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Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass (The Selection, #2)

Saturday, February 8, 2014
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
America Singer is one of the Elite, the last few who are in the running to become the next queen of Illea. As the narrator, it was really frustrating seeing her go back and forth between her first love Aspen and Prince Maxon in The Elite. Prince Maxon is ever so sweet and understanding that he just keeps and keeps on giving her time to sort out her feelings. It is clear that he holds a very special place in his heart for America but she is blinded by her jealousy and her wanting not to lose Aspen. America is quite a hypocrite, being jealous Maxon is not exclusive with her and spending time with other girls, when she has been messing around with Aspen in the shadows.

In this love triangle I think it is clear which couple will come out. Aspen was not explored as a character. We know he still loves America and clings on to hope she will still marry him. On the other hand, many facets of Prince Maxon's character came to light.

There wasn't much progress on the plot regarding the rebellions. Once again, the royals and the Elite are forced into hiding whenever the Northerners and Southerners attack and casualties are suffered when they come out of hiding. The message on the walls 'We are coming' wasn't cryptic and so it did not elicit any surprise or dreaded anticipation of what would be coming.

I liked that The Elite drew itself away from being a mere cat fighting contest and required the Queen candidates not only to look pretty but to carry out duties such as event preparations and showcasing their ideas.

I'm interested in reading the last book to see what hardships the current King of Illea will throw in America's path.