When I first picked up the Selection a couple of years ago, I was intrigued. I'm tired of grim dystopians--The Selection, with its premise of the Bachelor meets the Hunger Games (minus the violence) in a futuristic America, sounded like fun. And in a lot of ways, the series has been. There have been pretty dresses, swoony kisses, girl fights (and friendships) set against a vaguely revolutionary backdrop.
But it's also been like riding an emotional rollercoaster. In The Selection, America is one of thirty-five finalists. She's there only reluctantly, because her heart was given to Aspen, but her family convinces her to take a chance at becoming queen. Then, of course, she starts to fall for Maxon, the prince charming. And Aspen shows up as a guard at the palace, further complicating matters. The on-again-off-again that resulted from American trying to decide between Aspen and Maxon in book two (The Elite) drove me nuts.
Here, America has made it to the final four. The pressure of northern and southern rebels on the monarchy is heating up, and America and Maxon are struggling as much as ever to understand each other, despite their evident attraction.
I don't know. I'm clearly not the target audience for this book, and maybe I'm too old and too cynical. But I got tired of Maxon and America's misunderstandings (why couldn't she just tell him how she felt? Why did she lie to him about Aspen for so long?). And the revolutionary threats didn't feel very real to me--I would have loved to see more development of the political side of things.
I will give Cass credit, though, for moving past the typical girl rivalry in this novel and trying to show how friendships develop in the most unusual of places. But I ultimately wasn't convinced by how easily things were resolved for the characters.