9 May 2015

The Elite - Review

The Elite - The Selection #2
by Kiera Cass

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What they say: The Selection gets fierce as rivals stake their claim on the prince.Six girls, one life-changing prize…

America Singer will leave her pre-destined life for a world of glamour and luxury, if she wins…

But surviving The Selection is tough. Rivals are battling to become Prince Maxon’s bride as the threat of rebel violence just beyond the palace walls escalates into war. Only six girls are left and sworn friendships are tested to breaking point. America’s feelings for Maxon grow stronger, but she suspects darker mysteries in his royal past. With exlover Aspen waiting for her in the shadows, where do her loyalties truly lie?
Don’t miss out on the chance to read the second in The Selection series, ahead of The Heir coming soon in May (pre-order here)! 
ISBN: 9780007466733

Buy Links:

Amazon US * Amazon UK

I received a copy from Harper Collins Children's UK (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review!

What I say: I'm really not sure what to say about The Elite. Whilst I loved The Selection, the constant drama, teen angst and indecision in The Elite was just a bit too much for me.

What I initially liked about the series was the juxtaposition of the Bachelor style event against the real life drama (with the rebellion and war). This time around I just didn't appreciate America's and Maxon's constant arguing and mind games. The competition is down to the 'Elite' six girls who aren't really all that likeable. America is torn between her former love Aspen and her newly building love for Maxon. Aspen offers the familiar and a return to her old life, whilst Maxon comes with a horrible father, a lot of expectation and many problems surrounding royalty. The main issue is that America doesn't want to be a princess. 

Now here comes my dilemma: America is very indecisive. She's not quite ready to give up her old life and doesn't want to put her heart on the line with Maxon unless he does first (he of course wants to hear the magic words from her first). 

Maxon. Maxon. Maxon. I had been a big Maxon fan after the first book, but I've really gone off of him after reading The Elite. Yes, I know America is secretly meeting Aspen, but whilst Maxon is making promises to America he's very quick to tell her off and keeps 'dating' the other girls (I'm aware that the fact this bothers me makes me a hypocrite). The problems centre around their immature and jealous reactions to certain events. 

Multiple dating is part of the selection, but one minute Maxon's telling her he'll end it if she loves him, and the next he's kissing other girls and showing them his bedroom - Not cool! The Celeste 'incident' was pretty unforgivable for me and I didn't buy into his reasoning at all. BUT it was the Kriss situation that completely threw me. Kriss's game playing was more subtle and she did initially come across as a sweet and innocent girl (yes, I do think she loves him). I felt his interest in her happened far too quickly for somebody supposedly devoted to another girl. Yes, America is keeping Aspen secret but she has known him for years and there's the issue of their safety. But Maxon's change of heart toward Kriss came from him being in a sulk with America, and then relating to another available girl who tells him whatever he wants to hear and doesn't challenge him. I didn't like how he allowed himself to be manipulated and added to America's mistrust in the process. 

My other problem is: does America really have the right to be upset after her constant claims of needing time to decide and refusing to tell him how she feels? Plus of course there's Aspen (although I felt like she was using him as a crutch). America went from being independent and strong, to insecure and jealous. To be honest it wasn't all her fault. Maxon's response to apparent rejection was extremely immature and seemed out of character to how he was in the first book.

I really wanted America to make up her mind, then for Maxon to decisively pick her, offer her guidance on how to be a princess and support her against the King. What the story needed for me, was for them to both say the L-word and stop arguing/punishing each other.

It wasn't all bad and I did appreciate that Maxon had responsibilities. America did keep stringing him along, but I wanted to see him step up more. It was nice to get to learn more about palace life and the history of Illea. I liked seeing how their society came to be ruled in the way it is - but for me the book needed less teen drama and more honesty. I love the concept of this series and am hoping for a much better version of America and Maxon in The One. I do feel that a large part of the reason I didn't like The Elite as much as The Selection was because of how much I built it up in my head and this isn't in any way Keira Cass's fault.

2.5 - 3 Stars in my Sky! (I have faith that America and Maxon can win me over in The One).


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