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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Elite by Kiera Cass

Title: The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass
ISBN: 978006209963
Publisher: HarperTeen
Released: April 23, 2013
Series: The Selection #2
Page #: 323
Source: ARC from the publisher

"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."
First Lines: (From the ARC, so they are subject to change)

"The Angeles air was quiet, and for a while I lay still, listening to the sound of Maxon's breathing. It was getting harder and harder to catch him in a truly calm and happy moment, and I soak up the time, grateful that he seemed to be at his best when he and I were alone."
Page 1

If you haven't read The Selection yet, you need to do so STAT. It's such a great mix of romance and dystopian... you won't even know what hit you. So, do that before you read this review. Well, at least read on at your own caution.

So, America is still in the race. The Prince has let her know that she is on an even shorter list - he wants to be with her forever. But then things start to happen that have Mer questioning whether he's sincere. It doesn't help that Aspen has taken a job in the castle - having him so close has kept her very confused. They are always under the threat of rebel attacks and Maxon is pulled in a thousand different directions. Mer begins to wonder whether anything is real.

I believe I described The Selection as being very much like The Bachelor TV show. The Elite continues that in full force. You still have Prince Maxom trying to decide between all of these girls - even though the pool has been narrowed considerably. There are tasks they have to complete to show their competence about ruling a country and being a lady. Do some girls get kicked out of the palace? Yeah, a few. That's to be expected, isn't it?! Is it super dramatic? Of course!

So many books for teens these days have the whole love triangle aspect. It's pretty much a given. If you don't have that, is it really for teens? Kidding. Sort of. But sometimes it's easy to pick a clear side - the way an author obviously has you leaning in one direction. I would like to propose that Kiera Cass has gotten the love triangle down to a science. I honestly can't choose a side! One chapter I'm rooting for Maxon, and the next I'm rooting for Aspen! It's so confusing. But that really does convey America's problem throughout the novels. I can honestly see why she's torn. It comes across as legit, not just an afterthought. I have to give the author props on that.

I'll leave the romance stuff in a second, but one more thing... I have noticed a lot more books lately have the whole instantaneous love thing. The characters meet and fall head over heels within two pages. But not in these books! I think the author does a great job setting up a background and a reason for things to happen the way that they do. It is just well crafted. It's more believable for me (even if it's set in a future time where people are forced into castes in life).

I don't want any dystopian lovers to get turned off by all the romance stuff. This is a great dystopian. You learn a lot about how this world was created, how the caste system was set up, etc. There's a lot more history in this second book. It helps tie together all of the crazy aspects of the story. And I'm very interested to see how things escalate in the next book (whenever that might be). Enemies are becoming restless, the caste system is in question, and you will learn a ton about the King toward the end of this second novel. How can you not be intrigued?! :)

If you can't tell, I'm a huge fan of Kiera Cass. I'll probably read anything she does at this point. Just found out that there's a novella that I need to spend a couple of bucks on. Definitely. Doing. That. I have recommended The Selection to several people and they have all loved it, too. Now I know the second book is just as good (or better), so I can't wait to pass it around! Definitely get on this one, people.  
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Ariel White said...

I borrowed the novella from the library and it has been song long since I read the selection, that I went and reread it. It was an interesting take on how it went for the prince. it was good. This review is such a tease, I cant wait to get my hands on this book (or into my kindle at least!)

Sabrina said...

Thanks for linking my review! Uh! I want Aspen to go awaaaaay! lol. I love your review!

Sabrina @iheartyafiction

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