Author: Kiera Cass
Rating: ★★★★ (4/5 Stars)
Hardcover, 336 Pages
Published April 2013
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Book #2 of 3 in The Selection Trilogy
Read my review of:
The Selection (The Selection, #1)
Summary: The Selection began with thirty-five girls.
Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon's heart is fiercer than ever—and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen? America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America's chance to choose is about to slip away.
When Amber first pushed me into picking up The Selection, I had no idea that I would end up as hooked as I did. Needless to say, I was pretty jumpy and excited when I finally got my hands on a copy of The Elite, and after reading it, I'm pretty much itching to grab a copy of The One, which is the final book in the trilogy. (Although Kiera Cass dropped some news about more Selection books that are on the way!)
In this book, America is starting to really develop feelings for Prince Maxon, despite her original intentions of just staying in the competition long enough to rack up some money for her family so she can come home and patch things up and marry her true love, Aspen.
Of course, as all stories go, things don't go according to plan. In the second book in the series, America is really falling in love with Maxon, still burned and unsure about Aspen after he broke up with her right before she left for the competition. Plus, now that Aspen is a guard in the royal palace, things get molto awkward. (I'm semi-fluent in Italian -- just saying.)
Anyway, as time passes in the palace, America becomes more and more able to see herself as the princess of Illea, ruling the country alongside the man she thinks she's finally beginning to love. But every now and then, she has doubts and the nagging suspicion that what if, truly, she isn't cut out to be the country's princess? What if the other Elite ladies are better fit for the job?
And America's most nagging question of all: What about Aspen?
The Elite was definitely much better than The Selection, at least in my opinion. (I gave The Selection three stars and The Elite four.) America's feelings for both Maxon and Aspen develop in great strides throughout the novel, and although I'm still Team Maxon through and through, I can sympathize with Aspen and America's longing for a life with a boy she's known forever. However, I personally think she'd be a great princess and would give the country the refreshing it needs to solve things, and I'm still pushing for her to end up with Prince Maxon.
The Elite also showed how cutthroat the competition is becoming, and America's pangs of totally justified jealously as she sees Maxon spending time (sometimes a lot of time) with certain other members of the Elite. If he claims he loves her, why is he still spending all of the time with the other girls?
America and her dang cold feet, constantly begging for more time, are why. I'm getting impatient with America's I-Want-To-Be-The-Princess feelings one moment and the I-Don't-Think-I-Can-Do-This feelings the next. The girl needs to make up her mind! I'm hoping that all of my questions will be answered in The One, and I'm curious to see what happens to the other girls as well. But as for America's indecisiveness, I understand her hesitance because choosing to be with Maxon isn't only leaving her first true love, Aspen, behind -- it's also taking on the role as a leader of a grand country, which is certainly no easy task when she's a Five from a poor family that constantly struggled to make ends meet.
On the other hand, though, Maxon has been incredibly patient with her (and Aspen, although a little less patient, has understood her request for time to think as well) and his patience will not last forever, no matter how much America wants it to. The girl needs to make a decision, and she needs to make it fast.
All in all, The Elite was a great second novel in The Selection trilogy and I'm super excited to get my hands on a copy of The One to see what happens next! Kiera Cass is a great writer and I'm definitely, definitely glad that I picked up the series. Can't wait to see what else Cass has in store!