Title: The Elite
Series: The Selection (Book 2)
Author: Kiera Cass
Genre: Dystopia, Young Adult, Romance
Summary: “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.” ~from Goodreads.com
*Minor spoilers are in this review*
You ever have one of those books that you think is going to be great because the first book was so good? But then you read it and you’re like WTF because everything kind of changes and you’re conflicted because the first book was so good but this one isn’t as good? This is one of those books for me.
The Selection totally blew me away and I loved every second of it. I was rooting for America and Maxon to get together, I was kind of over Aspen, I loved Marlee and I completely connected with America and thought she was great. The Elite left me feeling incredibly conflicted. Don’t get me wrong, the book is great, but it’s not as good as the first book and I felt like so many characters changed so drastically that I wound up being really angry at a lot of them.
Let’s start at the top: America was awesome in the first book. She was tough without being over-the-top, relatable, and individual without being cheesy or annoying. This book, she cried. A lot. I get that Cass was trying to show that the whole situation was stressful, and that America was struggling with the whole Maxon vs. Aspen debate, but honestly I felt like the spark that was there in the first book was completely gone with this second book. I got irritated by the “do I choose Maxon or Aspen” thing whereas in the first book I really sympathized (even though I wanted her to choose Maxon). And she cried. A lot. Did I mention that? We didn’t get to see much of Marlee, which is explained, but I feel like that’s a crime because Marlee is such a fabulous character and she’s so integral to America’s personality and growth that I really feel she should have been more prevalent throughout the book. Oh, and Maxon and Aspen became utter assholes. Sorry if that’s harsh but my god. Aspen practically shoves himself down America’s throat with his whole “I love you choose me please please please.” And Maxon basically tells America that she has to change her entire personality to stay and also that he loves her but then he hooks up with Kriss and Celeste??? WHAT?! By the end of the book I just wanted America to take Marlee and run off to join the Italian princess to come up with a kick-ass all-female monarchy because HOLY CRAP I was so angry at everyone. Honestly, I don’t want America to choose Maxon OR Aspen at this point. The two of them can be fed to the wolves for all I care.
Love is beautiful fear. (62)
Despite my rant, here’s something I loved and wished I’d seen more of: the rebels. I LOVED the furthering of that plot, and I really wish there was more to it, because I’d have loved to have seen more of that political aspect than reading about America having yet another breakdown. I also liked that we get to see how much of an asshole the king is. Because at least he’s supposed to be an asshole, unlike some other characters (lookin’ at you Maxon). I also liked that America finds out more about the truth behind Illea’s development. I think it’s such a great plot line and it’s developing incredibly well and I can’t wait to see the resolution to it in the third book (which, yes, I will be reading). I think Cass is doing a great job with the whole political aspect of the book. I just wish we could see more of it. I’m really hoping that the third book has more of that to it. There were some also really shocking moments in the book that were well done. There’s a certain scene involving Marlee that had me practically in tears. Those were well done scenes.
Despite my anger over some of the character’s development, I’m really excited to see how this all ends (although like I said above, I’m kind of hoping America just runs off to Italy with Marlee). I’m hoping that the characters don’t make me want to punch them in the face though. Though I suppose it’s a good book that can get such an emotional response out of me.
My rating: ★★★★