On the Cover: I held the letter from my dad in my hands. I thought of Aspen’s certainty that I couldn’t be a princess. I remembered the last-place spot in the public poll. I thought of Maxon’s cryptic promise earlier this week… I closed my eyes and tried to search within myself.
Could I do this?
Could I be the next princess of Illea?
The Selection began with 35 girls. Now, with the group narrowed down to the Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon’s love is fiercer than ever. The closer America gets to the crown, the more she struggles to figure out where her heart truly lies. Each moment she spends with Maxon is like a fairy tale, filled with breathless, glittering romance. But whenever she sees her first love, Aspen, standing guard, she’s swept up in longing for the life they’d planned to share.
America is desperate for more time. But while she’s torn between her two futures, the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want – and America’s chance to choose is about to slip away.
Why I Chose It: After reading The Selection a few months ago I knew I needed to get my hands on this book. I wanted to hear more of the story!
I have to admit, after I was so entertained by the first book, I knew the second would have to completely wow me in order to beat it. While there were certainly shocking parts in this book, unfortunately it didn’t quite meet the mark of the first one.
The Selection competition has been narrowed down to 6 girls. I definitely thought that the book would mainly focus on finishing the Selection process and moving on to bigger issues – such as the attacking Rebels and the poverty in the kingdom. I was a little surprised to instead see the competition drag onward, so that at the end of the book we still have 4 girls left. That being said, there was some rather interesting parts of the Selection that appeared in this book. One of the girls is removed from the competition in a completely shocking and unexpected manner – It definitely caught me off guard and added to the depth of the book. The incident helps to show that the Palace isn’t a perfect place and that perhaps at the edges the fabric of the kingdom is starting to unravel. In addition, the King begins to interfere with the Selection and becomes a more prominent character, which I appreciated. I liked that it added another factor and caused more uncertainty within the process.
I have to say though, I was disappointed by America throughout the book. She consistently is dwelling on either Maxon or Aspen, trying to figure out which one she loves. I do understand this – she’s a teenage girl who is caught between two men and two possible futures. And obviously a future with the Prince carries a lot of baggage. But I guess I got the impression of her character from the first book that she would push beyond those issues and care about what was going on beyond the palace walls. In the first she is directly involved in protecting people against Rebel attacks, something we barely see in this book. In addition, she now possess the journal of the man who created the caste systems within the kingdom, and she doesn’t read it. She forgets she even has it, and that boggles my mind. Instead she’s constantly playing pros/cons with the boys, getting jealous over the other girls and refusing to admit to her feelings. It’s like she just gets so caught up in the drama that everything else falls out of her head.
Then again, this may not be entirely her fault. While there are more Rebel attacks to the palace, they’ve become the norm to the girls in the Selection. Somehow I got the feeling that the issues with the Rebels were even more removed than they were in the first book – something emphasized with the King heading off to New Asia for a time. Even when word reaches them that the Rebels are attempting to shut down the Selection, the girls hardly seem rattled. Instead they hold receptions for out of country guests and are focused on competing against the remaining Elite – a focus that comes despite the fact that Maxon is delaying kicking anyone else out.
I think I would have prefered if the story had been told from Maxon’s perspective. Of his feelings we are sure, and we could have seen America’s indecision without having to see her inner thoughts about the matter. In addition, we would have seen so much more of what was going on beyond the Palace walls. Maxon knows so much more about the Rebels, but he isn’t sharing it with America, something she finds briefly annoying and I find highly irritable. Maxon also had the opportunity to travel to New Asia with his father, and I would have loved to go with him and find out why. I was simply craving more information that Maxon had and that America didn’t seem interested in finding out.
In summary, I wanted more out of this book. I wanted the Selection to move faster, I wanted America to make a decision, and most of all, I want to know what is happening with the Rebels!! I think there is a much deeper story to be found out and I am immensely interested in hearing it. If nothing else, this book has made me extremely eager for the third book, because I can’t wait to read more of this story and find out what’s happening!
Rating: 3 / 5