The Elite by Kiera Cass
Published: April 23rd 2013 by HarperTeen
Format/Source: Paperback ARC from Goodreads’ giveaways for honest review
Genre: Young adult romance with dystopian elements
Series: Second in The Selection series, sequel to 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.
I was quite happy to have this book right after completing The Selection so I didn’t have any space between the two. The Elite takes place right where The Selection ends, with the girls having been whittled down to just six. The competition is still on and America is just as conflicted as in the first one on her decision of who to love.
I criticize books based on what they actually are. And The Elite is not meant as literature, and to be frank, I don’t think it’s really meant to be a solid story. It’s one of those guilty pleasure reads, where the premise is enough to have you keep going, to see how the love triangle ends, to see what happens next while making your eyes roll all at the same time. So my critiques of this book cannot be too harsh. It is what it is and it is a light, sometimes frustrating, and enjoyable read.
I kept reading this book to see if America would make a decision. And each chapter added a new revelation about either the history of Illea or some new event that made me want to immediately know the outcome. I was increasingly frustrated by America’s indecisiveness and lack of a spine…it seemed like any decision was open to be immediately changed by a single event. I am still not sure I really understand the presence of the dystopian elements. The rebel attacks, the increasing tension between the castes…I kept feeling like either more attention needs to be paid to that side of things or just leave it. The series is at its core a romance story. While that plot seems less ‘important’ than a government struggle, time and again the focus is brought back to the romance. The dystopian parts of the story are definitely political at their core, or so I felt.
All that said, I look forward to seeing how the story ends and will likely read the next one to see its conclusion. It’s a great poolside read!
My rating: 3/5
In keeping up with the passing of ARCs, here is my giveaway of my ARC! This is open to the US only (sorry my last one was US and International and I can’t afford to have everyone be in international). It will run from today and will end July 18th. This giveaway is now closed. Again, the only way to enter the giveaway is by using rafflecopter, not by commenting. I’ve had a problem in the past with people commenting to enter the giveaway when it is not the way to do it. Typically I disable comments on giveaway posts to avoid that, but I’d love real comments on the review instead. Good luck!