My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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 had many, many hopes from The Elite, since I'd like The Selection sooooo much! But I'm disappointed to say that it couldn't meet all of them, much less surpass them. There were some elements in this book which I did indeed enjoy a lot but nonetheless, America's POV grated on my nerves pretty much every time she did a stupid thing. Which she did after almost every chapter.
The concept of this series intrigued me from the first time I read The Selection's summary. But I felt that since the number of competitors decreased significantly in The Elite, the story somehow lost some amount of drama and fun which the previous book had flourished on. Nevertheless, I really couldn't stop reading it once I started. I know, weird. But the thing is, Kiera Cass's writing style somehow captivates the reader. Or at least, it did keep me interested through and through. Even if America's hypocritical nature kept me rolling my eyes more times than I can count, I was still very curious to know what's gonna happen next.
Now, usually, when I come across whiny, prissy protagonists who're too stupid for their own good, I just snap the book shut, throw it across the room and then, because I love all books too much, I pick it back up and put it neatly back on my shelf. But no, that didn't happen with The Elite. America's suicidal acts were actually quite..entertaining to read at times.
Another reason why I couldn't stop reading was because..well, how can I leave my adorable Prince Maxon? I started loving him even more in this book. His never-ending patience with America (Even though she does NOT deserve it) and that cute, innocent charm made me wanna dive inside the book, kick America and her double-timing bum out of the castle, and have him all to myself.
To be honest, I'm a little disappointed with Ms. Cass. I've said it time and again in my reviews how much I absolutely detest it when authors make the female protagonists just plain stupid. The protagonist keeps jumping into suicidal situations and then whine and whine and whine about it. I understood the concept of America having her own personal version of Selection with Aspen and Maxon but the thing is, IT WAS NOT NECESSARY.
So many times it felt that the only reason America was pushing away Maxon was because the story needed something to keep moving on. And that annoyed the crap out of me.
On top of that, when America kept sneaking to see Aspen behind Maxon's back, it was, of course, okay. But when Maxon makes out with someone who's not her, AFTER she'd totally dissed him, obviously it's just so so wrong that she has no choice but to spill Maxon's secrets which he had so sweetly trusted her with. See what I mean about hypocrisy?
Maybe I expected too much from this book, maybe I didn't notice America's irritating nature in the first novel, maybe it's just me. But whatever the reason, I'd hoped and wished much more from the story. Even though the only element I did not like in this book was America, she's still an important-wait, the MOST important-part of the story and not liking her immediately made the book a lot less interesting.
The ending was written quite well, mainly because America finally realized her wrong-doings and actually decided to suck it up and do something to right them. But just when things were starting to look up, the book ended there and all I could say was,
All in all, The Elite was an okay read. It had some good parts, some average parts and some very annoying parts. I would've actually given it a two had it not been for the amazing ending. I'm still looking forward to the next book, mainly because I really, really wanna see how America woos Maxon again, this time, intentionally.