Chapter 4 kicks off with the Illea Capital Report, which is definitely NOT like the tribute talks from Hunger Games. And the host, Gavril Fadaye, is definitely NOT Caesar Flickerman, so how dare you bring it up.
We start with a report from the king himself, and no, he isn’t described at all. Just like everything and everyone in this book.
“Just this morning, another attack in New Asia rocked our bases. It has left our troops slightly outnumbered, but we are confident that with the fresh draft next month will come lifted morale, not to mention a swelling of fresh forces.”
Let’s just look at the most problematic part of this little speech. “With the fresh draft next month will come lifted morale.” What a completely idiotic, misguided statement. Split up your country into arbitrary groups that will put most of them at a serious disadvantage, take no care of the lower castes and provide no healthcare so they die off, then force them to fight for you. If any fantasy world/alternate universe needs a revolution, it’s this one.
America pays no attention to the next reports, given by the Financial Team and Infrastructure Committee–with those uninspired names, I wouldn’t want to listen to them either–but does throw in a tidbit about then-America (the country, not the narrator. I know. We’re all confused.) being invaded during the Fourth World War. So now we know that not one but two wars have happened, so this is definitely taking place in the future.
She thinks some really judgmental crap about Maxon even though he’s literally just sitting there while other people talk.
I almost felt bad for the girl who ended up with him. That would probably be the most boring life imaginable.
His hair was a honey color, and his eyes were brown. He kind of looked like summertime, which I guess was attractive to some people.
Then Gavril comes up to the podium and remember, he’s NOT the poor man’s Caesar!
There was Gavril, sauntering onto the set in his crisp blue suit. He was maybe in his late forties, and he always looked sharp. As he walked across the stage, the light caught on the pin on his lapel, a flash of gold that was similar to the forte signs in my piano music.
I touched on this before, but during the Selection/contest at the castle, they’ll have regular interviews with Gavril and therefore captivate the citizens as they all toil away at whatever stupid thing they’re being forced to do day in and day out. (Is it clear I hate this?) But this definitely isn’t the Hunger Games, so I don’t know why you keep mentioning it.
He brings that same false charm we all know
and love, complete with winking at the camera and lavishing praise on the beautiful potential princesses he’s going to get to meet. Then he calls Maxon up and we get to meet the manboy who completes this lopsided love triangle.
I was going to directly quote this part, but the interview itself is pretty boring. Gavril asks how Maxon feels about having a bunch of strangers about to move into his house, if he got any dating advice from his dad, and what his perfect girl would be like.
“Honestly, I don’t know. I think that’s the beauty of the Selection. No two women who enter will be exactly the same–not in looks or preferences or disposition. And through the process of meeting and talking to them, I’m hoping to discover what I want, to find it along the way.”
Then the program ends and America’s criticism of him actually has some weight, now that we’ve been subjected to his bland thought process and dialogue.
It was hard to imagine anyone being happy with such a wimp.
Even the thought of being near Maxon Schreave made me uncomfortable.
Gee, can’t wait for these two kids to get together! (We all know they do, don’t kid yourself.)
Aspen visits America later that night and says something unintentionally creepy.
“Shhh, don’t say a word. […] Just let me look at you.”
I know he’s her boyfriend, but I got serious serial killer vibes from that one piece of dialogue. I have a good sense about these things, so don’t be surprised when two books from now, Aspen is forcibly removed from the love triangle when he’s arrested for skinning cats.
They make out for a while, America wants to bone but “if [they] went any further, and there was ever evidence of it, we’d both be thrown in jail.” Kind of takes away from the joke I just made about Aspen, but is this real? What kind of evidence is she talking about–babies? STDs? Hickeys? Either teenage pregnancy is illegal or Illea is worried about overpopulation, which doesn’t make sense no matter how I approach it.
Just like every other chapter, it ends with America thinking about how much she loves Aspen. Bored of hearing it? I’m bored of typing it.
Previous Chapter: The Selection Chapter 3