“What do you think my chances might be of finding a soul mate in the group of you? I’ll be lucky if I can just find someone who’ll be able to stand me for the rest of our lives. What if I’ve already sent her home because I was relying on some sort of spark I didn’t feel? What if she’s waiting to leave me at the first sign of adversity? What if I don’t find anyone at all? What do I do then, America?”
So, this book is basically The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games meets Disney Princess stories. It’s really cute and really sweet and very very much like eating a piece of fluffy pink cake covered in tons of fluffy pink icing, but I didn’t care. I really liked it.
America Singer lives in a world that depends on a caste system. She’s a five – an artist (and specifically is a singer). Trouble is, she’s in love with a boy, Aspen, who happens to be a six – working class. Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that – you’re allowed to change castes and marry “down” so to speak, but Aspen is already the primary support of his family and in a fit of pique he breaks up with America because he doesn’t want her to end up supporting him.
“But you just said you loved me.”
“I do, Mer. That’s the point. I can’t make you like me. I can’t stand the thought of you hungry or cold or scared. I can’t make you a Six.”
But that’s all okay, because The Selection has begun. When the royal family has a prince of marrying age there’s a (very fixed) lottery system that every girl of the right age can enter. The selection chooses a girl from every province to move into the castle and get to know the prince, so he can eliminate them one by one (or in twos or threes, there are no actual rose ceremonies here, haha!) Bachelor-style until he’s left with one to propose to. What a world, man.
I really enjoyed America’s family. They’re just the cutest.
Do you think the ability to sleep in counts as a special skill?” I asked Dad, trying to sound torn over the decision.
“Yes, list that. And don’t forget to write that you can eat an entire meal in under five minutes,” he replied. I laughed. It was true; I did tend to inhale my food.
“Oh, the both of you! Why don’t you just write down that you’re an absolute heathen!” My mother went storming from the room.”
Unfortunately, you don’t see nearly enough of them, because America is the girl chosen to represent her province at the castle, among the throngs of fluffy, pretty girls. And mean girls. Of course, there are mean girls. It wouldn’t be a Bachelor season… uh, er, anyway, it wouldn’t be what it is without mean girls.
I love that America doesn’t exactly fit in with the other girls. She prefers jeans to floofy dresses, and chooses her own, very simple jewelry even though she can borrow anything from the royal jewelry collection.
“My shoes I got to pick. I chose worn-out red flats. I figured I should make it clear from the start that I wasn’t princess material.”
I like that she’s creative and funny and shy and socially awkward, because it makes her very real. And Maxon, the prince? Oh my goodness. I just adored him. He’s also sweetly real, insecure and young and not the perfect prince – he slips up here and there, and like every Bachelor ever, he even thinks the best of the worst of the mean girls, because she’s super nice to him, after all.
My only problem with the book was the ending. Things were going along at a reasonable pace, and I was expecting things to keep going, and all of a sudden things felt very, very rushed and *boom* it was over. And I felt like I read only half a book; things were left unresolved and unexplained, and I really felt the need to turn the page and finish the story.
And as much as it enrages me when authors don’t tie things up at least somewhat before the sequel, I’m going to read the next book. Because I liked the rest of it so very, very much and I need to know what happens to America and Maxon.