SPOILER ALERT: I’ve tried to avoid spoilers, but if you haven’t yet read The Selection, I’d advise you skip this review just in case!
SIDE NOTE: I’m not addressing the controversy and debate regarding Kiera Cass, because if I wasn’t a blogger I don’t know if I’d have even heard about it. My review is based on the book alone rather than my personal opinion of an author – there are actors I don’t like but their presence wouldn’t put me off seeing a movie that appealed to me. If you want to know more about the controversy you can read about it on The Midnight Garden, Publishers Weekly & Prolific Novelista, but that’s all I’ll be saying on it!
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.
Author: Kiera Cass
Length: 323 pages
Series: Yes – #2 in The Selection
I borrowed The Selection from the library in March and was pleasantly surprised by it, so I was thrilled when I was approved for The Elite on NetGalley.
There are two main threads running through The Elite; the politics, and the competition/love triangle. At the end of The Selection, the competition to find Maxon a wife has dropped down to six girls. While the reduction of 35 girls to 6 in The Selection really gripped me, I don’t feel like the competition really moved on throughout The Elite.
The love triangle continues, with both Maxon and Aspen vying for her attention. While both have good and bad points, I personally disliked Aspen. He put too much weight on the class differences in The Selection and didn’t manage to impress me in The Elite either. Despite the very clear rules against candidates having relationships with other men, Aspen continues to pursue America, potentially putting her at risk. The supporting characters, particularly Marlee, were great (although I thought her twist was very obvious). America’s feelings switched too rapidly for me, since every time Maxon did something she didn’t like, she went running to Aspen. That might have made sense to me, but I can’t help feeling bad for Maxon, who’s having to try and avoid offending any of the girls while America dithers, on top of dealing with his responsibilities.
The increasing rebel attacks and learning more about the politics and history was great, and gave The Elite a slightly darker edge than The Selection. That edge combined with America’s introspection, trying to evaluate if she could handle the responsibility of being queen, meant The Elite felt a little less ‘fluffy’ than The Selection, which may please a lot of readers.
I enjoyed The Elite and devoured it in a day, but I think it suffered a little from middle book syndrome – there was some character development, lots of setting up for book three and some truly emotional scenes but not an awful lot of true plot progress.
Buy it? It’s £5.24 at the moment, which is a price I’d probably pay.
In a nutshell: Enjoyable but not quite enough plot to live up to The Selection.