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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Team Maxon...
I absolutely LOVED The Selection and have been ridiculously excited to read The Elite, so much so that I've even re-read The Selection recently in anticipation of The Elite and if you know me, you know that re-reads are RARE. I squealed when I finally got the book and took it to bed with me that evening to read. I would have read it in one sitting if I didn't have to...
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer

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2.0 out of 5 stars Very stretched out character development
2.5 STARS

In all honesty I was a little disappointed by this book. It’s the follow up to The Selection which was a light and hearty read that was very enjoyable, but it also had deeper plots. As I predicted this book followed these deeper plots based on the dystopian setting, and every time it mentioned the rebel attacks I expected a big revelation or...
Published 21 days ago by Anna (Enchanted by YA)


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Team Maxon..., 27 April 2013
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I absolutely LOVED The Selection and have been ridiculously excited to read The Elite, so much so that I've even re-read The Selection recently in anticipation of The Elite and if you know me, you know that re-reads are RARE. I squealed when I finally got the book and took it to bed with me that evening to read. I would have read it in one sitting if I didn't have to get up at 5 30am for work (sometimes life just gets in the way). As it is, I read it in less than 24 hours and I enjoyed every last bit of it.

At the end of The Selection, the candidates were whittled down to just six girls, who became the elite (hence the title of this book). It's no surprise to learn that America is one of those girls as Maxon had already promised her that she would be. He knows that she comes from a poor background and being there helps her family BUT that's not the only reason she's still there. I believe Maxon has already made his choice in America but he's waiting to see if she will choose him too. Let's not forget that her ex boyfriend is a guard at the palace and he wants her back. Torn between those two, I don't envy her having to make a decision! But it's not just about the romance, the rebel attacks are increasing in force and frequency with no explanation as to why until America stumbles across the biggest clue yet.

In a lot of ways, reading The Elite was like being on a rollercoaster ride through America's emotions. I knew when things were going brilliantly at the beginning of the book that it all had to go t*ts up pretty soon *le sigh*. The change in America is subtle yet starkly obvious at the same time. I've never seen her so unsure about EVERYTHING - how she feels, what she's doing there, how other's feel about her. She's no longer the strong, confident girl she was in the first book and it shows. The pressure is definitely getting to her but not necessarily the pressure of winning the selection, but the pressure of choosing between Aspen and Maxon.

I have to say that I'm not surprised that America is feeling a little insecure about the attention Maxon is giving the other candidates - I always thought that this is why I could never take part in anything like The Bachelor because that kind of thing would eat me alive. Although it might seem from the outset that Maxon is being a bit of a s*** given that he's made promises to America, let's not forget that she is undecided about him and he has to hedge his bets here.

Aspen is still a guard at the palace, most often posted right outside America's door. He is America's safe haven and she talks to him with honesty, like talking to a best friend and I guess that's what America needs right now. It's nice that he can be there for her but at the same time, it must be killing him inside and should she really be discussing things with him? Probably not but she needs a friend and he is offering that to her, above everything else.

In The Elite, there are plenty of revelations along the way about the rebels, the King and even Maxon who's hiding some secrets of his own. We finally find out Marlee's secret (her best friend in The Selection) which has shocking consequences and definitely rocks America's world, but not in a good way.

The ending kind of snuck up on me and the only problem now is waiting another year for the third book *sobs*. I really hope that Kiera releases some more novella's in the mean time, at least to keep us going! I love this series with a passion and I do think that the decision America has to make just got so much harder. Let's just say that in The Elite, America is blowing it. BIG STYLE. She's got one chance to get this right - for Aspen, for Maxon, for the country and for herself. BRING ON THE NEXT BOOK!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Elite by Kiera Cass, 30 Jun 2013
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Also published to Miss Inga Page.

The second novel in The Selection trilogy, The Elite, takes place directly after the conclusion of The Selection. After the terrible events that occurred at the end of the first novel, Prince Maxon makes a decision regarding those girls he wants to remain in the competition, in order to avoid putting more girls in danger than is strictly necessary. Still a front-runner, America Singer, our protagonist, remains in the palace, and is faced with some of the struggles that the new Queen may have to endure, including making decisions (or not, as the case may be) which directly affect the general population, as well as those she cares about.

