Friday, July 5, 2013

Book Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

Pages: 323
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Pub. Date: April 23, 2013
Source: Personal Copy
Series: The Selection (Book #1)
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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."
America Singer is one of the Elite, or the last six girls competing for Prince Maxon's affection.  Originally she thought that she was taking part in this competition simply for money (her family really needs it); however, she started to have real feelings for Maxon, despite the fact that she never got over her boyfriend from home, Aspen.  If you read The Selection, you know that Aspen just so happens to be a palace guard and has reentered the picture.  His feelings haven't wavered towards America for one second, which puts her in a bit of a predicament.  Prince Maxon actually loves America and wants to end the competition with her as his bride, but she has asked for more time in order to figure some things out, such as the fact that she isn't even sure she wants/can be a princess.  To add to the melodrama, there are more and more rebels attacking the palace and America knows she is running out of time.  She has a huge desicion to make in The Elite, which is an entertaining and deliciously dramatic sequel to The Selection by Kiera Cass.

America wasn't as enjoyable in The Elite as she was in The Selection as she spent most of her time trying to figure out just.what.to.do.  She went back and forth a lot and was a bit irritating in that sense, but it didn't really stop me from enjoying all the angst.  Her relationship with Maxon gets a bit complicated in this book and of course, Aspen is still trying to win her over. There's a lot of tension between the remaining "Elite" and some drama ensues with one of the girls who doesn't play by the rules.  So, needless to say, there isn't a dull moment in The Elite.


As I was reading The Elite, it occurred to me that this book, despite its concept and the fact that it's similar to The Bachelor, is pretty clean. I could easily recommend this to an 8th grade student who loves romance and not worry about it being inappropriate, etc.  

Again, one of my main issues with this series is the fact that it's considered science-fiction/dystopian. There isn't enough world-buidling or enough of an explanation about this world that America lives in.  It really doesn't feel like a sci-fi/dystopian novel to me.  Cass goes into a little more detail regarding the rebels and their attacks, but readers are still confused regarding their motives and why they keep breaking into the palace. 

Of course, I will be dying to find out how the trilogy ends in The One, which comes out next May.  This series is pure mind candy and it appeals to the same part of my brain that reads Us Weekly while on vacation. If you are looking for a mindless, fun, and dramatic series to read poolside with a cold drink in your hand, check out The Selection and The Elite this summer.

8 comments:

  1. I can not wait to read this book. I agree with you on the sic-fi part to me though I know its set in the future I would have thought its fairy tale than sci-fi when I first read it had I not been told it was sci-fi.
    and as a true sci-fi fan this does not hit me as sci-fi.

    Great review!


    DaydreamerN.blogspot.com

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    1. My thoughts exactly, but it's a fun read nonetheless. I hope you get to read it soon! Thanks for visiting!

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  2. Completely agree Christina! I found America to be super frustrating in this one with all her waffling between the two boys, but I still desperately want to know what's going to happen and how everything is going to work out for her and the others. I don't have a clear picture of this world either since we're stuck in the palace the whole time, so like you said, it doesn't feel overly dystopian. Maybe we'll get more history in the final book? I hope so!

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    1. I hope we do get some more background int he final book, but I doubt it. Either way this series is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine. :) Thanks for visiting, Jenny!

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  3. I loved The Selection and that completely surprised me. At the same token I've been worried that The Elite would be disappointing. It's good to know that it is still dramatic and interesting.

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    1. Me too! I didn't think I would like it. The Elite is definitely entertaining. I hope you get to read it soon. Thanks for visiting, Alexis.

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  4. I hate it when characters go back and forth a lot with their decisions / choices - just make a decision! ;)

    Thanks for the review! It sounds like a good guilty pleasure series. I'll have to check the first book out of the library sometime. :)

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    1. I know, right?! You should definitely check this series out if you want some mind-candy! Thanks for dropping by, Lea.

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