In America Singer’s world, a bride is chosen for the prince through an elaborate televised competition. In the second book of the Selection series, America is one of only six girls left in the running. But is it Prince Maxon—and life as the queen—she wants? Or is it Aspen, her first love? The Elite delivers the adventure, glamour, political intrigue, and romance readers of The Selection expect, and continues the love triangle that captivated them.
what we thought:
m- Let me start by saying that when I first read this book I couldn’t stop. This book definitely gave me the feels (if you know what I’m saying ;)). I remember watching the book trailer for The Selection over and over again before the book came out because I was excited (and because the ‘Maxon’ in the trailer was pretty cute if I do say so myself). hehe. When I first picked up The Selection I fell in love and when I realized I was going to have to wait a year for The Elite I was devastated. I could not wait that long but thanks to Lyli we didn’t have to wait to long.
l – Yep! Although the release date was a few weeks ago, we actually read this book last winter. The fabulous Kiera Cass has so many cool contests for her fans, and one of them was a Tumblr haiku contest – by which I won an ARC! Needless to say, Masie and I were pretty darn excited, and had a hard time not sharing about the book before now. I was absolutely captivated by The Selection and couldn’t wait to dive into its sequel.. All of the romance and drama from book one was still there, only cranked up a notch! I felt like the emotional impact of this book was so much greater; the stakes felt higher. Before, the impact of America’s actions only affected her and her family, whereas in book two, she has so much more responsibility. I think we really saw that strain on her character.
m- I completely agree. America was faced with many more challenges and really had to make some life changing decisions. I will say though that in this book I was faced with a rollercoaster of emotions. I was seriously shocked by tons of the events that took place. I don’t think that any one could have theorized what happened. I give props to Kiera Cass for shocking me. I was definitely not able to put it down. I couldn’t put it down not only because of the suprises but because of how much more we got to see into the lives of the characters, especially Maxon. 😮 I know what you’re thinking ‘What could Maxon due that’s so shocking?’. Well you ain’t see nothin’ yet. haha. Maxon was pretty much a completely seperate roller coaster along side the roller coaster of the overall book. I won’t say (type?) anything else. The Elite will definitely keep you intrigued and on your toes.
l – For the first quarter or so of the book, I had this uneasy feeling that things were going too well. For America, a lot of her actions hadn’t caught up with her yet, and you could tell that it was coming. America is different from a lot of the other YA protagonists I’ve read about – I’ve had a little bit of a harder time empathizing with some of the choices she makes. At the same time, though, you can relate to her that much more because you can see so clearly just how human she is. While you might be screaming internally for her to make once decision (like I was), if you think about it deeply enough you can probably picture yourself doing the same thing. She’s a selfless character in a lot of areas, but in others she is definitely looking out for her own best interests. Sometimes at the cost of *cough* other people’s emotions. I felt like even if she couldn’t make the decision I wanted her to make, she at least needed to make some sort of decision.
m- I agree with you. America is the kind of character that you really just can’t help but adore even though at times you have no idea why she’s making that decision. I admire her for standing up for her decision despite what other people think. She knows that she doesn’t really belong but that doesn’t stop her from using that as an opportunity to help people. Another character that I adore is Maxon. As you know, he causes a lot of emotions to come tumbling through you when you read The Elite but we get to see, like I kinda said earlier, into his past and it definitely explains a lot. The Selection series is a Dystopian YA fiction and we didn’t get to much of a chance to dive into that Dystopian world in The Selection (my opinion) but I felt that in The Elite we really got to jump into the world of Illéa and really see what is going on ‘behind the scenes’. I seriously am so stoked for The One!!!
l – Yes! The whole “rebel” concept was really only touched on in The Selection, but in this book we got to see some more context. Of all the character developments in this story, Maxon’s was probably the most shocking. Before, he was just sort of the Prince-Charming-from-Cinderella-type… he’s handsome, he’s kind, he’s polite, he always says the right thing, but we don’t really understand who he is as a person. In The Elite, a lot of Maxon’s personality comes out, for better and for worse. All in all, I couldn’t put this book down! Evidence of this is the fact that I read it in one sitting. I love the title of book three, The One, and I am eagerly anticipating seeing the way things turn out! I kind of have my heart set on a big, beautiful, palace wedding… *sigh*
Rating! (out of five stars): ****
Would we recommend it? Yes! (See, we made a decision… it’s not that hard, Mer!)