The Elite was fast-paced, and I really enjoyed seeing the relationship between America and Maxon develop. I thought it was really interesting to see how Maxon dealt with the political decisions which were forced onto him, and which he had to act upon, even when they went against his own moral compass. I genuinely felt sorry for the poor guy as we come to understand the extent to which he is trapped in his situation. I did find the politics of the novel a little confusing and contrived, and am still not entirely sure which set of rebels are the dangerous ones, and which ones do what and everything else that Cass tried to elaborate on in this novel, but there you go. I think the whole "political" side plot could have been totally ignored, but I suppose Cass needed to try and differentiate the novel from other "dystopian" YA fiction in some way...

As much as I enjoyed reading it, I will admit that this novel felt a bit like "filler"... Very little happened to actually progress the plot. The information provided was necessary to read to understand more about the situation that Illea is in, and I raced through it, however it could probably have been pushed into 50-100 pages, rather than 300. It felt as though Cass was setting up the plot for the concluding novel, without providing anything new. Similarly, the "love triangle" (love-hexagon?) could have been condensed... and preferably, with fewer meetings between America and Aspen! He needs to go! I'm hoping he gets fired early on in The One. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

I'm sorry... I've said it before, and I will say it again, I don't like him! I cannot, for the life of me, understand why America would risk everything she has with Maxon, where she could so easily be discovered, for a man who I don't believe is all that genuine. Sure, Maxon is pursuing a number of girls, which in an ordinary situation would be inexcusable, but America knew that would be the case when she entered the Palace, and she knows that Maxon has no other choice. He needs to find his Queen, and he needs to find a Queen that will appease his father and his country... as well as one who he actually likes. Being thrust into this situation, he at least has to give every girl an opportunity to show him why she should be "selected", and the only way for him to do that, is by spending time with them. In her dealings with Maxon and Aspen, I can't help but acknowledge America's immaturity. She needs to make a decision about who she wants to be with, and stop switching between them every other chapter.

Despite any inconsistencies, or plot points that I found issue with, I did love this book! I literally couldn't put it down until I was finished! I read The Selection, The Prince and The Elite from cover-to-cover in the space of less than 36 hours... and really wish that The One (the final part in the trilogy) was already available!

I do wonder if my feelings towards this book weren't heightened by my enjoyment of the first novel - particularly given that I read them in such quick succession - however, given how much I enjoyed the general reading experience of the trilogy thus far, I don't think I can give Cass' second installment anything less than four stars.

If you enjoyed the first installment, this is definitely worth picking up... but, it probably won't change your mind about the series if you weren't a fan the first time round!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cute, Pleasant and Fast Read!, 1 Aug 2013
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First things first, this was a lovely light read and I got through it so fast, even in between work and other commitments!

I have a very large TBR pile that needed some attention and I decided picking this book up would be a good idea because I remembered how I sped through reading The Selection #1.

From the very beginning I have always been routing from one corner of the love triangle in this book so ultimately my opinion might be biased, but how infuriating was America throughout this book! I mean, seriously we get it that you once loved Aspen but time's moved on things have changed! Jeesh! Nevertheless I still loved the book if only for the fact that I was quite proud of Maxon for standing up for himself and not being treated like a toy! *fist pumps the air!*

With the second books in series I always find there is more action because the author doesn't have to waste time introducing us to the characters and setting the scene. This was also the case for this book and was partly the reason I couldn't put the book down until I had finished! The other reason was because the plot was always interesting and I never found a point in this book where I was bored or fed up with reading. I did mention above that America annoyed me throughout but that's just her character and not the writing or the whole story!

Overall, I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who has read The Selection #1 and honestly in my opinion, this book was way better than the first! :D
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 8 May 2013
One of the things I love most about books is that like ice cream, they come in all different "flavours" ideal for whatever mood you're in. If I had to pair The Elite with a flavour of ice cream, it would definitely be double chocolate chip with fudge and caramel swirls. Sweet, fun and pure indulgence, this is the perfect book to curl up with and lose yourself in the cute and compelling plot.

The Elite was one of my most anticipated reads of 2013 and gladly it did not disappoint. I devoured the book in a matter of hours after dancing around the kitchen in my pjs when the ARC landed in my inbox thoroughly frightening my dog and possibly the neighbours!

