This review was originally posted on my book review blog, The Hufflepuff Whovian
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Sigh. Well I guess it was too good to be true. Seriously, what I liked about the first book is that while there was some drama, it was mostly cheesy romance in a dystopian Bachelor like setting. I liked that, I really did. But then Kiera Cass had to make this like the Hunger Games drama and I just...I wasn't expecting it, and really didn't want it. Gah. WHY KIERA. Semi-Spoilers follow
This book started the way I expected. I'm seriously so sick of Aspen though like it's ridiculous. I was sick of most of the people in this book except for my fav Maxon who, now that I think about it, deserves way better than America Singer. But seriously, I feel like my GoodReads updates speak for themselves.
This book starts up where the last book finished, The Elite are now competing for Maxon's love, and I was hoping for more Bachelor like competitions, Maxon being utterly adorable, and Aspen being a dumb jerk trying to get America to second guess herself. Honestly though, I'm not sure if my anger towards Aspen is because he's a dumb jerk who broke America's heart, or if it's because WHO THE HELL EVEN THINKS TWICE ABOUT BEING A PRINCESS?
But seriously. I knew there'd be the "struggle" between Maxon, America and Aspen, as seems standard these days when you have a strong female character protagonist, and I am so Team Maxon it hurts. But then, Kiera Cass decided to maybe make this more Hunger Games, because apparently, dystopian literature that's not cute doesn't sell (or so it seems) when they PUBLICLY CANED ONE OF THE CHARACTERS.
Yes, you read that right, publicly CANED a character. I was listening to the audiobook and honestly felt like I was going to vomit. I didn't really understand why that had to be in there, what that even really did for the story development except to show that the regime was flawed and who didn't know that already? Also I guess because you were supposed to be shocked that Maxon just sat by while it happened. I wasn't. and I also wasn't surprised when America jumped up after her and how that gave people hope~
Seriously, it felt like Cass was thinking to herself "Let's make this a little more Hunger Games-y".
America Singer is not Katniss Everdeen. She isn't. But it honestly seems to be a trend in dystopian literature to make a teenage girl the protagonist where she has to decide between two guys, and also save the world and bring about justice to inequity. Katniss seemed much more...realistic in this, while with America it seems like I've seen this a million times before.
So yeah, this book frustrated me, a lot. But will I read the next one? Absolutely. Because Maxon better take this.