I heard a lot about this series on BookTube. Most of the reviews weren’t great, but almost everyone said the same thing: these books are like junk food: you know they aren’t good for you but you just can’t stop reading them. I was in the mood for an addictive series, even if it didn’t have much meat to it. I decided to give this series a try. Unfortunately, I just really didn’t like it all that much. And it wasn’t that love/hate relationship that most people seem to feel towards the series. I just really didn’t care for the characters, and I got annoyed more often than not while reading. However, I DO plan on continuing the series because there are only three books (in the original series, anyway), and I just don’t want this to be yet another series that I started and didn’t finish.
The character and plot development, as well as the dialogue, were all very unnatural. First of all, let’s talk about the main character: America Singer (and she sings for a living. Really?! UGH. Okay, moving on). America is that typical, naive girl who doesn’t want to be part of something as trivial as the Selection because she has already found the love of her life. She is immature and makes snap judgments about people. When she sees Prince Maxon on TV, she judges his character and says that he’s a “wimp” and that he’s too quiet and formal, even though she hasn’t met him yet. Why is being quiet and reserved a bad thing? It was obvious from the start that Cass was trying to create animosity between America and Maxon just so that it could be overcome later.
When America gets to the castle, (not a spoiler because, come on, you knew she’d get selected) she is annoyingly humble and uninterested in all the frills that are required of her in the Selection. Can’t she just enjoy all the pampering a little? The friendship “deal” that America and Maxon create almost immediately after meeting seemed to move a bit too quickly for me — no one is that comfortable around each other that quickly.
Some of the arguments and issues that the characters had (especially between America and Aspen and America and Maxon) seemed very forced and unrealistic. If they’d just communicated, a lot of their issues could have been avoided. Plus, America tends to assume the worst in everyone, so that doesn’t help.
Overall, this was a cliché story set in a fairly misogynistic society with not-so-good character development or plot pacing. So why am I continuing? Honestly, I didn’t think I would. But I just really don’t want to leave this series unfinished without finding out what happens.
What are your thoughts on this book and/or series?