When we last met America Singer, she had just been chosen as one of The Elite. The competition has been culled and the tension is at an all time high as the remaining six girls inch ever closer to the grand prize - Maxon and the throne of Illéa. Now as her relationship with the prince deepens she also has to deal with her lingering feelings for Aspen, her first love who in The Selection broke her heart leading to her entering the competition and later showing up as a Palace guard throwing a spanner in the works.

Throughout the book, the love triangle is focused on heavily which was equally my favourite and least favourite aspect in particular because of America. While in The Selection she is feisty, independent and truly her own person, in The Elite she unfortunately behaves maddeningly fickle at times. Throughout the book, her personality and behaviour changes depending on which boy she is spending time with and it only takes a smile or a cross word from either of them for her to flip flop between them which I wasn't a fan of. She plays with both boys' emotions which I think was unfair however I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt that her obvious youth plays a big part. Despite this America never considers just how life changing her decision would be until close to the end and because of this never truly gives much thought to how the boys feel and what they're offering her as it is always too easy for her to switch between them knowing the other would be waiting.

When Maxon appears to be playing hard to get and spends more time with the other girls (as is the nature of the competition) America immediately considers it a slight and never once contemplates the many layers of the game and her position in it.

While her behaviour was foolish towards the boys, happily she was her regular kick-ass self when it came to the other characters. I loved her interaction with her maids; her friendship with them evolved to a sisterhood filled with emotion and loyalty and was one of my favourite parts of the book. Her defiance to toe the line and accept the status-quo also had me cheering for her and really helped build up the tension and pacing of the book towards the end as America risks all for what she believes in.

Because of the smaller group of girls still in the running, we got to know the competition a bit better. In particular Kriss who came out from behind to position herself as a worthy opponent to America. It was interesting to see Maxon interact more with the girls in this book and his behaviour towards them did make me more sympathetic to America's feelings despite her actions at times.

The idea of Maxon whispering sweet nothings and sharing stolen kisses and promises with six girls does seem baffling but considering that TV shows such as The Bachelor, Take Me Out and Paradise Island have all been ratings winners over the years the concept isn't as far out as one would think. It's not a position I personally could cope with very well but it does make for riveting reading and Cass holds your attention from start to finish.

One of my favourite parts of the book was the development of Maxon and Aspen's characters. While in The Selection both seemed more like Ken dolls, in The Elite they are far more realised.

Aspen's feelings for America as well as his reasons for leaving her in The Selection are definitely more understandable and his moments with her are sweet. While he does prove himself to be a worthy suitor for America, I'm afraid Maxon stole my heart in The Selection and The Elite confirmed it.

In this book we see just how much pressure he's under to prove himself as both a potential ruler and husband. The idea that as a One he can't possibly know suffering or hardship is truly quashed in this book as some shocking revelations about his past and present come to light which really made my heart break for him as his solitude as a Royal, always having to put on a "calm face" meant he has had to deal with it on his own with no help from anyone.

The world building is developed more in The Elite and we find out just how the state of Illéa was born in some shocking revelations and with the rebels gaining more ground and support, the expectation of change particularly with America's influence on Maxon is highly anticipated in book three. The cruelty and injustice of the Caste system is also developed in this book with one stomach churning incident that proved saving face is considered more important than the lives and well being of the citizens of Illéa.

The position and state of mind America finds herself in at the end of the book is worth all the flip flopping and indecision as Cass leaves us panting for more in what should be an amazing conclusion.

This book stirred up so many emotions in me while reading and made me laugh, brought me to tears and experience one dizzying swooning episode I don't think I'll forget for a long time! (Heads up girls! Chapter 8!)

The Elite is definitely one of my favourite Spring reads.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Very stretched out character development, 10 Aug 2014
2.5 STARS

In all honesty I was a little disappointed by this book. It’s the follow up to The Selection which was a light and hearty read that was very enjoyable, but it also had deeper plots. As I predicted this book followed these deeper plots based on the dystopian setting, and every time it mentioned the rebel attacks I expected a big revelation or something but every… single… time it fell short.

