So much potential for an interesting dystopia dashed by this ridiculous and unnecessary love triangle. It was put it to add drama and conflict but all it does is detracts from the really interesting part. THE FRICKING PRINCE MEETS HIS FUTURE QUEEN THROUGH SOME REALITY TELEVISION SCENARIO! So I think the love triangle is useless literally every "purpose" Aspen and his "don't give up on me Mer" bullshit has is also easily explained in another way. Why did America enter in the first place? Well, if she was chosen she could milk the situation for as long as possible and send money back to her poor family. Boom no Aspen convincing her to enter, America just loves her family. But why is she so guarded around Maxon? Aspen doesn't have to not exist. She thought she was in love once and he left her, he hurt her and how can she ever trust again. (Yeah it's cliche, sue me.) Why isn't she sure if she should stay or go? She's gained new insight on the formation of Illea (is this a spoiler when up until now Cass has hardly adressed word building?) and isn't sure who to trust, besides that she doesn't see herself as a Queen when she sees the other candidates. All of that works and makes sense and is so much better than the back and forth between two "perfect" guys that seems to be the go-to for young adult lately. This book could have been so much more if it focused on the unique aspects it has rather than the overdone I love them both crap. /rant
Overall despite my misgivings I didn't hate it. I liked it when I wasn't ripping out my hair or sighing in contempt over her tennis game of boy preference.