Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Review of The Elite by Kiera Cass

HarperCollins Children's
The Elite
by Kiera Cass
3 Scribbles

To be released 4/23/2013
Spoiler alert!

Six girls remain in the competition for Prince Maxon, and America is one of the favorites. Yet, America is still struggling with her feelings for her first love, Apsen, and she isn’t sure she has what it takes to be princess, and eventually queen. Meanwhile, rebel attacks increase and it becomes apparent that the palace is full of secrets. The clock ticks as the The Selection draws closer to an end. Will America resolve her feelings before it’s too late…and will she be Maxon’s choice?
The best part about the second book is the inclusion of tidbits from Illéa’s past. Details about the kingdom start to leak via America’s relationship with Maxon, and the entire caste system is explained. It seems the current King prefers to keep his people in the dark; America discovers that the history put down on paper is far different from the oral history that has been passed down through Illéa’s people over generations. Suddenly, the dystopian elements that seemed to be “tossed in” in book one, make a bit more sense.  America’s character is more fully developed. The reader may be disgusted by the hypocrisy of America’s continued relationship with Apsen while she experiences extreme jealousy over Maxon, yet this imperfection is what pulls the reader headlong into the story. . Aspen is America’s “one constant.” He represents America’s link to the past, and her inability to move forward. Prince Maxon, however, clearly has a hold on her heart, but that hold brings with it America’s encroaching adulthood—adulthood she is not ready to embrace. Maxon too is more fully developed. The reader finds a reason for his behind-the-radar changes to the kingdom, and begins to understand a new and unexpected dynamic in the royal family. Still, the dystopian elements take a backseat to the romantic elements of the story, and because of this, readers who love reality TV and romantic novels will more likely enjoy this series than those who love dystopian works like Divergent and The Hunger Games. And…if you were hoping to discover the winner of the competition, hope some more. It seems the winner will not be revealed until book three. Sigh. I guess I’m still in!

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