The Selection was still going strong throughout this book, and while I enjoyed it in the first book of the series, it was too slow going this time around. There were no stand-out or thought-provoking scenes. Instead the book was filled with petty arguments, girls being annoying and the most frustrating love triangle.

I think the point of this whole book was very stretched out character development. It was more setting up for the next book with regards to characters and plot, rather than a standalone book in its own right. The characters that were developing however have developed into idiots. America is no longer a strong female lead and instead is lacking self-confidence and makes so many huge mistakes at other’s costs over petty arguments it’s unbelievable. Maxon, well let’s just say sometimes I wanted to sucker punch him in the face (don’t get me wrong, I still love him to bits because he is patient and sweet with America… but still). As for Aspen, I simply don’t like the guy.

Other than this there isn’t much else to say. I will however read book 3 of The Selection series, The One, because with 336 pages setting up in The Elite, I am expecting an almighty climax. I hope it will include the caste system and the rebels, resulting in a major death, though I can’t say who, because to be honest I would be happy with several characters dying.

Posted on: http://enchantedbyya.blogspot.co.uk
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Elite, 19 Jan 2014
By 
Sarah "Shelbycat" (Llanelli) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
In this book we're still following the lives of the remaining cadidates from the selection, as Prince Maxon is trying to find himself a suitable bride. This is somewhat hindered by various attacks on the palace, along with attempts by his parents to make the choice for him by removing certain girls.

Having really enjoyed The Selection i was hoping to enjoy The Elite as well, however this didn't happen. I found myself disliking the main characters more and more as the book went along. American seems to be a very confused young lady with no idea who shes loves. She has a tendency to overthink everything meaning she finds it hard to make any kind of decision. About the only thing she can decide on is what to eat! Maxon is an odd character, he vacilates from someone who really wants to help his people and wants America to love him and join him in this quest, to someone who i wouldn't trust with anything i hold dear let alone my heart. I'm not entirely sure how much he takes after his father but i wouldn't want to trust him too much if i was America. Then there's Aspen, America's love from before the selection started. To be honest i'm probably on Team Aspen as he seems to be the only person who knows what he wants, but also seems to be trustworthy and reliable at the same time.

The other selection candidates all seem to have merged into the background in this book which i felt was a great shame as i really enjoyed learning about their different lifestyles and thoughts in the previous book. Only having America to listen to in this book felt a little boring at times.

To be honest some of the few people i liked in this book were America's staff, those three girls are brilliant and hilarious and America is very lucky to have them. Again i'd like to know how some of the other selection candidates and their staff get along, maybe in a novella?

Having said all this i will want to read the last book i the series along with any novellas purely to find out what happens in the end. These are not badly written books, in fact they're pretty well written, however i'm probably not their target audience hence my annoyance with some of the characters and their motivations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Elite by Kiera Cass, 21 April 2013
The thirty-five girls competing in the Selection have been cut down to six, but only one can win and marry Prince Maxon and be crowned Princess. The story, the conflict, the romance, was basically the same as The Selection, which I liked fine if you thought of it more as a simple, fairytale-ish story instead of deep, dark, grittiness found in most YA.

Here, the romance takes centre stage. But America is all over the place with her feelings, and she's so indecisive with these two boys (Maxon and Aspen). When she's with one she thinks she's chosen - she'll stay with him forever. Then she has a conversation with the other and she wants to pick him instead. However, I never disliked America even though she did not think of the consequences of her actions.

Events actually happened in The Elite so it didn't fall down in the second-book syndrome. But, the only tension or conflict came from the rebels who randomly broke in now and then, and felt exactly the same every time it happened. There was also a section I thought could have added some tension, especially following some events, but it wasn't even mentioned.

Like the first one, I really liked the girl's interactions. They were competing, but they were nice to each other, not wanting to sabotage the other.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about this book. It wasn't amazing, but it wasn't dreadful either. I'll definitely read the final book when it come's out though.

Thanks to Netgalley for allowing me to read early!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 14 July 2014
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This review is from: The Elite (Kindle Edition)
Best book ever
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book :), 9 July 2014
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Great book, the story keeps you alert and interested! Even better than tge first book abd generally great series!!! Highly recommend :D
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3.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 20 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Elite (Kindle Edition)
As much as I love this series i felt this book drag on a bit but can wait to read the one
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