Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

the elite by kiera cass book review blog header

Published: April 23, 2013 by HarperTeen | Series: The Selection #2 | Length: 336 pages | Genre: YA dystopian romance | Source: Borrowed from library | Content Warning: abuse, use of sexist slurs/slut-shaming

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Summary from Goodreads:

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.

Last summer I finally took the plunge and read The Selection. To my surprise, I ended up really loving it. Unfortunately, at the time, my library didn’t have The Elite available and so it took me a year to finally continue with the series. After reading The Elite, I better understand why so many readers really don’t like the series or America. With that said, as much as this book frustrated me in some ways, I still found it pretty enjoyable and I’m really looking forward to reading The One.

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As I mentioned, I definitely understand now why so many people hate America and find her annoying. She was so frustrating during this book. In many ways, the dystopian elements of the series kind of fell into the background here and readers just got to see America flip-flop on her feelings for Aspen and Maxon every other chapter. I just wanted to scream at her to make up her mind!! I’m not one to usually be annoyed by love triangles either, so it’s really saying something that I was frustrated with the love triangle here. (For the record, I’m totally rooting for her and Maxon – something about Aspen just makes me suspicious and I don’t trust him.)

Somehow, though, The Elite still kept me interested. I found myself continuing to turn the pages, eager to see what would happen next, even when it didn’t feel like there was really that much going on. I enjoyed seeing America continue to try to fit in with this world that is completely foreign to her and figure out if she really has (or could have) a place there. The ways in which America questions whether or not this world could ever welcome her and embrace her felt very authentic and realistic. 

I also liked seeing the remaining girls interactions with each other. Often it gets very catty, as they’re all competing for Maxon’s love, but there are times, especially with America and Kriss, where they’re friendly and supportive and I loved that. I’m not sure how realistic it is, but I liked seeing their friendship develop.

the elite quote 1

A lot of the things that interested me in The Selection continued in The Elite, making the book engaging and hard to put down. However, the love triangle seemed to dominate in this book and America constantly changing her feelings towards Aspen and Maxon was really annoying. Ultimately, I think this is just one of those series that you have to go in expecting it to be kind of shallow entertainment, rather than expecting some wonderfully written literary masterpiece. Regardless, I’m really looking forward to reading The One when I get a chance.

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9 thoughts on “Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

  1. I feel similar about these books! There is something about Cass’s writing which really engrossed me, even though I decided I didn’t like America as a character. Plus the characters all feel fully fleshed out. Will you be jumping into The One right away?


  2. That’s exactly how I felt about this series! If you’re going into it with expectations of the Hunger Games or something, you’re going to be disappointed. But if you can realize going in that it’s basically just fun, you’ll probably enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

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