Release: April 23rd 2013
Plot: 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. (Goodreads)
I cannot tell you how much I have wanted this book after finishing The Selection around a year ago. The last book left so abruptly that it had me hanging on for more so you can imagine my excitement at receiving my review copy a couple of days ago.
Firstly, I have read The Prince so I went into this book already with a different outlook of some of the characters, namely the king than that I had received from reading the first book.
The Elite continues basically where we left off in The Selection with only six girls remaining including our main protagonist America Singer (whose name to be honest still frustrates me).
The tension increases with this book as you'd imagine as the competition draws ever closer to its conclusion which I am sure we will eventually see in the next and final book to the trilogy which has yet to be titled. There is also an increased tension as we see America switch between Prince Maxon and Aspen, the boy from her past, and this is a theme that is consistent throughout the series, more so in this book as the reader gains a clear understanding into not only America's confused emotions but also the difficult choice that will pave the path to her future, ultimately the question of who will she choose?
America's secret meetings with Aspen are also proven even more dangerous as we see the consequences of what happens to those who do not abide by the rules.
The characters did develop in some aspects it could be argued as we discover and begin to sympathise with characters that didn't really get a massive look-in in The Selection, and of course there is also the increasing worry and fear of the rebels which attacks grow more frequent and chosen targets prove fatal for some. However it did feel that something was missing from this book that I craved.
What I didn't like...
As much as I hate to admit it I didn't really think there was much of a plot to the book. There were moments where I got excited expecting something to happen only discover that it didn't.
The Elite in my opinion is more of a filler book, where basically you get the opportunity to discover more about the lives, emotions and thoughts of the characters yet they don't really seem to get anywhere with anything.
Yes, we do see a couple of the characters stand up and defend themselves and there are moments where we discover certain truths about them, however these just lead on (I hope) to the final instalment to the series. I understand that the final book is the revealing book where everything comes to light and we see whether the character we invested so much time into gets her happy ending, however I would have liked just a little more action or just something to make this book stand out a little more and I think especially the sub-plot of the rebels could have been introduced a little more firmly than it was.
To Sum Up:
Overall, yes, I didn't think it was as good as The Selection however it wasn't a bad book.
The Elite lives up to some of my expectations and I know I must have liked it after reading it in only a couple of sittings.
I recently watched one of the authors Youtube videos where Kiera Cass is describing her books and I think she sums it up pretty well and in a food orientated way. Her books are like comfort food, namely mac and cheese which I love! They're easy to read, yet loveable and you always find yourself going back for more.
Don't let my negatives about this book stop you form picking it because ultimately its only one side to the story and only my opinion. With every book there is good points and bad points and I have faith that the next book will deliver everything that is promised (hypothetically, of course) in a concluding novel of a series.
Kiera Cass, I need more comfort food from you but until then I'll just have to re-read the series so far.
Thanks for reading and I'd love to hear what you thought of the book!