Hey, all. I had this website that had books that I should read if I enjoyed The Hunger Games, and I did. So I looked at it and this book was on it, described as a cross between The Hunger Games and The Bachelor. So I picked it up, and three days later, here we are.
Okay so I had already purchased this book and saw the terrible reviews on goodreads. It made me kind of nervous, but I was so curious I read it anyways. Why leave a book unread because of a couple one and two star reviews, right?
I ended up giving it a three/five. It wasn’t horrible. I was thoroughly entertained the whole time, I just wanted to keep reading it to find out what happened and it became a really quick read. Upon finishing it, though, I realized there really was no climactic point in it at all. I’m all for romances, don’t get me wrong, but there was hardly a point of conflict. And America (don’t worry, I’ll get to the name rant in a second) was so wishy washy about who she liked and blah blah blah. I was like “I understand your problem, but look at how cool Maxon is. Plus, he’s rich.” That sounds super shallow, but a good looking, rich guy who is nice and thoughtful and rich and genuinely interested in you? Learn to love him, girl. Learn to love him.
So the names. GOOD GOD. Why? Why are dystopian books having such horrible names lately? Is it really too much to ask to have a Rachel or a Jessica? America Singer? Maxon Schreave? Aspen whatever his last name is? No. Just no. Can anyone take a guess as to what America’s special talent is? Singing. It’s singing. I know, I didn’t get it my first guess either. For whatever reason, it didn’t bother me so much in The Hunger Games. Maybe because it was my first book with weird names, maybe just because the actual plot was so captivating, but I’m just getting frustrated now. USE NORMAL NAMES. I just cannot get into a book where the protagonist is named after a country. (A country that apparently is renamed in this book.)
My curiosity again got the better of me and I read through to goodreads reviews after I polished this book off to find out why everyone hated it. It was entertaining, so surely it didn’t deserve one star, right?
My research led me to the reviews saying that the book is way too unrealistic to get behind. Point taken. I didn’t really think about it (mostly because I hate history and government and politics classes, so I didn’t really pay attention to the way monarchies and stuff work.) But they did have points in that the prince is really so desperate to marry that he’s going to the lower class people as opposed to marrying princesses from other royal families across the country? Valid point, other readers. I never thought of that.
The other reason the book had such bad reviews was because of the twitter controversy between Kiera Cass and her publicist. I shall post the screenshot below because I’m far too lazy to explain that. (If hearing bad things about authors makes you suddenly change your opinion about their works, do not read the following. Unless you absolutely cannot help yourself. Then at least finish my review and I can talk about the positives and we’ll call it square.)
whoa. I understand the drama. You can’t get mad at people for their opinions and you can’t rig reviews. How does that even make you feel better? Knowing that you and your friends are the ones putting out the positive reviews.
I also want to quick touch on the whole “The Bachelor and Hunger Games” thing. The Bachelor I totally understand. I would not be surprised if this was directly inspired by that. Maybe after she had just read The Hunger Games. Who knows. The only resemblance I see for the book, though, was that the names for the Selection were drawn, similar to the drawing for the Games. Except people actually wanted to go to the Selection. Because no body died. And they could marry a prince. Also, maybe that it was a competition, there was backstabbing and planning and all that stuff. It kind of reminded me of the interviewing scene in The Hunger Games, because they were focused on their image and what they wanted to portray to the audience and all that jazz. Otherwise I would say it definitely was Bachelor based. Minus the rose ceremonies. Which is disappointing. That’s so the best part.
Quickly touching on this one last negative, I thought the writing was pretty good, but to me it seemed like there were a lot of fragmented sentences. I can get kind of long winded, so I’m probably just really biased, but it just didn’t seem to flow as well as it could have.
POSITIVES. There was a growing romance. Also a love triangle. They may happen in a lot of books as a cause for a good bout of drama, but I just love them. Even when you can usually predict who the girl will pick. I liked the idea behind it. I don’t actually watch the Bachelor but I thought the premise was still interesting. I like America (honestly, what a bad name) and Maxon’s relationship. I like that there’s more books. Because I have this odd obsession with sequels and trilogies and series and spin-offs.
I hope that the next book has more development in it, maybe a little more building to a more climactic moment.
The book was a fun read, but it didn’t leave you stunned at the end with a super intense cliffhanger that makes you sprint to your car, speed to the store, and buy the next book. It was just kind of chill. America is kinda like “yeah, this is what I’m gonna do.” And you’re like oh, good. I was hoping you’d say that.
So not a bad book, but definitely not as on-the-edge-of-your-seat and intense as The Hunger Games. Will I read the rest of the books? Yeah, probably. Should you read this one? If you like The Bachelor yes. If you dislike any of the negatives I have above, I may avoid it.
We’ll see how The Elite fairs and I will let you guys know.