Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Book Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

The Elite (The Selection #2)

Kiera Cass

Review of The Selection

Publication Date: April 2nd 2013

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 336

Genre:  Fantasy-esque, Dystopia-esque, Romance, Young Adult

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.
My first impression upon reading this book is that the writing is improving. I remember being only so-so on the prose previously, but now I'd say it's leaning quite a bit towards good. The Elite continues the same story as The Selection, decreasing the girls and increasing pretty much everything else.

Things go from being a silly little "princess test"/"bachelor" type of story to one where stakes are raised, characters given deeper development and it ends up becoming a story that I appreciate much more. I love romance, don't get me wrong, but this plot has gotten way more interesting and I love it.

The romance of course still has center stage. Though this is technically a love triangle, I feel more and more that it's not about rooting for one over the other. Aspen represents America's past, a place she knows, a place she doesn't have to take risks. Her feelings for him and the way she goes between them are more symbolic than a force to be reckoned with. We know she is going to end up with Prince Maxon in the end, that is the point of the books, and this becomes more apparent as we watch him grow and change a bit as well.

America's feelings for Maxon on the other hand are her future, a place she has no idea what's going to happen in, one she's terrified with, one that's very risky (especially with all those other girls there).

Boy is it messy, though. Everyone one of America's reactions and flip-flopping emotions are so realistic I cringe. I want to yell at them all, I want to strangle them all, but I understand why they are doing the things they are doing. They are scared, they are hopeful, they are unsure of the other's feelings. It's a messy, messy mess, but it feels real. 

If you gave up after The Selection because it hadn't been quite what you were expecting, I implore you to just give The Elite a try. It is an improvement for me, a lot of the issues I had with the first book lessening. Though I still would love to just see it as one big book, it feels more like a serial than separate books right now.



Post a Comment