Title: The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection Series
Published: April 23rd, 2013
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 out of 5)The summary of The Elite from Goodreads:
The Selection gets fierce as rivals stake their claim on the Prince.
Six girls, one life-changing prize…
America Singer will leave her pre-destined life for a world of glamour and luxury, if she wins…
But surviving The Selection is tough. Rivals are battling to become Prince Maxon’s bride as the threat of rebel violence just beyond the palace walls escalates into war.
Only six girls are left and sworn friendships are tested to breaking point. America’s feelings for Maxon grow stronger, but she suspects darker mysteries in his royal past. With ex-lover Aspen waiting for her in the shadows, where do her loyalties truly lie?
The Elite was not as good as The Selection. It was still enough to make my romance-loving heart feel good, but it felt a little flat when compared to the previous novel.
What I Liked:
I did find that I liked the narrowed focus in terms of the Selection. It’s down to six girls and that means a more focused approach. The girls are now expected to learn more of what it means to be part of the royal family and what their role would be as princess. It took the competition from a somewhat superficial one to one that looked at the realities of life after the Selection.
I liked that we learned more about the world and how it came to be what it is. The background of the wars as well as the individual who brought the country to what it is now. It explained a little bit more about the caste system and why they were created.
We did get to see a little bit more of Maxon the person. He’s not quite as set in his ways as the rest of the country, which gives me some hope. He understands that he’s been somewhat sheltered from the realities of the world and he listens to America when she tells him about her life. He sees that there are problems and he wants to help make the world better for his people.
What I Didn’t Like:
I liked America’s confidence in the first book. She’s from a lower caste, but she still has a certain confidence in herself. That was gone in this book. She’s constantly questioning herself, believing she’s not good enough. If she was simply questioning herself and using those questions to better herself, that’d be one thing. Instead, she just gets filled with more self-doubt.
We still don’t get to really understand the characters as much as I’d like. It’s only toward the end of the book that they become less of the chariactures they started as. America still views and defines them by a single trait instead of trying to understand the whole person. As a result, we only get to understand them as a trait and not a person.
I think my biggest problem has to do with the “love triangle.” I don’t know if we’re supposed to feel sympathy for America, but I don’t. I never really felt like her heart was torn. It was clear she felt attracted to Maxon and that’s fine. What’s not fine is how she strings Aspen along. It’s not okay to treat people like that just because you’re afraid of what might happen. People aren’t safety nets.
And her indecision doesn’t only affect her, Aspen, and Maxon. Because of it, Maxon has to string along the other five girls. I’m just annoyed by how some of the people are treated in this book, and it’s a little difficult to look beyond that at times.
I’m just not sure. I read it because I have this thing where I have to know how a series ends. I’ll read the next book because of it. It’s a weaker novel than the first, but if you’re just looking for the romance aspect, I think it would fit the description.