Author: Kiera Cass
Format: Trade Paperback
Date Published: April 23, 2013
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Summary (from Goodreads)
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.
There are no words to describe the disappointment I am feeling right now. It was all over the place! My heart was already set with this not being big on the political dystopia side considering the tone of the first book, but at least The Selection knew what it wanted to be. Think America's Next Top Model but for princesses, and it gave no pretenses on being anything other than that.
First of all, I almost hated America (or the way her character was being developed) in the story. In The Selection, her heart was set on proving that she could do things by herself and in her own terms but in The Elite, it's like she can't even string reason together. What was she really fearing? The crown and the responsibilities? Her indecisiveness was a big turn-off for me.
Second, there was barely any character development for Maxon for most of the story except towards the end when America finally lets her explain his side to her without her jumping into assumptions. I feel like there were a lot of missed opportunities here and there for the characters to have grown. Kriss has shown a lot of improvements character-wise but much of it came a little sudden that it was difficult to be emotionally involved with her plight. I couldn't even tell if she really did love Maxon.
All these rebel attacks coming out of nowhere...it seemed pretty useless to me considering all that ever happens when they attack is that the characters go into hiding and something that feeds the romance further develops, some guards die here and there and then we're back to square one again. At least the part where America decides to go off-track and actually meets a rebel who doesn't seem to be at all what she thought they'd be was a little interesting. It provided a little insight into what they could be after. The history! But even then, the author fails to capitalize on what could be an interesting plot. It was expanded a little bit but immediately thrown off the wagon so easily.
Finally, let's talk about the King and that ending. How stupid can you get that you care more about disciplining your own "grown" son, and not do anything about the constant attacks that's been happening in your own palace? As for the ending, I actually liked the ending. It reminded me a lot of the end of The Selection, but reversed. Here we see America actually feeling more pressured and in a tight spot. I found her to be a weaker version of what she used to be in the first book and I just seriously hope that she finds her spine again in the last book OR SO HELP ME.