The Elite (The Selection #2)
by Kiera Cass
Summary: 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.
Source: I purchased a paperback
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I knew The Elite would test my enjoyment of the series. I really liked The Selection, but I was afraid the second book would be disappointing. However, I’m still shamelessly enjoying the series and frantically ordering the next book, regretting my decision to buy paperbacks over the kindle version because I can’t have the next book NOW.
I liked The Elite. Maxon narrowed down the selection to 6 girls. He frequently told America that she was his first choice, but that he had to follow the rules and narrow the girls down like he was supposed to. He was waiting for her to choose him and the crown. At least that’s what he kept telling her.
America was super wishy-washy and sometimes annoying because she didn’t know what she wanted, but I actually liked that because I felt like it was realistic. I’m definitely Team Maxon all the way. I think Aspen is terrible and not really even an option B. However, Maxon was still spending his time with the other girls, probably getting closer to them and what if he was lying? What was he telling the other girls? What if America put all of her eggs in that basket and it turned out that he was awful and super good at being fake?! I was freaking out along with her. While America was completely rash and awful with her reactions, I completely understood it. She should probably have had more faith in him, but she was also kind of new at the whole trusting thing. Especially someone in Maxon’s position. I felt for America, even though I was shouting at her to just trust him because I didn’t think he was lying. I genuinely thought Maxon was a good guy. However, I was just as uncomfortable with the idea of him spending time with the other girls seriously as America was and I could see how doubts about his feelings, despite him saying America was #1, could surface.
Things really got crazy in The Elite. America did some crazy things and she really struggled with her feelings and her belief in herself. Because choosing Maxon wasn’t just about choosing him as a person, but choosing to be a princess. Unlike some of the other girls who associated being a princess with fame and power and riches, America wanted to also make a good princess/queen and actually make a difference and be strong enough to handle the politics and struggles that would come with the position. I admired America for asking herself if she was capable of handling it. (If I didn’t hate Aspen before, when he told America he didn’t actually think she was capable of being a princess and making tough decisions, I wanted to murder him.)
In some ways, this book is a tad shallow with the competition and the jealousy that comes along with it. In some ways, the book was back and forth with drama and love triangles. But I’m surprised by how it wasn’t the catty and stupid series I expected. I never really thought America was torn between two guys. She was torn between two choices that would forever change her life. Being a princess and also being with Maxon or Not.
I devoured The Elite. I ordered The One before I even finished the first few chapters because I knew I didn’t want to wait long for it. I like the series. I still understand why people are disappointed. The Elite didn’t explore the government issues as much as some people might have hoped, but I think it’s a bit much to expect it to suddenly change focus now. It’s about the selection and America’s place in it and I’m okay with that. Perhaps by having low expectations, the series has wowed me more than it has others. But it’s a heck of a lot better than I ever expected based on what some of my friends and fellow reviewers have said.
Labels: Dystopian, Review, romance, YA