Author: Kiera Cass
Released: 23 April 2013
Series: The Selection #2
America Singer is one of THE ELITE and Prince Maxon only has eyes for her.
If she wins the competition for his heart, she will leave her pre-destined life for a world of luxury. But the outcome is less than certain; the threat of rebel violence just beyond the palace walls is escalating into war and bitter rivals are ready to take her down.
And as America's feelings for Maxon grow stronger, ex-lover Aspen waits for her in the shadows. Where do her loyalties truly lie?
So I pulled an all-nighter with this book and finished it just on 5am. It was absolutely fabulous and I couldn't get enough of it!
Picking up after The Selection, this instalment looks at the final six girls in the competition - The Elite. To end the competition, all America needs to do is tell him she loves him, and while she thinks she does, she has a hard time thinking about Maxon without also thinking about the other Elites who also have a small piece of him. But her future with Maxon isn't the only thing America needs to worry about. She also has to deal with Aspen at the palace, who is still pining after her. And then there are the rebels. Both the Northerners and Southerners are attacking the palace, and one side is soon looking at Maxon and America as their next leaders. When America reads one of the many diaries of George Illea, she realises that something needs to be done about the restless state of the country, and that Maxon may be able to achieve it when he becomes king. But for America, the girl who is always making mistakes and putting her foot in it, her relationship with Maxon isn't smooth sailing, and the King is determined to see her gone. Will she stand up and fight for her man?
I enjoyed the first book, but I LOVED this one. As I said above, I read this in about 5 hours. I tried putting it down so I could go to sleep, but there was just so much happening that there was no way I could fall asleep when there were so many questions to be answered at the end of each chapter. I loved that this book focused heavily on the history of Illea, and helped show how America (the country) became the dystopia country of Illea, why the castes exist, and why the rebels are attacking. We were finally getting the world building that was lacking a bit in the first book.
What I also really loved is that the rebel attacks became a more prominent part of the story, and that the series was made into more than just Prince Maxon picking his wife. If it was just about the Selection, then the story wouldn't have held so well over three books, but by having the rebels both demanding different things from the monarchy, it was interesting to see how all the characters reacted to the threats. It really shows how Maxon will fair as a leader when his father passes on the crown.
Everyone seems to become annoyed with America for various reasons, but I honestly didn't find her annoying. Yes, she was frustrating at times (I mean, you could be married to a Prince and have everything you've ever wanted, why are you trying to hold back?), but in the end I really loved her and her perspective of the world.
Overall, I loved this book and am so excited to continue onto book three. The series is really well written and I love Kiera's writing style. I am super excited to see where the original trilogy goes, and how the story continues for Princess Eadlyn.