Welp, I finished the novella. I’ve read this one once before when I was going through this series. It might have been before I read it the last time, because I didn’t remember much of this one at all. I remembered some of the things as I was reading it, but it seemed like none of it was really familiar.
This novella is written from Aspen’s point of view, who is America Singer’s ex-boyfriend from before the Selection. They had dated for two years in secret and had planned to get married, but the whole thing was a struggle because he was one caste lower than her. Probably should mention that the country has this crappy caste system where you can never change your social standing unless you marry into a different one or buy your way up. It’s a focal point throughout the series and it affects America and Aspen a lot.
Anyway, this story starts about the time when Aspen reconnects with America in the palace and it spans them getting together secretly (treason, punishable by death) and Aspen befriending America’s maids.
One thing about Aspen is that he is clearly devoted to America, but it somewhat bothers me that he is never affected by the fact that America is also sort of dating the prince. He notices her watching the prince and the book doesn’t even suggest that he’s fighting any jealousy. Even when she starts talking about how she has imagined being the princess, he never even considers anyone else. He’s either that confident that he will end up with America, or just underestimates her. When I read it, it comes off as the latter, and I think his character is better than that. But only my opinion.
It’s still pretty interesting to fill in the gaps in the story when America is absent. It adds to the overall story and helps you delve a little deeper into what these other characters on the fringes are feeling.
Time to start my next book,