Series: The Selection #2
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.
I was looking forward to reading The Elite, but also a little leery of it based on how The Selection ended. Once America decided to lie to Maxon and not tell him that Aspen was the boy who broke her heart, I knew it spelled trouble. I’m Team Maxon all the way and I have to admit that America’s actions toward him bothered me more than a little. Still, I was hopeful that she might redeem herself in The Elite. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed.
I’m not going to go into a lot of details about the plot of the book because the synopsis sums it up pretty well. Instead, I’m just going to jump into what I did and didn’t like:
- America (and Aspen). Like I said, I’m Team Maxon. Even more than that, I’m Team Honesty, Integrity, Don’t Cheat on Your Pseudo-Boyfriendy. Okay, yes, because of the whole Bachelor-like premise of the book, Maxon was seeing other people and maybe you could argue that America should be able to do the same. Except she wasn’t being honest with Maxon and she knew that what she was doing was just plain dangerous and wrong (since she had agreed to the terms of the Selection). Her inability to choose between Aspen and Maxon made her just string them both along. In fact, at some points, I wondered if Maxon would have been better off if he just chose Kriss (in fact, I’m still kind of wondering that). I really WANT to want America and Maxon together, but this book just made me so aggravated with America and her petty childishness (not just regarding the love triangle, but in so MANY ways) that I kind of felt like maybe I’m Team Maxon, but not Team America. I will say that America redeemed herself slightly by the end of the book and I have hope for the next book, but she definitely didn’t completely win me over in this one.
- The girls. I loved the dynamics between the girls in this book and that we got to learn a bit more about each of them (those that were still there). I also liked that the book showed some of the problems and jealousies that occur in a situation like this (a la The Bachelor).
- The revolution. I liked that the revolution and the social issues in the book took a bit more center stage in this book. I’m definitely more curious about what will happen with the revolution now than I was in the first book. This book focused a bit more on the fact that the winner of The Selection will actually have to help lead the country and gave us some insight into what that means. Is America up to the job? I hope so!
- The ending. Like I said, I definitely had more hope for America at the end of this book. I am cautiously optimistic that she will grow up a bit and start to understand that her actions affect other people as well as herself (and that she’ll stop going back and forth between Aspen and Maxon – please!). I think that the premise that has been set for the third book could be really great – hopefully Keira Cass will follow through and the third book will be a winner!