This book was so bad it made me question my judgement of The Selection. The story picks up where it left off in the first book with America so lost and confused that I felt lost and confused reading the book. She is struggling to make self-centered decisions like, should she stay in the palace when she's not sure she loves the prince? Does she love Maxon or does she love Aspen? Even if she does love Maxon, does she want to be princess? Not to mention, all the while that there's crazy dangerous rebels after them, attacking the royal family, and leaving cryptic messages. How much time does she spend questioning that? Maybe a few paragraphs. I didn't expect for any major decisions or explanations to be tidily wrapped up in this book, but America's indecisiveness, self-centered attitude, and weak personality made this book almost intolerable. I'm not sure why I ever compared this series to The Hunger Games. This book confirmed that America Singer is no Katniss Everdeen.
The entire book I waited for her to fight, to make a stand, which she occasionally did...but then she regretted it later and apologized profusely for her actions. What kind of message is that supposed to send to readers? You should fight for what you believe in but only if you take it back later?
Her emotions were so up and down and inconsistent it was not only confusing but frustratingly irritating. Regarding the love triangle, I was pro-Maxon until about halfway through this book when every one of America's doubts and fears about their relationship was proven to be true. Yes, he has been lying to her. Yes, he is leading the other girls on as well. Yes, he will punish law-breakers even if they break the stupidest of laws. And she knows all of this! She gets about a page worth of anger and angst every time and tells him she wants to leave. Then a page later she's wanting to kiss him and apologizing and going on and on about how much she truly loves him. Again, what kind of message is that for readers either? True love means lies? Or true love means the boy who's loved you his whole life and will do anything to protect you and be there for you? According to this book, boys like Aspen are only there so you can feel good about yourself when the prince ignores you for the other girls.
I had such high expectations for this book and am severely disappointed. I hope the series gets better in the next book, but I most definitely will not be continuing to follow it.