Book Review: The Elite

Book Review: The EliteThe Elite by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #2
Published by HarperTeen on April 23rd 2013
Pages: 323
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The hotly-anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller The Selection.

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

One sitting! I haven't read a book in one sitting in months. After scores and scores of just okay books, The Elite swept me off my feet.

The Selection was one of those super surprising reads for me. I went into it thinking, 'Oh, this might be ok" and was completely surprised by what I found. The Elite was no different. After the events of The Selection, I just had to know what would happen next.

The Elite picks up where The Selection ended. America is an Elite. One of the very few girls who could be the next Queen. After the events of The Selection, I knew that this installment was going to be different, but I never could have imagined how much different. Where as The Selection had an innocent, first love / crush vibe to it, The Elite was crushing. The honeymoon period is over, and now everyone, Maxon, America, Aspen, and all the other girls have their game faces on.

In The Elite, the possibility for the love triangle grew stronger. America has some serious doubts about Maxon, and her place in the competition, which was to be expected. However, after the ending of The Selection, I have to admit I was a little disappointed with America. She basically said she was going the competition for herself, and for her love of Maxon, despite any lingering feelings for Aspen. However, it almost seemed as if nothing had changed with America since The Selection. The back and forth of feelings between Maxon and Aspen are still present, and really more confusing than ever. I had hoped with The Elite there would have been a clearer winner of the two, but it seems like the back and forth may continue a little more.

The biggest changes of The Elite centered around Maxon. The Maxon of The Elite is tougher, harder to read than previously. Since the beginning, I have been a die-hard Maxon fan, and still am, but this time around I was beginning to wonder if the Maxon I thought I understood was just a figment of my imagination. With the competition getting fiercer, Maxon not only must assert himself as the future King, but also feels as if he needs to please everyone. This, as you can imagine, causes plenty of drama.

As with Maxon, Apsen has a few changes of his own. And while I pretty much hated his guts in The Selection, in The Elite, I found a side of him that I didn't think existed. Instead of pushing his feelings constantly on America, Aspen takes a bit of the friend approach, and I found myself liking him despite myself for that.

Final Verdict:

The Elite was everything I hoped for, but some of the evolution of the series was lacking. I wish that America had stayed true to her promise to herself instead of going back to square one, which, in the end, has her basically in the same spot she was at in the end of The Selection. However, despite a few minor issues, The Elite was brilliant with its heart stopping moments, and moments that completely broke my heart.

Will I read the next installment:

Yes times a million!

 

Kate

Kate is the co-blog owner of The Book Monsters. I am a twenty-something year old who is passionate about reading. I currently hold a B.A. in English and am married to my high school sweetheart. We have two (cat) children, Gracie and Kit, who are total divas. I have an insane and possibly unhealthy passion for reading. You can usually find me with my nose buried in a book.

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5 responses to “Book Review: The Elite

  1. I didn't think America had evolved enough either, leading me to feel very frustrated for much of the book. Also not sure how I feel about Maxon now either after some of the reveals of this book though I still like him more than Aspen.

    • I completely agree. I loved that there was still that 'feeling' to the book, but I hated that I felt like nothing really changed from the first one. Also the romance was stalled, again, making the 'nothing had really changed' feeling come back.

      While I do not hate Aspen, Maxon will probably always be my first choice for America.

  2. SC

    Nice review! I agree that The Selection was a very surprising book. I also went into it thinking, "This'll probably just be average," but I ended up liking it a lot more than I thought I would! And—again, similarly to you—I also agreed that while The Elite was entertaining, it didn't really seem to PROGRESS. I mean, at the end, America was in the exact same situation she started off in! 

    Check out my review of The Elite (and follow me if you wish!) on my blog: princessoflit.blogspot.com 

  3. Ugh, I really need to read this series. It has been had it in my mind for a long time. Are they still making the CW show for it ?

    Also, I think sequels can go both ways so I am glad you enjoyed this one somewhat!

     

  4. Haha! Great review! I didn't like this series as much as I enjoyed it, but really– I agree with many of your points 😀 I think Maxon is drop dead gorge, and really amazing as a character, though I found it quite hard to understand America. Safe to say I never really liked her : I thought this book built up on the suspense and the story in The Selection though, and I am still really looking forward to The One! 🙂

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