Monday, July 15, 2013

The Elite by Kiera Cass

The Elite is the sequel to the Selection so this review contains ***SPOILERS*** if you have not read the Selection.  If you like to read series in order then don't read any more of this review until you have read the Selection.
The Selection has seen the arrival of 35 girls to compete to become the princess of Ilea and the wife of the future king.  Over time the original 35 has been whittled down to just 6, and axon has been spending time getting to know the girls who remain, although America is sure that she holds a special place in his heart.  Everything seems to be going okay with the Selection, but with every passing day America finds her confusing growing as she tried to decide who really holds her heart - Maxon or Aspen.  Just when America thinks she has finally made her choice, she finds herself torn once more between the safe and comfortable love from Aspen, and the apparently more passionate and intoxicating romantic gestures from Maxon.
In the background the rebels are working to overthrow the kingdom, threatening the royal family and everyone living in the palace as they fight to make changes to the country of Ilea.  America knows that her country isn't perfect, and she struggles with the knowledge that she has moved up in the caste system while others have been punished and sent down the tiers of the caste system.  It is a difficult time, especially when all the other Elite girls seem to have knowledge, skills, or graces that let them excel at their lessons and during their public appearances.  When they unthinkable happens and America publicly goes against the royal family in a very public way, she risks losing Maxon for good - has she taken too long to make up her mind, will she lose her true love before she even realises who it is?
The Elite is the sequel to the Selection and picks up where the first book left off, dragging you deeper into the love triangle of America, Aspen, and Prince Maxon.  This is an interesting series because it has romance at the heart of the story, yet the story fits neatly into the genre of adventure and mystery as well.  The future world where the Elite is set is the remains of America, a dystopian world where the only way to save society was to create a caste system where everyone knows their place from birth, it is a simple society that everyone understands - yet there are people who fight against it.  Dystopian novels are popular at the moment, but the Selection and the Elite stand out from the crowd a little because they are not a simple and straight forward story, there is a lot of background information that you only really learn about in the Elite, information that helps you to better understand America and her world.
This is not high brow literature, it is a story that is meant to be read and enjoyed - and I did both.  Cass has created a realistic world and populated it with realistic people, America is not perfect and neither are the people around her.  At times I wanted to shake her and tell her to grow up, to grow a backbone, to think of other people, to see the possibilities - and while she does develop over the novel I couldn't help but roll my eyes at her a few times.  The Elite is darker than the Selection and I can't wait to see what happens in the next book in the series as America discovers some home truths about herself, but she also discovers more about the people around her that is both shocking and begging for more detail.  This series is very readable, and was difficult to put down once I picked it up.
If you like this book then try:
  • The Selection by Kiera Cass
  • Matched by Ally Condie
  • Wither by Lauren Destefano
  • Crown duel by Sherwood Smith
  • The hunger games by Suzanne Collins
  • The pledge by Kimberly Derting
  • Eve by Anna Carey
  • Winter of fire by Sherryl Jordan
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Reviewed by Brilla

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