Hardcover: 323 Pages
Release Date: April 23, 2013
Publisher: Harper Teen
Narration: First Person: America
Challenge: Dystopian Challenge
The Selection Series:
Book .5: The Prince
Book One: The Selection
Book Two: The Elite
Book Three: The One
Order On Amazon: Hardcover
Order On Barnes and Noble:
Hardcover and Nook
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The hotly-anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller 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.
Beforehand, I wasn't looking forward to reading The Elite. Not one iota. When someone asked me what I thought of the series, the first words that popped into my head were princesses and fluffy dresses, which is definitely not my scene. At least not anymore. A year ago I wouldn't have minded, but now, I've shifted more towards the darker and actiony (Is that even a word? O.o) side of literature, otherwise known as the beloved Paranormal genre. The only aspect of this book that finally pushed me to give it a chance was the cover. Yeah, I know, it's the exact same thing that I just said I despised, but even I have to admit that it's undeniably elegant and beautiful.
I don't remember too much of America's character in The Selection, but I do specifically recall liking her personality. She was compassionate, loyal, not stuck up like the majority of the other princesses, and smart, something I definitely admired in the sea of annoying, whiny, pathetic heroines that seem to be the norm in way too many YA books. That's why I was astonished by her change in character in The Elite. It seemed like she took a complete 180 degree turn and morphed into this selfish, rash, infuriating princess during her stay at the castle.
When the princesses were asked to come up with a charity idea to help the citizens residing in the lower caste systems, much like what Queen Amberly did when she was just starting out as queen, I was expecting America to be chock full of ideas, because she actually understood what it was like to live as one of the lower caste people. To be forced to hide her love for Aspen just because society deemed it unacceptable. To watch other people starve around her, because there wasn't enough food to go around. Even though she couldn't come up with an idea right away, I still had faith that she would come up with something, anything, that would help her family as well as the other people suffering even worse than she did when she was a five. In the end, she came up with the idea of ________ (Don't want to give away the spoiler. :P), which I would've supported completely if her heart was in the right place to begin with. Instead of stating her idea for the benefit of the public, she said it just to get back at Maxon, because she was angry with him. What the heck is wrong with you!?
Now comes the love triangle. *Slams head on table* Our contenders are Maxon, the adored prince with a painful secret, and Aspen, America's first love who will always hold a special place in her heart. To be honest, I really don't care for either of them. If I had to choose, I would be on Team Maxon, but I still didn't feel any sparks when America described him or when they had personal heart-to-heart conversations. One thing that bothered me the most about Aspen was the action he took after what happened with Marley and Woodstock, I think his name was? Gah, it's so hard to keep myself from saying spoilers. >.< I can't believe that Aspen would decide to make his move on America then. Of all times, he of course would choose the worst one. It became hard to believe that Aspen cared about America's safety at all.
The romance between all of them was bland and eye-roll worthy. It seemed like the author divided the chapters up according to which love interest America was going to spend time with. She would literally be set on dating Maxon in one chapter, confident about the love they had for each other, then going after Aspen in the next after some sort of misunderstanding. Back and forth, back and forth to the point where I just gave up on the romance all together.
The action was the only part that I enjoyed. Surprising, because it was the only thing that I feared would suck. Although much of the time was spent on princess protocol and organizing events, I never felt bored with the storyline or put to sleep by the lack of action. I'm not sure how to explain it.....it wasn't action in the literal sense, as in sword-fighting or ass-kicking, it was more of a....political sense? Never mind, you'll find out if you ever decide to read the book. xD We see a bit more of the Southern and Northern rebels in The Elite, and I for one, am very interested in learning more about them and what they really seek when they invade the castle.
Overall, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the storyline but disliked the fact that it came at the expense of a ruined love triangle and an impulsive and selfish protagonist. I will be reading the sequel, probably just because of the gorgeous cover I'm sure it'll have, but I hope that America reverts back to the strong character she was in The Selection and actually takes the time to use her brain to think out her plans thoroughly instead of letting her emotions guide her actions. I haven't lost faith in you yet, America! Please don't disappoint me in The One!
Cover- 5/5 *Stares at creepily*
Comedy- N/A There were some jokes
but not enough to rate.
No issues with the writing, but it didn't jump out at me either.