(I received a free copy of this book, through NetGalley, in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
I have some very mixed feelings about this book, having just finished reading it. I haven’t read the first book in the series, but I was still able to read this and understand what was going on without difficulty.
I would give this book probably 3.5 stars out of 5. I found it really hard to connect emotionally with America as a character. While I was intrigued by the politics in this book, I felt that there wasn’t enough about the society. The caste system was an interesting aspect, but it took a while for me to figure out how it all worked.
I did find America to be very self-absorbed at times. Most of what I knew about her personality was from what the other characters were saying about her – for instance, her sense of humour; which I saw no evidence of outside of the other characters making comments. Plus, there was one particular scene where she only worries about her maids after someone comments they’re not with her.
I did find both Maxon and Aspen to be interesting characters and I would have preferred one of them as the POV character. I felt that America was leading them both on… and that her behaviour with Aspen was especially stupid after what had happened to Marlee.
I would have liked the opportunity to get to know the other girls a bit better. I didn’t really get the impression that America cared about them, but I would have liked more detail rather than the teenage stereotypes I felt I was reading about.
I did think there was a smattering of good tense scenes when it came to the rebels. I would have been interested in seeing more of the world outside the palace and learning more about the different countries and their relations to America (the country. Not the character).
I would have liked to see the other girls in the Selection better-developed. Kriss especially didn’t seem to have much of a personality outside of wanting to marry Maxon.
I did like that, towards the end, there were consequences for America’s actions, but I didn’t like the fact she didn’t seem to care about how those actions affected other people. Even though she supposedly had feelings for both Maxon and Aspen, I found it really hard to believe those were real.
I’m not sure I’d read the other book/s in this series. I feel they would be much better from the POV of a different character, rather than the typical self-absorbed heroine torn between her ‘love’ for two guys… and little else.