Read this mostly out of curiosity, both because it was kind of the book that started this whole GR book author/bully thing, and because it had received so many bad reviews.
I'm too exhausted to go into a full review, but the short of it is that despite some likable characters and the blessed relief of its not being told in first person present POV, this book mostly did not work for me. The world-building felt very shallow, and it was very obvious that all of the "dystopian" details had been constructed around the central plot of these 35 girls competing for the hand of the prince of this futuristic country. The dialogue was stilted, the competition elements echoed those of The Hunger Games way too closely (including the slimy TV host in place of Caesar Flickerman and the flighty PR lady in place of Effie Trinket, but with much less depth of detail) -- although to be fair, this book probably owes way more to The Bachelor than it does to HG. Too many things in the book were conveniently placed exactly where they should be, and too many times Cass seemed to rely on tired cliches, poorly constructed mix-ups, and oh-I-can't-believe-you're-here's! Most of the parts of the story didn't stick together -- didn't feel organic.
I did enjoy America sometimes (also, ugh ugh ugh to the names in this book . . . so cheesy) when she wasn't acting like an idiot about her ex-boyfriend Aspen (I told you, names!) And I did really like when she kicked Maxon in the nuts and then he totally fell in love with her.
This book would have played out much better if it had been written tongue in cheek, with the author acknowledging that her plot and characters were just an excuse for an elaborate romantic fantasy, instead of trying to justify it with a complex dystopian world she just wasn't capable of fleshing out. This was a mess, when it should have been a fairy-tale.