With that out of the way, I can tell you all about my utter frustration with The Elite. I read The Selection a few days ago and I couldn’t get enough. Alley had a copy of The Elite, so of course I borrowed it the day after I finished the first book and devoured it. And while I was prepared for a whirlwind of emotions, I wasn’t prepared for the disappointment of finishing the book.
Warning: If you have not read The Selection and don’t want to see any spoilers, don’t go any further!
The book picks up where The Selection left off, with six girls left vying for Prince Maxon’s heart. I’d like to go further into the plot – but that’s really it. This entire book is just about the six girls fighting each other, completing various tasks, and having various mental breakdowns. Essentially, in the beginning Maxon is ready to commit to America, and America is unsure about her feelings for Maxon versus her feelings for Aspen. Maxon takes America’s indecisiveness as an opportunity to get to know the other girls. Along this way, he finds himself genuinely attracted to one of them, and then begins to push America away. America, already scared about her feelings for Maxon and the idea of becoming a princess, begins to move further towards Aspen.
This book elicited many emotions from me, and I believe that’s exactly what Kiera Cass wanted. In The Selection, I was the world’s biggest Maxon fan and I HATED Aspen. I guess Cass had to give Aspen some redeeming qualities in this book to make everyone unsure of whom America would eventually choose. While I definitely fell in love with Aspen a little in this book, I found myself infuriated at Maxon’s behavior. He became a selfish child, purposely giving America the runaround only to later claim he didn’t mean to. He pursues relationships with the other girls all the while telling America she’s the only one he’s interested in. He wasn’t very honest. Now that’s not to say America didn’t have her demons, because she was definitely doing the same thing, but I just found myself getting frustrated at the back in forth. One minute they were sure of each other, the next they were drifting apart. It was like a bad Taylor Swift song.
My number one pet peeve about trilogies is the quality of all three books. Many times authors have a great idea for the first book, and a phenomenal idea for the last book. In order to make it a trilogy, however, there has to be a middle book. And this is one of those times where I feel like the middle book could’ve been split between the first and last books. Aside from some rebel attacks that were essential to the plot, this book was a whole lot of America crying and being self-destructive, and Maxon acting like a playboy.
In the end, I was very frustrated with this book. But confusingly, I was enraptured. I couldn’t put it down and I read it all in one sitting. My heart was thumping and I felt it breaking along with America’s. In terms of writing, Cass has very few rivals in her ability to make you feel what her characters are feeling. I just wish this book had been more plot substance and less back and forth. If Cass’ objective was to make you feel one hundred different emotions in one book, she clearly accomplished that.
I honestly can’t wait for the final book, The One, to come out. This series has my emotions built up and I’m ready to see what path America chooses.
6 out of 10