Title: The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass
Published: April, 2013
Number of Pages: 323
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. [From Goodreads
It’s the most wonderful and terrible thing that can ever happen to you… You know that you’ve found something amazing, and you want to hold on to it forever; and every second after you have it, you fear the moment you might lose it…
Love is beautiful fear.
I love this series so much. It’s a “light” read, but there’s more than meets the eye. The fun of the Bachelor/Cinderella story is balanced by the more serious nature of the dystopian world and the mounting “dissatisfaction” with the monarchy therein. The Selection (Review
Of course, if you’re not into the social commentary side of things, there’s still much to have fun with in The Elite. However, as most second installments are, this book is riddled with trouble and conflict, all in preparation for what I’m sure will be a fantastically stressful climax.
With conflict comes irritation, in my opinion. There’s no way that every character can handle conflict gracefully (or even rationally), so it’s inevitable that some become a nuisance. The cast of The Elite is no exception. I found that America dug her hole deeper and deeper as the book progressed, particularly in the ever-maddening love triangle area, but, as usual, she proves that her integrity can’t be shaken so easily and that, despite her mistakes, she intends to make things right.
In fact, America’s development is one of the most exciting elements of the book. As she becomes more and more aware of the strife that strains her country, she is simultaneously forced to consider the idea of becoming the princess and being in a position of power. The combination of the two means that she has the potential to do great things for Ilea, but America soon realizes that being princess (or prince) does not guarantee the freedom to do what one believes is right. It may mean sacrificing her beliefs and idly standing by as people are taken advantage of – whatever it takes to have the favor of the King.
Did I say I was going to talk about the “fun,” lighthearted stuff? Sorry. Haha.
There is a lot to be found in the pages of this book. The challenge to win over Prince Maxon continues, but only a handful of girls remain. Every girl steps up her game, perfecting her strategies, and, because of the nature of the competition, this is always at another girl’s expense. So, of course, there are ample opportunities for drama.
However, as many of you know, that sort of drama is less fun and more torturous for this wordbird. Yet, I can’t resist a complicated love story. What girl doesn’t like to watch the development of a relationship, against all odds? I’m Team Maxon all the way, and although I couldn’t stand the stressful moments in their relationship, I mean “couldn’t stand” in the most ridiculous, girlish way, which translates into: I had so much fun.
So, yes, this series brings out the silly girlishness in me, but it can appeal to people looking for “heavier stuff.” I appreciate that they’re easy reads, but I always enjoy a more serious aspect, and The Elite supplies both. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a fast-paced read that combines lighthearted fun with a thought-provoking dystopian world.
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