Title: The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: Book #2 in the Selection series
Publisher: HarperTeen – an imprint of HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 23, 2013
Genres: Young Adult – Dystopian, Romance
Format: Purchased Paperback
“The Elite” by Kiera Cass is the second book in the Selection series. Now, if you haven’t read “The Selection,” I suggest you read it first (and my review) before checking out this review of the second book because there will obviously be some spoilers in here.
So, America is now part of the last six girls that make up the Elite. Despite all odds, Maxon’s feelings for her have only grown and he’s kept her in the competition – not that she’s not happy about that. But now the competition is growing even fiercer between the girls as they all try to win over the prince.
But not only is America trying to beat the girls in the Selection, but she’s also trying to figure out where her own heart lies between the two boys she loves: the prince, Maxon, and her first love, Aspen, who is now a guard for the royal family.
In this book there was a lot of drama that went on between America and Maxon, as well as with her and Aspen. I’m actually kind of surprised that no one’s discovered her relationship with Aspen yet. Maybe it’ll happen in the third book. But anyway.
I felt that the drama between each of the couples in their respective interactions was… actually, kind of annoying. I was having a really hard time liking America in this one when she was interacting with either boy. I am totally team Maxon, so when she’s having intimate moments with Aspen it makes me want to slap her. But then Maxon is keeping secrets from her (as she’s keeping some from him, but you know how it goes) and it makes me not sure of whom she can trust.
But aside from the drama aspect in the love triangle thing, the plot itself sort of moved the plot along, especially toward the end. I’m actually really hoping there’s a war or some more rebel action in the third book and that I’ll get to find out more about them then. Those were some of the most exciting parts of the book for me was when the rebels attacked. I still find it interesting how the Northerners are the calm ones, only stealing books from the palace, while it’s the Southerners who spill all the blood. Maybe they’re tag teaming the palace? Hmm…
As for some other side content, I was actually happily surprised when Maxon showed America that secret library with the diaries of the original king of Illea. The entries that were written were definitely of a man corrupted by power and I could see where that power would branch off down the line to Maxon’s father (poor Maxon!). I hope that the diaries play more of a role in the third book, but we’ll see.
I grew to like the Queen more, as well as Marlee. I didn’t trust her for the longest time but now I see she was just having her own love story on the side with a guard. I was so stunned about what happened to her that my jaw literally dropped open. Poor girl.
I don’t know how I feel about Kriss, who is now America’s biggest competition. I still don’t like Celeste at all. The others kind of fade into the background and don’t really matter.
As for Maxon himself, why the hell did he act so weirdly? Okay, teenage hormones are seriously a thing, but man I was mad at him more in this book than the last. I’m sure he’ll redeem himself, but still.
America was… I don’t know, a lot more frustrating. The constant back and forth with her feelings for the boys, as well as for staying in the palace, it was just all very frustrating. I did like her when she wasn’t interacting with the boys… So yeah, you can tell how much I don’t like this love triangle.
As far as a sequel goes, it was good, but I think it still could have been better. Though it did push the plot along and I am excited for the next book in the series. I have mixed feelings, but most of my feelings are positive.
Overall, I rated this book with 4/5 stars and recommend it.
Accompanying video: The Selection Trilogy Book Review