Alright, I feel like I need to start out this review by stating that I am aware of the controversy surrounding this book and its author. I had previously added this book to my to-read list before even hearing about the mess. I am reviewing the book not the author because I believe every book deserves a chance even if there’s an author controversy. That being said, my review:
I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK. Seriously. I could not put it down. That said, there were a few things that caused me to bump it down a star. The issues would be world creation and character, with that big bad love triangle thrown in. Dammit.
Let us start with the names. Alright I understand this is supposed to be in the future (though I really have no idea when….) but seriously with the names! Kota, Margareta, Tenile, Madge, Shalom, Sosie, Emmica, Tiny, Markson & Bariel are just some of the names that made me go “WTF”. Please have normal named characters. Makes it easier to follow really. I mean there were some normal names in the book: Samantha, Brenna, Amy, Zoe, Marlee, hell even the maids had normal names!
Then we come to the main characters. First me have Aspen. Seriously? We couldn’t go with Alex or even Ashton? No? Okay. Next we move on to Prince Maxon. I’m not even sure where these names were pulled from. So I took the courtesy of renaming them. From here forward, they will be named Alex and Max. I don’t like that America’s last name is Singer. It’s just too damn obvious. But I like the story behind the name America, because she was a fighter, so I could look past that one.
Next was the world building. The settings were not described particularly well. I had a hard time trying to imagine places. I’m picturing America’s home town like the street market from Aladdin but then she talks about having a tree house. I’m not even sure where the castle is supposed to be, unless I just missed that. Is it in D.C.?? Very confusing. The history lesson the girls received helped explain the dystopian feel, but the country names? Bellingham, Swendway, and Honduragua were three that I just could not believe. Use non made-up countries and at lease some we’ve heard of please and thank you!
Lastly. Damn. Love. Triangle. I hate them. I really do. That’s why I love Dessen’s books so much. With that said, I hope Alex (Aspen for those of you not following alon) falls in a well or something. I’m beyond Team Maxy Boy. Alex is an ass. “She tripped and I helped her up!” Yeah. Right.
I am fully looking forward to reading the next book, and I know the third is already slated to come out next year! I’m also excited to read the novella. I could see that this isn’t a book for everyone, but don’t be completely put off by the other reviews. If you don’t want to give up money, get it from your local library!
Also, this quote made me melt:
“It’s just…with what you said earlier, and then seeking me out yesterday…just the way you acted…I though maybe your feelings had changed. And I like you, I though you could tell.” He turned to face me. “And…Oh, was it terrible? you don’t look happy at all”
I tried to wipe whatever expression I had off my face. Maxon looked mortified.
“I’m so sorry. I’ve never kissed anyone before. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m just…I’m sorry America.”