Thursday 25 April 2013

The Elite Review

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 absolutely LOVED The Selection and have spent the last four weeks of my life checking Netgalley on a daily basis for its sequel, The Elite.  I’ve been ridiculously excited to read it and I’ve even re-read The Selection recently in anticipation of The Elite and if you know me, you know that re-reads are RARE.   I squealed when I finally got the book and took it to bed with me that evening to read.  I would have read it in one sitting if I didn’t have to get up at 5 30am for work (sometimes life just gets in the way).  As it is, I read it in less than 24 hours and I enjoyed every last bit of it.  It goes without saying at this point that if you have not read The Selection (review here) then please don’t go any further as you will encounter spoilers.

At the end of The Selection, the candidates were whittled down to just six girls, who became the elite (hence the title of this book).  It’s no surprise to learn that America is one of those girls as Maxon had already promised her that she would be.  He knows that she comes from a poor background and being there helps her family BUT that’s not the only reason she’s still there.  I believe Maxon has already made his choice in America but he’s waiting to see if she will choose him too.  Let’s not forget that her ex boyfriend is a guard at the palace and he wants her back.  Torn between those two, I don’t envy her having to make a decision!  But it’s not just about the romance, the rebel attacks are increasing in force and frequency with no explanation as to why until America stumbles across the biggest clue yet.

In a lot of ways, reading The Elite was like being on a rollercoaster ride through America’s emotions.  I knew when things were going brilliantly at the beginning of the book that it all had to go tits up pretty soon *le sigh*.  The change in America is subtle yet starkly obvious at the same time.  I’ve never seen her so unsure about EVERYTHING – how she feels, what she’s doing there, how other’s feel about her.  She’s no longer the strong, confident girl she was in the first book and it shows.  The pressure is definitely getting to her but not necessarily the pressure of winning the selection, but the pressure of choosing between Aspen and Maxon. 

I have to say that I’m not surprised that America is feeling a little insecure about the attention Maxon is giving the other candidates – I always thought that this is why I could never take part in anything like The Bachelor because that kind of thing would eat me alive.  Although it might seem from the outset that Maxon is being a bit of a shit given that he’s made promises to America, let’s not forget that she is undecided about him and he has to hedge his bets here. 

Aspen is still a guard at the palace, most often posted right outside America’s door.  He is America’s safe haven and she talks to him with honesty, like talking to a best friend and I guess that’s what America needs right now.  It’s nice that he can be there for her but at the same time, it must be killing him inside and should she really be discussing things with him?  Probably not but she needs a friend and he is offering that to her, above everything else. 

In The Elite, there are plenty of revelations along the way about the rebels, the King and even Maxon who’s hiding some secrets of his own.  We finally find out Marlee’s secret (her best friend in The Selection) which has shocking consequences and definitely rocks America’s world, but not in a good way. 

The ending kind of snuck up on me and the only problem now is waiting another year for the third book *sobs*.  I really hope that Kiera releases some more novella’s in the mean time, at least to keep us going!  I love this series with a passion and I do think that the decision America has to make just got so much harder. Let’s just say that in The Elite, America is blowing it.  BIG STYLE.  She’s got one chance to get this right – for Aspen, for Maxon, for the country and for herself.  BRING ON THE NEXT BOOK! 

The Elite was published on 23rd April, 2013.  To find out more about Kiera Cass and her books, please click here to visit her website.


  1. I LOVED your Netgalley stalking tweets! I'm glad you enjoyed it, I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next!

    1. Thanks Jess but it will only make you want the next book that much more!!!