Author: Kiera Cass
Genre: Dystopian Young Adult
The Flavor: The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor
The Short Version: With all the drama of an episode of The Bachelor and all the excitement of your typical YA dystopian, this series totally rocked my socks off.
The Description: In a post-war-torn United States (now called Illea), America Singer reluctantly enters a contest to win the hand of Prince Maxon. Along with 35 other young ladies, America travels to the castle, where she must deal with cat fights, back stabbing, jealousy, and trust issues. If it sounds like an episode of The Bachelor, well then, good. I’m describing it correctly. As opposed to the simple YA love triangle, this series goes all out and gives us TWO love triangles. A bit of political intrigue and talk of revolution keep things exciting.
First, we have America (our heroine), Aspen (her old flame), and Prince Maxon (her new flame). America, like another YA heroine I know *cough* Bella, can be annoyingly fickle at times. Like, come on already. Team Maxon, all the way.
Yeah, Mom, I’ll just keep telling the prince that he has absolutely no shot with me and offend him as often as I can. Great plan.
“I want everything with you, America. I want the holidays and the birthdays, the busy seasons and lazy weekends. I want peanut butter fingerprints on my desk. I want inside jokes and fights and everything. I want a life with you.” - Prince Maxon
Aspen goes from likeable to annoying and back to likable. But really. Who cares about Aspen? TEAM MAXON.
The other love triangle involves Prince Maxon, America, and one of the other ladies from the competition. The other ladies in general add some excitement to this format because you never really know what Maxon’s intentions are towards everyone. Plus, thirty-five girls living in one palace is bound to cause some drama.
And there we were, in the background of it all, holding on to one another. The Perfectionist, the Sweetheart, the Diva . . . and me.
“Yes, okay, he does have a funny laugh, but it’s cute.”
“Sure, if you like the lovable sound of an asthma attack in your ear every time you tell a joke.”
The Setting: Epic. I love this idea. Cass is a genius. A world where the prince picks his wife in a contest that is pretty much equal to The Bachelor? That’s totally awesome.
Cass also endeavors to create an interesting political system complete with rebels, castes, and a monarchy. While some of the political explanations that led to the collapse of the U.S. are questionable, I barely noticed because I was so drawn into America’s world. My only complaint is that I felt like the series didn’t adequately wrap up the political storyline. Lucky for me, Cass decided to write two more books in the series (the first of which is out next May), so there is still time.
Extra Credit: When I like a series, I always want more, more, more. And that is where Cass is awesome. Not only did she write this three-book-series, she also wrote two novellas set in this world. And she’s writing two more novellas—the first of which will be out December 2.
Also, as I mentioned, she’s decided to write two more full-length novels in this world. That decision was made after the series was completed, so the first three books wrap up the main romantic plot perfectly.
Parting thoughts: I know some people were disappointed because of certain things on the political story line front, but I didn’t care about any of that. I was too wrapped up in being on Team Maxon to even notice. Sure, love triangles can be annoying. But this book puts a new twist on the genre, and I just love the idea behind it. While the series has lovely themes of freedom, responsibility, and justice, at its core I believe it’s a romance.
The bottom line is that I would recommend this series for anyone who likes dystopians and YA romance.