The Elite by Kiera Cass

8:00 AM

Title: The Elite (The Selection #2)
Author: Kiera Cass
Release Date: April 23, 2013 (paperback international edition)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 336
Source: Bought

Overall: 3.5 Stars

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.

My Thoughts:
I have an odd fascination with The Selection series. There are times when I love it, and other times when I just want to throw the book at a wall and rant about it. Yet, I still can't look away. There's always a burning curiosity within me to know what happens next! Now that I knew what to sort of expect quality-wise, I enjoyed The Elite so much more than The Selection. And, seriously, I would buy this book just for its absolutely gorgeous cover alone!

In The Elite, America could be such a hypocrite sometimes. Now that only six girls remain in the Selection, the pressure is on and while some of the girls may act like friends, no one can forget they're in the middle of a fierce competition. America is irked and jealous that Maxon keeps company with the other girls, but isn't she betraying him when she's with Aspen? Maxon has a monarchy to consider and a lot of responsibility rests on his shoulders. It's not exactly fair of America to make him wait when there's so much at stake, yet Maxon is still very much devoted to her, even when she doesn't always see it.

America's stolen moments with Aspen left me holding my breath in anxiousness, worried someone in the palace would catch them together. They share a history together that no one else can ever know, and while America's feelings continue to grow for the charming Prince Maxon, she's never forgotten the dreams of the future she once imagined with Aspen.

Romantic drama aside, I did think America grew as an individual in this novel. In The Selection, she doubted herself because she came from a higher caste level than the other girls, but in The Elite, America finally gains more confidence to believe that she's worthy to be crowned princess of Illéa. Her family may not have powerful connections, but America's compassion and strength in the face of adversity are just as important. 

The world-building in this series is relatively light compared to other dystopian novels, but we do learn more about Illéa's origins in The Elite. Rebels also continue to periodically attack the palace, but it's still unclear what sort of objectives or end game they have in mind. And after a tumultuous conclusion, America is definitely walking on thin ice now and she'll have to be more careful than ever, showing caution in her actions instead of making rash decisions without considering the consequences.

The Elite is an irresistible sequel with enough romance and hints of danger to tide you over until readers can get their hands on The One. I can't wait to see how Kiera Cass will conclude the trilogy!

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  1. I agree completely! I personally fell a little out of love with this series due to America's hypocritical and just plain idiotic thoughts. I'm still a huge fan though!

    Glad you liked it! Hopefully The One will be even better! :)

  2. I didn't love the Selection but I did kind of enjoy it. I think I described it as a "cotton candy read" in my review. I'm glad to hear America grows as a character and I am curious to see what happens next (I'm like you - I can't look away!)