Book Review- The Elite

Wednesday, 27 May 2015
Title: The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass
Published: 23rd April 2013
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 336
Series: The Selection #2
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Dystopia, Fiction

Rating: 4.5/5

The Selection began with thirty-five girls.Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon's heart is fiercer than ever—and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen?
America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America's chance to choose is about to slip away. -Goodreads

*I received this novel from Net Galley in return for an honest review.*

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, it was a light, frothy read that took place in a world that I really enjoyed escaping into. I hoped that this sequel would be just as good, and I was not disappointed. This novel continues The Selection, America is one of six girls left in the competition to be Prince Maxon's wife and future Queen. In this novel, the competition continues, and we also get to see the development of America's relationship with the other girls, Aspen and Prince Maxon.

One of my favourite aspects of the previous book was the main character America. She is so strong and not afraid to stand up for herself, and I was slightly worried that we might lose this aspect of her in this book, just focussing solely on her relationships, but thankfully we didn't. She reacts the way I wish more female YA protagonists would, she doesn't give in to the guy, or meekly accept what is happening to her, she fights back! She also doesn't fall swooning at Prince Maxon's feet, there is no sign of insta-love here! Even her other love interest, Aspen, is fully developed and described to us through backstory to make it seem like a realistic and tangible relationship, and something we should care about. However I was annoyed by America's indecisiveness in relation to the two love interests. She would be kissing one guy, deciding she loved him, then kissing the other and deciding he was the one instead. It began to grate after a while, I wanted to get on with the story. However the backstory and relationship that both male love interests had made it an almost understandable struggle, even if it was a tad tiresome.
I also really enjoyed the development of the other girls in the competition. Even though they are America's competitors, and we are supposed to root for America, I found myself warming to quite a few of the other girls too. It was interesting to learn more about them and have them developed into three dimensional characters instead of just plot devices. 
This book follows the previous one in being very fast paced, and quite difficult to put down. It had many exciting and even some shocking moments, and I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't expect the plot turns, and it kept me on the edge of my seat. 
This plot also develops the world that the novel is set in more, we discover why the world is the way it is, with the caste system and the different states that the world is split into. I always find this to be an interesting aspect of a dystopian novel, and this world seems to be fairly well set up and well thought out.
I enjoyed the two love interests, Maxon and Aspen were both well developed and rounded characters, and at varying points in the novel I wanted America to get with each of them, so I understood her struggle!! I was a bit disappointed that towards the end of the novel it seemed as if the author was trying to suddenly make us not like Aspen by making him and America have a fight over nothing and have him suddenly start spouting some rebellious opinions. These seemed completely out of character for him and it appeared that it had just been added to make America lean more towards Maxon, and move the plot along.
However overall I really enjoyed this novel, I gave it 4.5/5, and it was a light read that I enjoyed getting immersed in. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

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