By: Melanie | August 24, 2013 | (12) Comments

Review: The Elite by Kiera CassThe Elite by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection, #2
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Release Date: April 23, 2013
Genres: Dystopia, Romance, YA
Pages: 323
Source: Library
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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 can see why The Elite can be enjoyable. For people into angsty, romancey dominant dystopians. Heck, I don’t even get why people believe that this is a dystopian at times. The development of Kiera Cass’ world is so minimal it may as well not be there at all. Then dystopian lovers won’t get mislead into some fail of a gag-worthy love story. Even things that seemed a little likable turned out to be fails as the romance is like a disease, it spreads everywhere and it’s unstoppable.

Picking from where we left off, America Singer is part of the Elite, where there are still six girls fighting to win Prince Maxon’s heart. They marry Maxon then they get everything- the crown, being a One, the country. Even though Maxon clearly has declared his love for America, she still is in a tough situation as her ex-boyfriend is following her every move. Stuck between the two, America also faces the rebel attacks penetrating the palace. Actually, forget that last sentence as it doesn’t really matter. The rebel attacks were so minute and monotonous and stirred only the tiniest of complications in The Elite.

One day, when all literary characters come to life, I will track down America and pulverise her. While her love for her family and friends is strong, her indecision and possessiveness wanted me to rip my hair out. Here are just some examples:

I looked away. That wasn’t something I could promise. I weighed Maxon and Aspen in my heart over and over, and neither of them ever had a true edge. Except, maybe, when I was alone with one of them.


But how was I supposed to decide between two good possibilities? How could I make a choice that would leave some part of me devastated either way? I comforted myself with the thought that I still had time. I still had time.

I mean gosh America, not everything revolves around you and your stupidity. You can’t love two people with so much angst towards both of them. Here’s a few examples of her possessiveness towards both Maxon and Aspen:

Maybe if Maxon here already it wouldn’t be so bad. Then again, maybe it would make me more anxious. I still couldn’t figure out why, after everything, he hadn’t made any time for me lately.

and (this was when Aspen asked Celeste for a dance as it was a Halloween party)

“What the hell was that?” I asked quietly but with obvious outrage in my voice.

“What was what?” [Aspen]

“Celeste was running her hands all over you!”

Uh no, America, Aspen and Celeste just danced like you did with Officer Woodwork. Bloody hell.

America also has a habit of crying. All the freaking time. When the tiniest thing goes bad. When she overthinks. And when she’s not crying she’s giggling like she has some sort of disorder. Guys, she’s worse than Taylor Swift and me.

Moreover, the supporting characters were no better. Despite the fact that they’re unique and contrasted. They were absolutely revolting. Here is an indirect quote:

Kriss: I want to have seven bridesmaids at my wedding. I want to have a big wedding if Maxon chooses me.

Celeste: I won’t want to have bridesmaids. Since it would be televised, I want all eyes on me.

Me: I want a gun at my wedding so I can kill you all.

The Elite pretty much was uneventful. You can skip this one and read the next one and not even feel like you’ve missed out on anything. The plot was invisible. The world building was underwhelming. The romance was just too horrible for words. So move on people! Don’t waste your time with this one.

1 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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12 Responses to Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

  1. Celine says:

    Lovely review! I totally LOL’ed at that last quote!

    This is a series I read when I need something really, really light (like after reading a couple of really good books, or books with ‘heavy’ topics). I really have to turn my mind of though (not too hard to do with this series, heh) and then I can sit back and enjoy it. But for some reason I never considered this series serious anyway – they kind of read like a big parody!

    Still, I love this review. Keep going, Mel <3
    Celine recently posted…My Life In YA Book TitlesMy Profile

  2. Emily Drema says:

    I TOTALLY, 100% agree with you that The Selection series is bizarre in that it can be classified as Dystopian, bizarre that people can accept this weird oddity of a romance with one guy seemingly dating so many girls at once to find the perfect One (punt, heh punt). I honestly also can’t get America at all. Just like you, I would hunt her down as well. Sometimes when I read this whole thing-a-magig of a story I’m just thinking to myself what did I get myself into …
    Actually it seems that The Elite went downhill after the Selection.
    Heh. I think you’re totally right that we can skip this one over. It seems to like substance, if it has any at all.

