The Elite by Kiera Cass

The EliteThe Elite by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #2
Published by: HarperTeen on April 23, 2013
Genre: Dystopian, Romance
Pages: 336
Source: ARC From Publisher
Buy on AmazonBook Details
Rating: ★★★★★

The selection began with 35 girls. Now, with the group narrowed down to the Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon's love is fiercer than ever. The closer America gets to the crown, the more she struggles to figure out where her heart truly lies. Each moment she spends with Maxon is like a fairy tale, filled with breathless, glittering romance. But whenever she sees her first love, Aspen, standing guard, she's swept up in longing for the life they'd planned to share.

America is desperate for more time. But while she's torn between her two futures, the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America's chance to choose is about to slip away.

I feel like an author. With writer’s block. I’m sitting here, staring at a blank page, and I have no idea how to form my words. The Elite was everything I hoped it would be: it was intense, romantic, emotional, but it was also conflicting. There were a few things I was very unsure about and my emotions were pulled all over the place. But even so, I loved this book!

The Selection itself is an odd thing, because it’s so weird, and so… disgusting. It is so completely un-romantic. In The Elite, Maxon dates six girls, he whispers sweet things into their ears, and he kisses a handful of them… all at once (not literally, like some giant orgy, but you know what I mean). There were some very specific moments in The Elite where this really threw me for a loop. One example: Maxon is leaving for a while and all the girls are lined up to bid him farewell. He literally goes down the line of girls, kissing them on the cheek/hand/whatever and whispering sweet goodbyes to each one personally. It was literally like Maxon was a man with six wives, and that was pretty gross. If I were America, I would feel like my boyfriend was cheating on me five times, right in front of me.

As someone who doesn’t take cheating or jealousy well, that whole idea sits ill with me. But despite all my reservations and aggravation towards this fact, I cannot help but adore this series. It’s like a drug. Something about the competition draws me in. Who will win?? But that being said, there were times that I just wanted to bash Maxon’s face in. He claims that America is the one for him, but then why does he have to continue being sweet with the other girls?? I almost felt like it was happening to me, because the anger and jealousy were so strong. I was SHOCKED when he started making out with Celeste. CELESTE! BITCH FACE CELESTE! And his explanation was basically, “You were unavailable, the other girls were holding out, and I was horny.” Fuck you, Maxon.

I started out this book as a 100% Maxon fan. I hated Aspen’s guts for his reason for breaking up with America. It’s so annoying and so selfish (despite the attempt to actually be selfless). But The Elite rocked my emotions in so many different ways, that now I’m not even sure whose side I’m on. If it weren’t for the whole “multiple girls” thing, I would still be Team Maxon. But seeing him with other girls has made me doubt. Even though I have sworn to hate Aspen for all eternity, at least he’s a one-girl man. Maxon is sweet and all, but it was so hard for me to stay completely devoted to him. I feel myself wavering!

The Elite by Kiera Cass - I want it to be as easy as breathing for you to say yes

I personally still love America, but I can understand how she’s not for everyone. America cries a lot in The Elite and she’s not always portrayed as the strongest character. It didn’t bother me much, but I know some people really don’t like girls who cry a lot. I think I can sympathize with her though. I see the amount of stress she’s under, and I just want to hug her. I can totally understand the love triangle because, in this book, I felt it too. I’m so confused about which guy I love more, so I completely get why America was confused and stressed and unsure, and thus breaking down into tears and hysterics. I got it!

One of the things I loved most about The Elite was how we learn a lot more about how the country was founded. The world building isn’t a huge part of the story, but it was a nice side plot to all the girl drama. The tid-bits we do learn are pretty morbidly interesting (does that even make sense? Probably not, until you read the book). But the facts we learn start to play a big role in forming America’s political opinions and ideals. I imagine, and I hope, that they will also play a huge role in the third book!

I am so insanely grateful for this book. It was EXACTLY what I needed, because I was getting ready to commit reading suicide due to reading so many “meh” books. But with The Elite, I was ripping through the pages and giggling like an insane person. There were times when I even spoke to the book. Yes, you heard correctly. MY NAME IS ASHLEY AND I SPOKE TO THE BOOK! You know when a narrator/MC sometimes asks rhetorical questions? I answered them. Out loud. Example:

America (to herself): “Can I win this competition?”
Me: “YES, GIRL!! YOU TOTALLY CAN!£!@”@”e£”j”””$3242141”

I may need to be committed.

