The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass

The Elite (The Selection #2)
by Kiera Cass
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Format: Hardcover, 323 pgs.
Published: April 23rd, 2013 by Harper Teen
Genre: YA, romance (dystopian?)

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"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." -goodreads

You can imagine my apprehension of initially posting a review, based on the previous actions of the author and her party, but I hope that had been a lesson and that it's all behind them.

Review:

“‘Sometimes I feel like Maxon and I are in our own version of the Selection. It’s just him and me, and one of us will get you in the end; and I can’t decided who’s worse off.” (210)

Only six girls remain in the competition to win Prince Maxon’s heart and the crown. America has a choice of her own too. With Aspen within reach and living in the palace with her and Prince Maxon, will America choose the right guy?

(I’m trying to be spoiler free, and honestly if you haven’t read The Selection, you need not read this review.)

I have to begin by saying, I loved The Selection. In my figuring, I was elated, excited and enthused to read The Elite because of this reason. I feel that my expectations were somehow let down. Now, I thought maybe my reaction to this book would’ve calmed down a bit if I let it swim around in my head for a few days, but it didn’t, so I’m just going to be truthful and go through the notes I took. The long of the short of it: Love Triangle. Of course I knew there would be one, but I didn’t expect it to take over the entire plot and tone of the book. It felt really overwhelming, and the overall affect of the book caused me to hate America more than I have ever hated any main character in a book. She got on my nerves, and truly Prince Maxon doesn’t deserve her... maybe even Aspen as well. I felt every action she took towards everything was careless, stupid (for lack of a better word) and took away the love I had for her character in the first book. OH YES ASPEN! I know this tragic event just happened with one of the girls here, but BY ALL MEANS let’s up the ante and go on a date behind Maxon’s back. (I’m trying to be spoiler free, and honestly if you haven’t read The Selection, you need not read this review.)

“Time. I was asking for a lot of it these days. I hoped that if I had enough, everything would somehow fall into place.” (8)

I began planting my own scenarios in my head just to make the book better, and to put America through some real trials. I found myself wanting Aspen to get seriously injured or killed, and wishing America would get captured by the rebels. I know it’s cruel, but maybe (although probably not with the way things are going,) it would put some sense in her and her horrible judgement in everything. Prince Maxon, just send her home! Even more so, this book brings up a character quality equaling “pathetic” with the way America keeps going back and forth between loving and spending time with Maxon to hating and deceiving him. Her jealousy is also cringe-worthy because she has absolutely no right to be jealous, with what she’s doing. She’s so selfish.

“I wanted to be his dear, his darling. I wanted to be Maxon’s alone.” (39)

In the end, after I’ve finished and digested everything I’ve read, I really thought about what went on. When it boils down to it... nothing really happens! I mean, things happen, but the plot doesn’t really progress from The Selection. If anything, we are just reinforced with what we could’ve figured out from the first book; the king’s a tyrant and America has two guys under her thumb. That’s it, and I suppose that may really be a reason that this book didn’t achieve the greatness I wanted it to. I really liked The Selection, and I wanted The Elite to continue my admiration, but it fell flat. I’ll read The One, not for America, not for Aspen, but for Prince Maxon and the nation of Illéa.

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First Line: “The Angeles air was quiet, and for a while I lay still, listening to the sound of Maxon’s breathing.” (1)

Last Line: “If I had them, there was no way I could lose.” (323)

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