
And now, I will run out to grab the next in the series, because, man, you just can’t find humor like this that often. I want to laugh some more at the poor, sad attempts at conversation between America and Maxon. It’s just so BAD guys . . .
The writing is more than poor. It’s laughable (again). I felt like I was reading a third grader’s attempt at a story.
The love-interests: You get three guesses what word I’m going to use to describe them!!
If you said the following, then you’re correct: laughable, stupid, cliché, punch-worthy.
Maxon’s better, but not by much. It’s Aspen I just can’t get over. Add his name to list-of-most-annoying-men-ever please.
Aspen, long boyfriend to America, breaks up with her at the beginning because he’s a Six and she’s a Five, putting her a rank higher than him. He wants more for her, doesn’t want her to have to worry about things if they were married, blah, blah, blah! And you know why he broke up with her? Because she made him dinner. Yep. Dinner.
He saw that she had more money than he did, and his oh-so precious pride couldn’t deal with not being able to give her everything. So, what does he do? Break up with her in the most infuriating way possible.
And then guess what happens?!?!
He wants her back when he sees she hasn’t been sent home by Prince Maxon. He gets jealous. Gets hormonal and wants to kiss her.
The worst part?
She let’s him, without a second thought.
If you look up the definition of “angst” in the dictionary, I’m 95% certain you will see “America Singer” as the definition.