Also, I was just like America. I was crying over everything. Happy, sad, you name it. There were tears involved.

Sweet letter from father? Tears—check.
Maxon making sweet promises? Tears—check.
Heartfelt moment between America and her maids? Tears—check.
Another letter from her father? Tears—check.
Sad moment with one of The Elite girls? Tears—check.

Yes, I had reservations with this book. I love Maxon to bits, but there were still times when I hated him. The whole idea of The Selection is kind of “what the hell”, but this is one of those books that I just love with every fiber of my being. I adore it. I love it. It’s my drug. This book, along with The Selection invokes my strongest emotions. It makes me cry, it makes me laugh, it makes me want to read more, more, more, MORE! I gobble up every word, every kiss, every hysterical meltdown. I am confident that fans of The Selection will enjoy this book just as much as I did! It will not disappoint, and I must say, I’m super curious to hear about everyone’s thoughts about Maxon! Have they changed?

I don’t even want to know what the release date is for book 3, because I’m sure it will be depressingly far away.

ARC of The Elite


The Verdict


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  1. GAH! It’s happening again. The team switching! All these reviews are making me itch even more for the book now. I NEED it! It’s my drug too! Kiera takes advantage of my weaknesses. The same ones that keep me glued to the TV whenever an interesting dating program is on.

    I am so glad to know that you didn’t hate the book. Or America, actually. I totally understand the whiny, sloppy crying. It’s that kind of normal whenever we are in the “same” situation? I so would be! Does that make me a bad person too?

    Anyway, lots of great pointers! I did NOT read the spoiler. Yes, I am a good girl. But I must say, the one quote of yours I agree most with is that “I don’t even want to know what the release date is for book 3, because I’m sure it will be depressingly far away.”

    Enough said. Thanks for sharing! I will patiently (read: IMPATIENTLY) go back to waiting for the book to be released and then order said book and then “patiently” wait by the door.

    1. You are going to LOVE it Nikki! It’s so addicting! It’s frustrating not knowing which guy I like more! LOL! I’m dying to know how the whole series turns out.

  2. So so so happy you loved this one!! I really enjoyed The Selection so I’ve been looking forward to The Elite. I loved both boys, so I’m interested to see how I feel by the end of this one! It is a little disappointing to hear that America cries a lot – she was so spunky and confident in the first one – but I can see how conflicting emotions over two boys would do that to a girl! And I can’t wait to get back into the cattiness of the competition!

    Kelly recently posted: ARC Book Review: The Eternity Cure
    1. I can’t wait to see what you think of it Kelly! I hope you like it too! And I’m dying to know which guy you’ll sway towards. I’m seriously so conflicted right now LOL!

  3. Super happy you liked this one, Ashley! I had a galley but I didn’t have time to read it, so I gave it to a friend. Plus some of the author’s behavior has made it harder for me to really divorce her from the books. I did enjoy The Selection though, so I might pick up The Elite at the library once it comes out. I skimmed it and decided it wasn’t one I *had* to read right now, but if I was going to, your review would have convinced me. 🙂

    Molli recently posted: Anna RAL – 2nd/3rd Challenges!
    1. Luckily for me (in terms of my enjoyment of the series), I didn’t find out about the author’s behaviour until *after* I read The Selection. So her behaviour had no impact on my enjoyment of the first book. Once I found out I was obviously really disappointed, but since I was already in love with the book it hasn’t really affected my enjoyment of the series. But I really don’t like what happened so I get why it puts people off the series.

  4. Okay. I REALLY need to get reading The Selection…..Like seriously. I don’t know what I’ve been waiting for, but I really do…. MAKE ME DO IT ASHLEY. I need Positive Peer Pressure. Hehe. Anyway, I’m so glad you like this one! It makes me very excited read them.

    <3333 Inky

    Inky recently posted: Review: The Immortal Rules
    1. I’ll force you this summer! >:D

      I seriously hope you like it though. Most people seem to love it or hate it and I SO BADLY WANT YOU TO LOVE IT!!

