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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Elite

The Elite by Kiera Cass. Book two in The Selection series.

The hotly-anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller The Selection.
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.

Thoughts:After reading The Selection about October (or November or September) last year I was practically dying for this book (the sequel) to come out. I had loved The Selection. It was a wonderful idea that came out wonderful as a book, I loved America and Maxon and the whole thing was just lovely and pretty clean. So I was expecting to love The Elite. And I actually read a sample before I got the book and was a little disappointed. So I was on both sides of the fence. I was still expecting it to be good but I was doubting it at the same time.
America is one of The Elite now, the final six girls to be left in the Selection. The Selection is a contest for the girls of all castes and backgrounds, just ordinary non-royalty girls who are given the chance to compete and be chosen as the Prince's wife. Through a series of circumstances America is in the competition and doing pretty well.  As this book starts off she has been shown a secret room by Prince Maxon and is starting to develop deeper feelings for him. Despite the catty girls, time spent always in the palace so much that it feels like a prison to America, and various other problems, she's beginning to want to stay there. However with increasing rebel attacks, political problems and confusion to where Maxon's attentions and feelings lie America has started to doubt in herself and if she has what it takes to be the Princess.

Pros:This book will drive you crazy. The feelings go up and down and I tore through this book so fast I'm sure that there were only a couple hours spent reading this book. America is happy and moving right along with Maxon and then boom! Several things happen that make me want to scream. Just things that make Maxon look bad, then good, then America is torn, then she's mad and sad...then happy. It's crazy. I just about died from silently screaming as something new happened to sighing and then repeating. This book will definitely leave you with some stronger feelings. In the acknowledgments the author says "Thank you for reading my book! I hope it made you have unbearable feeling that you find yourself tweeting about at 3:00 a.m. That's what it does to me, so..." (page 325)
America is a great character and at the moment I'm so befuddled that I'm more team American than Maxon or Aspen. I know, I know but some of Maxon's actions have made me less of a fan and some of Aspen's actions have made me like him more. But seriously America is a really strong character who is thinking for the good of the people...or really mainly the poorer people as the rich are fine. The plot gets going right at the start and there are some shocking and wonderful reveals that left me gasping and almost yelling. Definitely an exciting book and a smart sequel to the first book. I say smart because it's totally different but a good different. And although I did like the first a bit better and this one drove me crazy I still really, really liked and enjoyed it. It was definitely worth waiting for :)

Cons:The way everything is so crazy. It drove me crazy and made me mad but in the end worked out. I didn't like how quickly the romance with Maxon went in the beginning. It was kinda off. There was maybe one or two times when a scene was a little slow or messy.
Content wise there were some secret meeting between and with different characters were making out or kissing would happen, (spoiler) Marlee is caught with a guard half unclothed, punishments for that << (end spoiler) and injuries. Rebel attacks, 10 cuss words, and brief mention of "did you do it" with a married woman.

Overall, this was a great sequel that might make you pull your hair out. I'm am so super excited for the third book and I would recommend to teen (14/15+) girls who love romantic, slightly dystopian, exciting books :D
Rating: 4.5 stars
Love, Sierra

11 comments:

  1. I LOVED this book. I read it from 9:30 at night til two in the morning straight through. XD

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    1. Haha, that does say something :D

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  2. Just letting you know now...you're the first person that I've known who's read this book, so you're going to get my whole "spew." ;)

    I had a lot of the same mixed emotions that you had, Sierra! I really enjoyed the first book and bought this one as soon as I saw it in the store. But yes, ups and downs is right! Which personally, I didn't like. It really frustrated me (in fiction and in real life) when a girl plays the emotions of two guys, going from one to the other, back and forth. Not only is it unfair to the buys, I find that it cheapens the girl herself.

    I also felt that America had to many "moments of revelation." Like, at one moment it say that "suddenly, in the moment, she knew beyond anything that all she really wanted was Maxon." And so she just sorta forgets about Aspen. Then Maxon suddenly gets all up and close and personal with you-know-who (a whole other discussion!) and then suddenly she has another revelation that "Aspen is the only one she can really, ever truly love and that suddenly she can see how Aspen is the only one for her." That seemed to happen several times, to the point now where I don't feel I can even trust America and how she thinks. In fiction, there should be just ONE big epiphany. Not several. Anyways, that was one of my biggest frustration points.

    Oh and Maxon? Dirtbag is what I have to say. The whole make-out session with {can't remember her name off the top of my head} was SO out of character for him. Did it say in book 1 how he'd never even kissed anyone before? And then just weeks later, he's obviously getting physically involved with someone. Behind America's back and we're supposed to agree with him (and America, at the end) that it was okay and not a big deal? That did not float with me.

    Overall, I felt like this book really covered NO ground and really? it's no farther along in the story than it was at the end of the first book. Which is frustrating.

    Anyways, sorry for the looong comment. I did still enjoy the book, even as I wanted to beat it with a stick over some plot lines. :)

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  3. i want to read this soooo stinking bad!!!!

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    1. I knooowwww! I felt exactly that way!

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  4. and our library now has this book!!! yay it is on hold now! :) cannot wait!

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  5. I love your enthusiasm for this book and series! I haven't read them but it does make me want to check them out someday! :)

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    1. It's a great series, I really love it :D

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  6. Started reading this one but have had to put it aside in pursuit of other books. SO far, I am loving it. That being said, I think my "pet peeve" for it will be the back-and-forth in America's mind over who to chose. *sigh* Guess that's teen lit for you. Cannot believe we have to wait until May 2014 for The One!

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    1. I know! It's so long :( I did hate that, sometimes the back and forth doesn't bother me, but more and more it is :( I hope you enjoy it when you finish!

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