Saturday, 25 May 2013

Book Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass


 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 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.


** Review will contain SPOILERS. Do not read if you have not read The Selection AND The Elite !! **

I honestly don't know how I can summarise my love for this series into a review. It is just amazing. I've been busy studying for my summer exams recently. I bought this book three weeks ago, on the day it was released, and have only just read it. I was not reading because of my exams but I just felt the need to read something, so I picked this up. This book blew me away. I was gripped until I'd finished. 

I'm going to start off with an unpopular opinion: I liked reading about Aspen in this book. We get to see a lot more of Aspen in this book. In The selection, we only got to see Aspen for a little at the beginning and a little at the end. In The Elite we get to see a lot more of his character. I don't like Aspen, as you most likely already know from my Selection review. I liked seeing more of his character in this book as I now feel I can justify my dislike for him.

 In this book I felt like he would manipulate any situation between America and Maxon for his own gain. He must know that America has feelings for Maxon, but he does not care of America gets hurt as long as she is not with Maxon . He wants America all to himself. We got to see a more manipulative side to him, seen when he tells America that Maxon is an "actor" and that  he puts on  these "performances" for all the Elite girls. That really annoyed me in the book. At the beginning of the book I thought, well its nice that Aspen can be her friend in the castle, but now I'm thinking "Aspen, Get The Hell OUT !!". 

Oh America. America didn't really have any character development in this book. She's still indecisive about who to choose, Maxon or Aspen. I also found it interesting that even this is obvious to Aspen when he said "sometimes I feel that Maxon and I are in the selection for you ". It is that obvious ! America spent a lot of the novel going between Maxon and Aspen , and although I enjoyed seeing the relationship she has with each guy, I still think that she need to hurry up and choose.  

I actually kind of loved the scene when Celeste called Marlee a "whore" and America punched her in the face. **chanting** FIGHT-FIGHT-FIGHT!  It showed America's loyalty as a friend. 

Maxon is my favourite character in the book. In this book we get to see some conflict between America and himself as they stop speaking for a few days. I found it interesting to see him talking to the other girls and to Kriss, who seems would be his queen if America were to pull out. When America got angry over this, I honestly did not see why. If she stopped speaking to him for weeks and said repeatedly that she wanted to leave, does that not make him think that they are never getting back together? Obviously he is going to have to try and find someone else! Oh, America- you really are silly sometimes.

The maids are some of my favourite side-characters ever. They are so funny. I love the interaction between America and them. The scene where they said that they wanted to someday have children, leave the palace, get married and that that will probably never happen. In that scene, I felt so close to them. It really showed the struggles they have to put up with because of their position and really added depth to their characters.

I also really liked Queen Amberly. She is so down to earth and normal, not at all how I expected. I feel like she is rooting for America too. I loved the part of the book where the other countries visited and even they told America that they were rooting for her. 
A Scene that was really frightening was when America gave her project speech about the castes. Reading the book, I was excited to see what she was planning and then when she gave her speech, It all hit the fan. The king is one of my most hated characters now. When it was revealed that he beats Maxon, and also abuses the Queen, I was shocked and frightened. Does this mean that if America becomes queen he may hurt her too? What will happen if she does something he doesn't like again? I feel he is really unpredictable. I was so shocked to find this out as I never suspected this at all !

I am so interested to learn more about the rebels. Up until the Elite, we have learned only the bare minimum about them . In The Elite, there was many attacks and the Elite had to be brought down to the safe rooms. I am really interested to see what their aims are. What is they are rebelling against exactly? What's their story? Why the books? (A theory / side note: Did anyone else notice that only after America told her dad about the secret book room that the rebels attacked the you think her dad has some connection to the rebels?!) One of my favourite parts of the book was when America was hiding in the tree and the rebel girl looked up and seen her. She could have told the others about her, she could have killed her but instead she smirked and sarcastically curtsied ! I loved that rebel girl.

The plot of this book was really fast paced. I read this in a day because I couldn't put it down...and I was procrastinating from doing my exams.. 

There were so many twists that I did not see coming; Marlee's lover, Maxon's secret. I felt that these were written so well . Kiera Cass has created an amazing and intriguing world filled with great characters. I can't wait to read The One, but I suppose I'll have to. 

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