Title: The Elite (The Selection #2)
Author: Kiera Cass
Pages: Hardcover, 323
Release Date: April 23, 2013
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.
When I first read The Selection a couple months ago, I was mildly impressed. It was a story that I had not expected. In fact, it became one of my favorite books. The Elite furthered my love for this story. It lived up to every one of my high expectations I had for this book.
The book starts off with one of my favorite things in the entire book-- America and Maxon. But all this lovey dovey stuff doesn't stop there. It's peppered throughout the entire book, which made me extremely happy. This book further developed Maxon and America's relationship in ways that I loved so much. You could see how much they loved and cared for each other. (And ohmygod Maxon is the best most fantastic fictional guy in the whole world)
The character development in this book was absolutely amazing. While the story developed, so did the characters. All the Elite girls became more three-dimensional. Instead of being just stand-in, static characters, they became real girls with real feelings. Not necessarily black and white, evil or good characters like we see in The Selection (I'm looking at you Celeste). I felt so bad for Marlee. I mean, I loved her story, but at times it was so incredibly sad.
There are only two problems I had with this book: Aspen and America. At the end of The Selection when he showed up, my first though was Oh dear God, not you again. Not only is Aspen an extremely two-dimensional character, but he's super annoying and selfish. He won't leave America ALONE. He sees how happy America can be with Maxon and how good it would be for both her and her family, but he doesn't care. He even tells her that she can't be a good princess! He thinks only of himself this entire book-- what he wants and "needs."
America is basically the same. She is extremely selfish during most of the book. I don't know if my problems with her have to do with me hating Aspen, or just partially poor character development on the writer's part. But here you have a super handsome and prince-ly Maxon Schreave offering you all his love and everything you could ever want, but America's snuggling with Aspen in her spare time! One minute she's in love with Maxon, the next she wants to run away with Aspen. Her indecisiveness is the worst thing in this novel. It doesn't happen just once or twice; it happens several times. And to be honest, it was extremely annoying.
Despite those blemishes, I really enjoyed The Elite. It was just as amazing as I hoped it would be. Kiera Cass made me love the series even more than I already had.
5 Crowns of Illea out of 5