the second book in The Selection trilogy by Kiera Cass. Thus, instead of waiting in the long hold list at my library, I went to a town further away and placed my name on their shorter hold list. I didn't enjoy this second book as much as I had the first, but I'm still ending it with an eagerness to seek out the third and finally, discover America's ultimate destiny.
America Singer is one of "The Elite," the six candidates left in "The Selection" for a new princess for the kingdom of Illea (a future caste-structured United States). The prince, Maxon, has sent home twenty-nine others and still declares his primary interest in America. She, however, is still struggling with her heart. Part of me felt really irked that she would lead two men on, declaring an interest in both Maxon and her hometown boyfriend, Aspen. Frankly, I don't quite understand the appeal of Aspen. As a character he's not very compelling. But, I guess I do believe that a girl in such a situation might want to keep all of her avenues open, in case Maxon decides to select someone else. Still, in my heart, I want her to center on one and stop being so fickle.
When one of the other girls is discovered cavorting with a guard, she and the guard are made an example to the kingdom and beaten in a public arena. America is horrified. You'd think it would be a big neon sign for her to end her own pursuit of her first-love and guard, Aspen. You'd think anyway.
Obviously, I'm deep enough into the book that these characters feel real to me and that is the mark of a good read. I've been sucked into the fairy tale scenario. I feel invested in this selection process. The desire to know who is chosen is strong and I want to know whether it is Maxon's own choice, or the dictates of his father. I'm sure I will seek out the third book as soon as I can. Hopefully, the hold lists aren't too long for that one.