Release Date: April 24th, 2012
First, a quick summary from Goodreads:
" For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.America is a girl who lives in the Fifth caste - a caste full of musicians - and is more than happy with the way her life is. However, when the announcement of the Selection is given - the chance of 35 lucky girls to win over the heart of Prince Maxon, and therefore the crown - her whole life is turned upside down. Pushed by her family, and her secret boyfriend Aspen, America enters the contest reluctantly, but postitive that she's not going to be picked. What are the odds, right?
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined."
But of course, she's picked. How else would there be a story if she wasn't?
I really, really liked the way that Cass wrote the scene of America being picked for the Selection. She wasn't even watching the TV when it happened! It only reinforced her belief that she wasn't going to be picked. And the names of all of the characters? America, Aspen, Kota, and a bunch of other names that were just AWESOME. Loved the names of the characters!
America was a strong main character for this book, and I absolutely loved her. Her inexperience of the world outside of her town was brilliant, and even though she was unsure of what was going to happen next, she had a very strong head on her shoulders and always did what she thought was right without even considering the conciquences.
Her and Aspens relationship was hot and... Brief. But between her and Maxon? Ohboy! I really want more of that. I give Cass a million and one kudos for not making it insta-love between the two of them, I absolutely hate when that happens between characters. Because their love for each other was gradual, and down-right hilarious, the love-triangle in the book actually worked! It wasn't one of those annoying things that just pop out of nowhere, and you actually understand America's indecision between Aspen and Maxon (Although the choice is obvious, Team Maxon!).
And although the ending didn't go out with a bang... It still felt very fitting. I was easily satisfied with the ending, and I can say that without a doubt I am SO eager to get my hands on the next book!
Ps; Thanks for acknowledging the late-night readers, Kiera! I happened to be one of those!