    Great review though! I think you managed to capture all the points REALLY accurately 😉
    Emily Drema recently posted…Review: Wings Of Tavea by Devri WallsMy Profile

  3. Ariella says:

    Lol.. “I want a gun at my wedding so I could kill you all.” Just too funny! Anyways, I agree with all that you said there. Selection was really good and this is just too big of a disappointment. I was really annoyed with American and I’m just like, “God dammit, just choose someone already!”
    Ariella recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #44My Profile

  4. Rachel says:

    I think America would make me want to pull my hair out. I have no patience for her type of character. I have this book and I love the cover, but I doubt I’ll ever read it. Great honest review, Melanie. 🙂
    Rachel recently posted…Review & Giveaway: The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie StiefvaterMy Profile

  5. Stephanie B says:

    Melanie! *sigh* Fine, I can see why you didn’t like it. *wipes tear away* Funny review though and very well-written!
    Stephanie B recently posted…Bookish SuperlativesMy Profile

  6. Oh my god can I join your raid to track down America? She sounds like such a big pain in the butt! I want to slap her just from reading those quotes. I haven’t read The Selection yet, and I’m kind of afraid to lol. Great review hun!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Vigilante Nights by Erin Richards Review: About a lame dude broMy Profile

  7. I tried the first book, and it just wasn’t for me. But I can see why other people like it, and I am enjoying reading all the reviews and listening to everyone moan about the love triangle, etc….
    Jen @ YA Romantics recently posted…Extra! Extra! 60My Profile

  8. Ugh the characters sound so unbearable. Like I definitely know why you’d have an issue with the world-building and America, she sounds so whiny and indecisive! I basically kept off reading The Selection just because I was afraid of America’s personality and the world-building, because it sounded more fluffy than anything else. I’m sorry you didn’t like this one, Melanie, I will definitely be staying away from the series now, even if The Selection may have been better. Ahh I hate when a book falls victim to Second Book Syndrome D:

    Fantastic review, Melanie! <33
    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted…Stacking the Shelves (57)My Profile

  9. I’m definitely one of the people who really loved The Selection and liked The Elite. I didn’t like America as much in The Elite, but I just think both books are fun reads 🙂 I do agree with your point about it being pretty uneventful, though. Great review!
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  10. I heard the first book wasn’t great, but honestly, the summary just doesn’t even interest me. I guess it’s not getting any better, based on your review. The quotes you shared are just crazy!! I’m pretty sure i’d want to smack America too.
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  12. Sarah High says:

    I finished ‘The Selection’ the night before a tried reading ‘The Elite’ last night, urgh, terrible time. I agree with the main reviewer; there’s no dystopian element in it, with the occasional ‘rebel attacks’ and America having thoughts on the blindingly obvious censorship – only to drop the subject when the useless prince Maxon turns up – the book is basically poor first world country. The character development is useless to the point where America complains about the slightly lowered opulence of a situation, when she is from destitution!

    Clearly the character America is turning into another bland selection character, (only we have to keep to her story line as she is the main character) where she is in love with Prince Maxon, loves Aspen constantly fawning over her (her juicy little secret), and she seems blind to the fact Maxon is turning into a real D**kwad, who has gotten too used to multiple women fawning over him until he turns into a victim when his mean old daddy says ‘stop playing around and choose!’

    I really hoped this story would have more political or social conflict, seeing as the author set up a great plot line for America to set a balance between the social orders, all she has done so far is whine at Maxon about how hungry she was, and would have been if she had in fact gone with Aspen and then turn around and and boss her maids around like she’s already bloody royalty!

    Aside from the obvious seduction technique and word play, America is slowly becoming an exact replica of Celeste, smooching up to Maxon and then crooning to the guards, and America gets pissy but then she does the exact same AND MORE WITH ASPEN!

    FAAAAA the only good outcome I can see happening is the rebels actually take down the monarchy and everyone is left in a useless lurch, where then America can realise how spoilt she has become, and neither Maxon and Aspen choose her, leaving her, as usual, a blubbering mess with a Bella Swan complex!

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