Saturday, February 1, 2014

Book Review: 'The Elite' by Kiera Cass (The Selection #2)

Pages: 323
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult Dystopian
Release Date: 23/04/2013
Publisher: Harper Teen
Bought Online.
2nd book in 'The Selection' series
Click Here to read my review of the 1st book.

The hotly-anticipated sequel to the New York Timesbestseller The Selection.

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 Iléa.

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.

If you have read my review of the first book in the series 'The Selection' you will know that 'The Elite' was definitely a highly anticipated book for me. I was however a little apprehensive because I was worried that (like most sequels) this would be a bit of a disappointment. While I can't say that I loved this book as much as the first one, I can say that I am still hooked and definitely can't wait to find out what happens in the third installment of 'The Selection' series.

I don't know if this is just me and my busy schedule (you know: all those hobbies), but I feel like I have come across a whole heap of slow reads lately. I didn't really start anything that made me want to read like a crazy person during the last year and this book just happened to be one of those. The pace definitely sped up a bit toward the end and I don't know if that was just sheer determination to finish the book or if it was actually starting to get interesting.

In this book we learn about how the competition isn't just a competition of Maxon's heart or a higher status and money. Each of the girls are auditioning for a position and will have duties if they are to become princess. It wasn't all organizing parties and making speeches either. The girls had to stand by and witness some horrible things. So this book definitely does continue to push the message that royalty isn't as pleasant as we all think it is, but I definitely think this is overly amped up by the dystopian environment.

We also learn that the kingdom itself has many horrible secrets. I liked the idea of this because it reminds me of all the conspiracy theories about the government that exist in real life. And, we start to question one of the rebel groups motives. Are they really as evil as they are made out to be? Though towards the end of the group a rebel group attacks and it's a tad gory. I couldn't seem to keep up with which group was attacking though. I felt like they needed distinguishing colours or something.

I was not a fan of the America and Aspen's secret romance in this book. It seemed pretty conclusive in the end of the first book that America was not going to be giving Aspen any second chances and that she was going to focus on the competition. The girl could not make up her mind though and she kept flitting from one to the other, having arguments, And, getting extremely jealous when either of them spent time with another.

Overall, I think this deserves 3.5 out of 5 stars. I still want to read the next book, but I don't have high hopes for it. I think this book was pretty interesting, but it felt like America had too many obstacles to overcome (some of them self inflicted)  that there was just too much going on for me to want to pay attention for too long.

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