Top critical review
Pretty Girls Hate Other Pretty Girls To Win A Guy.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 October 2019
Good grief, I don't even know where to start.
America has been selected to compete against 34 other girls vying for the affections of Prince Maxon based upon the fact she's attractive. She doesn't want him, she's in love with Aspen, but her family needs the money so she applies anyway. That's the plot: 35 pretty girls are hateful to each other for the sake of winning the affections of an entitled, pretentious and borderline creepy prince who clearly has no respect or understanding of what a disgusting situation that even is:
“You are all dear to me. It is simply a matter of discovering who shall be the dearest.” ---- get over yourself. If you didn't roll your eyeballs I don't even know what's wrong with you.
My biggest problem with this book is not the competition but rather America's obsession with prettiness and the fundamentally messed up portrayal of women hating on other women; I don't enjoy reading about it and I think it's totally unnecessary. This book could easily have had 35 girls rebel against the system and have each others backs and I'm certain it would have had a way bigger impact on me if it had done!
America is entirely hung up on people thinking she's pretty, but constantly comments on how unattractive, overweight or aged other women are - this even extends to her mother who she frequently judges! I abhor the way she flippantly discusses her mother to be perfectly honest. America also often complains that people comment on her looks, that she's sick of being called pretty, but speaks about her looks in the same way I imagine beautiful people do when they secretly love that they're beautiful because they're actually arrogant AND beautiful:
"Please don't call me gorgeous. First my mom, then May, now you. It's getting on my nerves." .....
"By the way Aspen was looking at me, I could tell I wasn't helping my "I'm not pretty" case."
If you want some more eyeball-rolling-worthy moments let me tell you this: America Singer is also a singer. I wonder how Keira Cass came up with her name? I just don't get it; I don't find that a clever move if it's meant to be. On top of this America thinks she's some sort of saint for lowering herself to the level of the commoners by indulging them with the pleasure of a conversation with her, despite the fact she's entirely dismissive of her maids initially and was once in their very shoes; she also complains about having been poor whilst evaluating the number of dresses she has that are not in keeping with "the latest fashion".
I wish this book had been a clever attempt to challenge shows like, "The Bachelor" which broadcast women fighting tooth and nail for a man who doesn't value them, pushing each other down in order to bring themselves up. I just despise the idea of a man getting to essentially choose his favourite woman from a group of adoring women who are willing to hurt each other to win; it's not a strong message and it's definitely not fun to read about. I thought that this might be what Cass was going to do initially, given that America makes it very clear from the off that she's not interested in him, but that sadly wasn't the case at all. I won't be continuing with the series, because God only knows how I would contend with four more books which required me to shelve my absolute disdain for America Singer, the singer. She's pretty, don't you know?