The Elite

I’ll make this warning short and sweet. Read Kiera Cass’ The Selection before proceeding. That is all.

Well, I finally finished reading The Elite, the sequel to The Selection by Kiera Cass, last night. It took me a while to get into this book. The first part of the book didn’t have a ton of action, especially if you don’t really care about the lovey-dovey stuff…or the main character’s indecisiveness over what she really wants. I wanted action and political intrigue, and I finally got a fair share of it about halfway through the book. Things really picked up then, and, love story aside, I’m now eager to read the third book in the series. Given the way things unfolded in The Elite, I have super-high hopes that the final installment in this series will have action and conflict galore…not to mention another stunningly gorgeous cover.

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America Singer is now one of the Elite, one of the final six Selection candidates who have the chance to win Prince Maxon’s heart and the coveted title of Princess of Illea. But America’s not really concerned about the princess part of this competition. She finds that she’s more interested in Maxon. She’s growing to love him, and, despite the differences in their backgrounds, she thinks he loves her as well. But how can she ever be sure? After all, he may be whispering the same sweet-nothings to the other girls as he’s uttering in America’s ears. And when one of the girls does something scandalous, America grows even more unsure of Maxon’s true nature…and her own feelings for him.

Who can America turn to in the midst of her emotional turmoil? In steps Aspen, a palace guard and America’s former boyfriend. Their relationship poses its own dangers, both to America’s heart and her place in this anxiety-inducing quest for the crown. Which guy should she be with? The one who has known her forever or the one who can give her the world? Is the decision even in her hands anymore?

In the middle of the Selection, things are also changing in the kingdom of Illea. War is brewing, rebels from both the north and south are attacking the palace, and America herself is coming to grips with the fact that things are seriously wrong in her country. Just how much is Maxon aware of? And is there anything she can do to change the system of inequality that oppresses so many…including her own family and friends? Can America shed light on what’s really going on in Illea without endangering herself, those she loves, or even her place in the Selection, something that has quickly become much more than a competition for a prince? Does she even want to be one of the Elite anymore? There’s only one way to find out…

First, let me say that, once I got into this book, I enjoyed it. Like The Selection, I particularly enjoyed the historical and political aspects of The Elite. Reading how the country of Illea was born was fascinating and all-too-easy to believe. That being said, there was one big thing about this book that annoyed me. America herself. I know she had her reasons, but she’s just so wishy-washy. I love Maxon. I love Aspen. I love Maxon. I love Aspen. MAKE A DECISION, and quit dragging these guys along! Granted, America is a seventeen-year-old girl in a very stressful situation, and that combo doesn’t make for mature decision-making, but come on! The back and forth got a little old, and I’m still not sure which guy she’ll end up with at the series’ conclusion. It’s a little infuriating.

The final book in this series, The One, will be released on May 6, 2014. I’m hopeful we can expect an eBook short story or two to make the wait less painful. Kiera Cass has already given us one of these: The Prince, a short story about Prince Maxon’s feelings regarding the Selection. It was pretty good and provided some insights into Maxon’s character.

For more information on The Elite, the entire Selection series, and author Kiera Cass, visit http://www.kieracass.com.

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