  5. A friend gifted me her ARC of this and, though part of me really doesn’t want to like this series, book one was super fun. I’m reading a fluff book right now, but this will be the next fluffy read. Sometimes I just need something that’s not going to be ZOMG SO SUPER SERIOUS, you know?

    Lol at you talking to the book. I talk to freaking everything, though, thanks to my cat I can pretend I’m talking to him. Don’t have me committed, please, or I’m taking you down with me. *screencaps for evidence* (totally a joke)

    Glad you had such a great experience. There’s nothing better than connecting so much you physically react to a book!

    Christina (A Reader of Fictions) recently posted: Review + Giveaway: Arclight
    1. I know exactly what you mean! I feel like the whole bachelor/selection thing is what makes it fun and fluffy.. and totally addicting!

      I’m glad I’m not the only crazy girl who talks to things! 😀

  6. STAHP! Your review is killing me! I’m so excited to read this. I don’t really understood why I liked the first book so much, but there it is. It’s just one of those books. I’m glad The Elite is that (or more) awesome as well! Plus the covers, omg, they are so gorgeous. Just ungh.

    Janita @ Book, Interrupted recently posted: Top Ten Tuesdays! (13)
    1. Lol you’re so right.. it’s just one of those books. It addicts you!! And I agree, the covers are INSANELY gorgeous.

    1. Yeah it’s pretty crazy.. I have a morbid obsession with it. I know it’s wrong and unromantic but I CAN’T NOT READ IT!!

  7. Oh Ashley i’m just so happy you adored this one! And i’m glad to hear it didn’t suffer from second book syndrome at all! it sounds like you definetly had quite a ride with this one and it only makes me more eager to get my hands on it! 🙂

    Lily recently posted: Nobody But Us: Review
  8. Wow …. That emotional??? I LOVE getting all teared up over a story and usually this is what makes a book stand out for me. I was a little torn over The first book. I liked it but I wasn’t completely engaged into the story. Still, if you say the sequel is that good then.. I must read it 🙂

    DannyBookworm recently posted: The Last Girlfriend On Earth by Simon Rich
  9. I’m really glad that I am hearing more positive reviews this time around. I totally thought The Selection had its flaws but I really really liked it a lot so I can’t wait to get this one for my media center! 🙂

  10. YAY! I’m so glad you loved it too! I just finished it yesterday and I just didn’t know what to do with myself afterwards… I was like HOW DO I CONTINUE ON WITH MY REGULAR LIFE AFTER THIS???

    LOL It’s safe to say that I thought it was amazing. I felt the same way about Maxon and the fact that he was “dating” 6 girls. I was definitely disturbed. But he loved America and he was so sweet, and Aspen was amazing too. I ended up feeling like you, I DON’T KNOW whose side I’m on anymore.

    Anyways, I’m glad you loved this. I loved it too! 🙂 I’m really excited for the third book.

    1. OMG RIGHT??!!? That’s exactly how I felt!! And I have no idea which guy to root for… That’s why I’m so excited for book 3, because hopefully I’ll decide once and for all which guy is more epic!

  11. I felt the same way about Maxon and Aspen! After The Selection, I was totally Team Maxon, but then I read this one and now I just kind of don’t like either. I’m so confused about who I want her to be with now which was a huge reason I only gave it three stars. I missed the romance from The Selection so much in this one.

    Rebecca Lockhart recently posted: Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass
    1. Yeah, that’s a great point Rebecca! I miss being so passionately on one of the guy’s teams. Now I’m really not sure… one of them will have to really redeem themselves in The One to get me to root for them.

  12. I love this series too! And I soooo agree with you about the love triangle. It is next to impossible to decide which guy to side with! At the end of The Selection, I was also team Maxon (though it was a difficult choice), and now, like you, I’m not sure.

    America did bother me more in this book than the first, but not because of her crying or anything. I felt like she did some questionable things. Like continuing meeting up with Aspen. If she does end up with Maxon, this is only going to end badly. I also felt like she was acting selfishly toward Aspen. When she had decided to choose Maxon at the beginning, she was still leading Aspen on with false hope. I felt like she was just doing that in case Maxon didn’t choose her! She frustrated me a tad in this book.

    But I still loved it and I love this series!!

    Sam recently posted: Review: The Elite

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