Title: The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass
Published: April 23, 2013 by HarperTeen
Plot Summary from Goodreads:
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 wanted to LOVE this book. Really, I did. I was so excited about it when it came out. I waited for months to read it. I was so excited when I got it. I reread The Selection in preparation for it.
And yet, I was disappointed.
That's not to say I didn't like this book- I did. But I didn't love it like I was expecting to.
Character-wise, this book kinda sends you between the poles of loving a character and hating a character. For me, this happens with America several times. One minute, I like her, the next she frustrates me to no end. Maxon, you love one minutes, hate the next. I don't like Aspen pretty much ever, so this pole never existed with him. I love the maids though. I love them so much.
There was a serious lack of world-building in The Selection because it is mostly focused on, you know, The Selection. This was somewhat made up for in The Elite. By somewhat, I mean we got a little more information on how this system came to be, but still don't know a lot on how things work. I found the histories interesting and wished they would've been focused on more, rather than being introduced then there being a gap before it was actually used as a plot point.
The whole competition in this book is a lot more intense than in the previous one because the number of girls is significantly fewer. America's jealous side comes out a lot because of this and it really hinders her relationship with Maxon. What this book mostly was was America hindering her relationship with Maxon.
Overall, it's a lot more frustrating than the first book. If you liked The Selection you'll probably want to read this.