I got this for free via Kindle Unlimited and wow, what a waste of time. It's horrible. Kudos to the author for being able to write a whole novel that makes sense because that in itself is a feat worthy of respect, but other than that... man, it's been a long time since I've seen such terrible writing. I don't know how this got published. I guess there was a serious drought of generic YA novels at some point and HarperCollins was desperate.
Seriously, there's so much wrong with this thing I don't know where to start. The world-building is practically non-existent. The dialogue is universally awful. The characters are paper-thin, including the protagonist, America, who is nothing short of a saint. She seems to have no faults and there's nothing interesting about her at all. The first love interest is all over her all the time, except when his precious ego is bruised by *gasp* his girlfriend giving a gift to him rather than him giving a gift to her. The second love interest, the prince, is a creepy ("my dear") mouth-breathing neckbeard.
The premise of the novel - that America is part of a selection process to choose the next queen, the wife of the prince, from a group of 35 women - is glaringly sexist. It could have still worked if it was addressed as being so in some way, perhaps by being explained by the novel's setting, and by having the protagonist acknowledge it as such. But this never happens, and there is so much casual sexism throughout the book that I'm not 100% convinced that the author isn't a man writing under a pseudonym. The women - and they *are* women, not kids, all around 18-19 - are all treated like children and all behave like children. The future queen is supposed to be pretty and helpful and leave the running of the country to the prince. Almost all the women burst into tears regularly.
This book is not for teenagers. Teenagers are not this stupid. It's probably more suited to 12-year-olds, but to be honest I don't think they're this stupid either, especially these days. Don't waste your time with this crap.
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