Apr 15, 2013

Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

Title: The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publishing Date: April 23, 2013
Pages/Format: 336, ARC

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.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: AHHHHH!

When I first read The Selection last year, I liked it. Over time, I decided I liked it a lot, and The Elite was easily one of my most anticipated books of 2013. When I saw it at ALA Midwinter I pretty much flipped out, and I was stoked to get a copy. And when I finally read it, I was not disappointed. The Elite is an excellent sequel that is sure to tick you off--but in a good way.

There wasn't really anything I disliked about the book, though there were parts of the book that I wasn't fan of. (But it was meant to be like that, if that makes sense. Like, I'm probably not supposed to like those scenes, but they were there for a reason.) The writing isn't my favorite, but it's totally readable. It's simple with a touch of sophistication, which I like. The POV mixed with present tense is noticeable at first--like it was when I read The Prince, a novella about Prince Maxon--but eventually I got used to it and it didn't bother me. As for scenes I didn't like...Well, I'd love to tell you, but that would be majorly spoilery. I will say this: I was SHOCKED by several things that happened. I'll also say this: some of the things that shocked me were done by Celeste (big surprise), Marlee (we find out what's up with her), America (not too much of a shocker, since she's the MC), and...Maxon. Oh, Maxon, some things you did...BUT. I still love you. (But don't do that ever again.)

Since there aren't as many girls in The Elite, there's more focus on the characters. America is still trying to choose between Maxon or Apsen. *cough* Maxon *cough* But if she chooses Maxon, she's not just getting him; she's getting a throne and a kingdom. She's not sure if she wants that, or if she could even do that. After certain things happen in the book, America thinks that maybe she could change Illea, make it better. And of course that leads to other (crazy) things too. Aspen is still in the palace. Don't get me wrong, I like Aspen--but I don't want him with America. He hasn't done anything wrong (except for kissing America when he shouldn't; what if they got caught...Oh, I shouldn't say anything else about that. *insert winking face here*). And if I remember correctly, he broke up with America in The Selection so that she could have a chance a  better life where she would be properly supported, something he couldn't do well in his Caste. (So basically he went all Edward on her.) So really, he's a great guy; he's just not Maxon. And it's kind of funny, because while Aspen hasn't really done anything wrong, Maxon does some things that are, well...Gosh, I wish I could tell you, because OHMYGOSH! But that would spoil everything, so when you read the book, contact me and we can freak out together. As for the other characters: we finally learn what's up with Marlee (I had several speculations, and I was wrong on all of them), more is learned about the king (again, I wish I could say something besides the fact that I don't like him), I might dislike Kriss the most (okay, maybe not the most, but close, because...), and Celeste is still a bitch (well, duh).

I really like this story. How many of us dreamed of being princesses when we were younger? (I think I'm a Disney princess and I'm twenty, so there's that.) So here's this book that channels that dream: you compete for the hand of a prince, and if you win you're royalty and you get all the goods that come with it. In ways, it's sort of relatable, and I like that. Of course, it's not all just tea and crumpets and fancy clothes: there's a land in despair (and it has both wealthy and poor people) and rebels coming from multiple sides; you're in constant fear of attack. Add to that the fact that it's all from the POV of America--a character I enjoy reading about--and this is a great book.

The Elite was a fantastic sequel to The Selection, complete with romance, thrills, drama, and the constant dropping of jaws. I always love it when a book gets physical reactions from me; I smiled, squealed, kicked my feet...and I think I smacked my book to the ground. I mean, just look at my Goodreads updates:

It didn't end on quite a cliffhanger, but I was still kind of hanging off the cliff. The bad part about reading this book is that I have to wait FOREVER for the third and final book in this series. You know, I thought I knew how this book was going to end, what with the title of book three (don't ask how I know; I will you it's because of magic), but I was so totally wrong. The Elite took me by total surprise, and I believe fans may go crazy after reading this. But seriously, IJUSTWANTBOOKTHREERIGHTNOWPLEASE.

Did I like it? Yes!
Did I love it? I believe so!
Would I reread it? Most likely.
Would I purchase it? Absolutely.
Would I recommend it? Yep!


  1. Amazing review! Love the fangirling! I loved the first book. I've heard such good things about this one! You may have made me die of curiosity! That's not very nice missy! Once I read I will be coming to you to have all the conversations so get ready!


  2. LOVED the review, I CANNOT wait for this book! I am soo glad you liked it and really enjoyed reading this happy review. I really want to know what Maxon did! AHHHH I need this book :)

    Ashley @ The Quiet Concert

  3. Awesome review! Thanks for making it mostly spoiler free =P I wasn't the biggest fan of The Selection but I have officially decided to move The Elite to the top of my TBR list, I love it when a book takes you by surprise!

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  5. This was a wonderful sequel. It kept me turning pages all night; I couldn't put it down! The only disappointing part was that the ending left me with more questions than answers, and I have to wait a year until the final book of the trilogy. I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys romance, action, mystery, and just an overall wonderful read.


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