Release Date: April 23rd, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
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.
In THE SELECTION, thirty-five girls came to the palace. The Elite, as they are called, are only a fraction who remain. And while America is still in the game, she’s faced with a different problem – can she be a princess?
THE ELITE had some frightening scenes, amping up from the fluffy dresses and petty arguments between the contestants in THE SELECTION. But while the stakes were higher, the writing was the same as in THE SELECTION. It was simply not as good as you’d expect – so much so that you can’t take the plotline seriously. At least, that’s how I felt throughout the book. THE ELITE, like THE SELECTION, has an incredible storyline, but the execution is where Kiera Cass is lacking.
Another downside: America acts rashly in the latest installment. It was more annoying than anything else, but everything ties down nicely in the end.
One area in which Kiera Cass excelled: in making me as torn as America. Right when America (and I) start to think Aspen is the right choice, Maxon flips our wrong thoughts right – making him perfect. And right when we begin to think a life with Maxon would be the one, he ruins it, or Aspen does. It’s a whole back-and-forth dilemma I really enjoyed.
THE ELITE has less eliminations than THE SELECTION did – of course, there are way less girls now than then. But I did expect one more than the actual number. But this has made me all the more tensed for the third and final installment in Kiera Cass’s debut trilogy. And while THE SELECTION focused more on beauty and girls and getting them to eliminate one another, THE ELITE focuses more on the world – the war, rebels, and more importantly, the history. Which just so happens to be uglier than I thought.
In the end, despite the writing that irked me, the plotline won me over. I am beyond excited to see how everything – and everyone – ends up in the last book. I’ve got no expectations and no special hopes – I just need to see how it ends!