Publication Date:April 24th 2012
Goodreads Synopsis: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 a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
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.
Plot- I adored the concept of this book. It's like a dystopian version of the Bachelor and almost combines reality TV with books which are my two favourite things so it was almost inevitable that I'd love this book. (Yes reality TV is my guilty pleasure, I'm sorry okay.) The world it was set in reminded me of the Divergent world, where there are different 'castes' and each caste is treated differently. The castes in this world range from One-Eight, Eight being essentially homeless, and One's being royalty. I don't know why but for some reason I love challenges, tasks and competitions in books, movies and TV; so a competition to become a princess is totally my thing. I loved the idea that somebody from a low caste still had the opportunity to become a princess.
Characters- Prince Maxon is my new fictional boyfriend. He was adorable the whole way through, and I loved the way he cared so much about America and would do literally anything to make her happy. He completely went against the 'royal' stereotypes, he was very down to earth and caring rather than stuck-up and boring, as America imagined he would be. America did annoy me at times, the way she judged Maxon before getting to know him yet got annoyed when people did that to her was quite stereotypical, but other than that she was funny and smart and a great main character. She underestimated herself a lot which was sad, and her character development throughout was amazing. As her time in the palace grew, she grew herself which was lovely to see. The rest of 'the selection' were interesting, as there were so many different personalities all having to live together in one place and communicate. I especially liked Marlee's bubbly and upbeat persona and her honesty towards America. Though most of the girls grew friendly toward her once they'd spent more time with her, Marlee was the only one who was lovely from the beginning, despite her being potentially her biggest competitor.
Writing- I don't have much to say about the writing style other than that I really liked it. It seemed to flow well and the descriptions were perfect- enough to leave us room to imagine the setting ourselves but enough to get us going.
Overall- I would completely recommend this book, I loved it and will be getting the next instalment in the series hopefully very soon. The plot was well thought out and interesting from start till finish and I connected with the characters and was emotionally invested in them. It was exciting to see who would progress in the challenge, and what would happen to America.