The Elite (The Selection, # 2)
By: Kiera Cass
Published: April 23rd 2013 by HarperTeen (first published 2013)
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Fantasy
Source: Borrowed from Library
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Goodreads description--The Selection began with thirty-five girls. Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon's heart is fiercer than ever—and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen?
America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America's chance to choose is about to slip away.
Oh boy, you guys. This book was a bit of a roller coaster for me. I enjoyed The Selection more than I expected to, and so I guess I started The Elite with slightly higher expectations. The Selection of girls for Prince Maxon to choose between has been narrowed from 35 down to 6. America is still one of the 6 and still Maxon’s favorite. Yet the sudden reappearance of Aspen, America’s first love, at the end of The Selection has messed with her mind. Now she doesn’t know what she wants. And the back and forth between her desire for both guys throughout The Elite really frustrated me. I knew who I was rooting for, but the back and forth was too much. It got to the point where I asked my friend Paula to just tell me who she ends up with. And I NEVER ask for spoilers. I just needed to be off that see-saw.
Speaking of the see-saw, America was a bit of a see-saw herself. She tends toward the dramatic, especially when upset. And the one event where a citizen had to be punished for breaking the law was quite ridiculous. I mean maybe I’m watching through the eyes of someone who knows history—whereas America really doesn’t--but punishment over the years has included a wide variety of things. Hangings and beheadings weren’t out of the realm of possibility in my mind, so 15 lashes really didn’t seem so harsh to me. But you would have thought America just witnessed the firing squad with the way she reacted. Child please.
America also has a tendency toward selfishness and hypocrisy. She took for granted her position as Maxon’s favorite, and when he began to really show attention toward the other remaining girls she basically throws a jealous tantrum. What did she expect? And she couldn’t really be all of that upset considering she's had a few make out sessions with Aspen herself. Of course, she does kind of realize this and towards the end she did seem to think more about what was good for Maxon. But still. It was difficult to read these sections.
This was just a slight annoyance, but one of the biggest conflicts in The Elite revolved around whether or not America would actually make a good princess/queen. This felt so off to me. I thought she really made the best candidate based off the skillset of remaining calm, thinking with a rational head, and even giving a few orders during the rebel raids during The Selection. The other girls really just seemed to panic. Granted, these aren’t the only scenarios that America will face as princess or queen, but I felt like she wasn’t given enough credit in The Elite for her abilities to handle the position. Whether she wants the “job” or not is a different story.
The politics with the rebels was on the rise with The Elite so I expect this to take on more of a role in The One also. I’m not annoyed, but I’m not exactly happy with this either. I don’t know why we can’t have books about cultures that are different than ours without there being some major political reformation that turns society in more of the direction that we currently have. Sometimes I just want to read about something different for the sake of it being different and not turn into something political or revolutionary. Life hasn’t always been the way that it is now. And while things are always changing, who’s to say that the way society is now is exactly ideal?
-“Give me a chance to choose you.”
I really feel like this review is coming off as more negative than I felt towards the book. I had a few annoyances that I needed to address, but really once I moved past the major dramatic part closer to the beginning the more I was able to enjoy it. I’m sure it didn’t hurt that I have a solid answer on some of the questions (like who to root for) that plagued me. I didn’t enjoy The Elite as much as The Selection, but I am looking forward to seeing what happens next in The One. The Elite gets 3.5 Stars from me. Have you read The Elite? What did you think? Let me know!