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The Elite by Kiera Cass

The Elite by Kiera Cass

The Elite (The Selection 2)

By: Kiera Cass

Release Date: April 23, 2013

Rating: 1 Stars

Summary: 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.


For what it’s worth, I actually liked The Selection. Sure, it suffered from a major bout of shoddy world building and desperately needed a plot beyond just the game show slash dating elements, but if I had to blurb it, I’d go with something like this: “Frivolous and silly, The Selection is nonetheless an enjoyable timekiller with its Bachelor-like elements and inability to take itself too seriously.”

The Elite on the other hand… ugh how do I even begin to describe this mess? Let’s see…

America: I love Maxon. No Aspen. No definitely Maxon.
*Maxon does something needlessly cruel in dramatic fashion*
America: I hate Maxon. *runs off to see Aspen*
*For unexplained reasons, she has second thoughts about Aspen*
America: Aspen who? I love Maxon.
*Maxon does something needlessly cruel in dramatic fashion*
America: I hate Maxon. *runs off to see Aspen*
*For less unexplained but equally convenient reasons, she has second thoughts about leaving Maxon*
America: Aspen who? I love Maxon.
(At this point I’m too tired to continue copy/pasting)

Is anyone else seeing a pattern here? Like maybe the plot is just one big, long, stretched out love triangle? A poorly done love triangle at that? One that isn’t even resolved? I don’t know, I didn’t really mind The Selection because the Bachelor-like elements (in other words, the catty contestants), while stereotypical, were somewhat amusing, but this is just chapters of America replaying her romantic options in her head over and over and over again, and it’s… unimaginably boring? Indescribably pointless? Frustratingly annoying? Where’d evil Celeste go?

Plus some other (somewhat random) observations, because this is not a book that’s inspiring me to write a coherent review:

What Happened to the Bachelor-style Competition?: Personally, that was the only draw of the first book. Yes it was cheesy. But so what? The Selection was terrible as a dystopian, but at least it had that, so it wasn’t a complete loss. The Elite seems to eschew the only thing that made the first book bearable in favor of the aforementioned love triangle – why?

The World Building, Redux: Even from The Selection, we should know world building is not this series’s strong suit. Still, while I admire Kiera Cass trying again, this time with more about the history of Ilea, some conspiracy involving the first king’s diary, and stuff about the caste system and foreign diplomacy, all of it is so simple to the point that actually reading about it feels more painful than watching a Miss America contestant discuss world geography.

The Rebels of Complete Fail: I get it. Actually, I don’t. There are the Northerners. There are the Southerners. It’s implied they want something. But when the biggest plot development is a scrap of crucial information incompetently left in the hallway just conveniently for America to find, WTF?

Maxon & Celeste: What the heck? Needless to say, when I got to this, last straw dude, last straw.

Anyway, I wasn’t expecting anything more from The Elite than shallow, petty drama. And somehow, it still fails at even that.

Go to Mitch’s review on Goodreads.

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