The story is taken in a place called Illea and the characters are America, her little sister May, her mother, her father, her boyfriend Aspen,and Prince Maxon. The king and queen pass out invitations to all the girls in the country to participate in the selection. America is old enough to participate so she applies and they announce her name as one of the girls selected to become princess on television. She has to leave her family behind and go to the castle to start the selection
People that work for the king and queen arrive to pick up all of the girls to go to the castle. America says bye to her parents and Aspen and leaves. She arrives at the castle and meets the other girls that are participating in the selection and makes 2 friends. The next day she finally meets Prince Maxon, she did not find him that attractive as others, America starts off not to like Prince Maxon because he seemed to be egotistical.
She made a deal with Maxon, that if she would help him find a good girl for him he would give her family some money while she was there. They become close friends and America began to scout girls for Maxon. There was a break in at the castle, after the break in America and Maxon began to get really close. After the break in they realized they had feelings for each other. Aspen shows up later in the castle as one of the guards in training. Aspen then causes drama between them, now America has to decide if she likes Maxon or Aspen the most.
After Aspen has arrived at the castle and has made his way into America's stay at the castle, Maxon and her have some alone time. Maxon expresses the way he feels for her and he wants her to choose him. They go on a date during the night to look at the stars. Later on Aspen visits America's room and he talks to her and ask her to pick him. America now still has to decide if she is going to choose Aspen or Maxon. While America is still trying to figure out who she is going to pick, Maxon looks for another girl to pick if she does not pick him.
There are only 8 girls left in the selection. Maxon has not found another girl that he likes yet and America still hasn't decided. Aspen is still in the castle as a guard in training. America's family is doing fine and they have written letters to her. In the end of the book America does not decide yet and there are still 8 girls left in the selection.