Plot: The ever present love-triangle. Usually, I'm really decisive on who I like better, but this book made it really hard. At the beginning, when she and Aspen (her current boyfriend) are together, I was thinking, there's no way I could ever want her to be with that stupid prince. Now, I 'm not so sure.
But there is a major difference from The Hunger Games that I am very pleased with. We don't know if she's going to win. If you've read HG you can't tell me that you didn't know Katniss was going to win. It was obvious. If she died we wouldn't know who won. But here, I honestly have no idea because she says flat out from the beginning, she's not there to win. It ends in a major cliff hanger and I'm dying to read The Elite (which comes out next spring).
Characters: Remember how I said it was just like The Hunger Games? Well it is, even down to the characters. Aspen is just like Gale, the brooding best friend left behind. There's the guy who does all of the interviews (Gavril/Caesar), the slightly or overly peppy coach (Silvia/Effie), and you could even say the mean girl from a higher class (Celeste/Clove). I wasn't really drawn to any of the characters because I'd read them all before. Prince Maxon is quite charming though. America is a great main character and I often found myself giggling at her name in context. (I love you, America! and What am I to do, America?)
Genre: So I wanted to bring up a point about the way this book was written. It's a dystopia, but there was a major difference from all the other dystopias I've read. We all know Katniss as the fiery leader of the rebellion against Snow/Coin. You may know Cassia and how she stumbled up the rebellion with Ky.
But America has no part in the rebellion. She has no problem with her country Illea, sometimes talking about the parts she likes. There is a rebellion though. Unlike all of the others, its threatening her, and she's not the heroine that saves the country. I thought that was a nice twist a stereotype of the genre.
Overall: I finished it in a matter of hours. I got it from the library when I was done for the day and I was done before I went to sleep last night. (I do this quite often though...) I'm a sucker for chick lit and this had a healthy dose of romance in it. I've also been on a dystopic kick right now, so I found this book absolutely charming, despite the ever present thought of HG there.