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.
I was surprised to find myself liking The Selection last year and when the sequel showed up on Netgalley a few weeks ago, I couldn't help myself. I remembered some strong characters and the hint of a much more exciting backstory waiting to unfold in the next two books. I was excited to see what was going to happen.
The Elite is both gives the reader more and falls back in terms of plot. When I was reading the first book, I felt sure that we'd have a good view of what was going on with the rebels by the end of book two, maybe even having America be captured by them or some sort of breakdown of the kingdom. Something dramatic. I was disappointed to find this not the case.
It's not that nothing happens in the book. We do find out more of the backstory of what happened to the world to make it what it is. America gets to read some secret diaries that give her some facts of life before the caste system. And we do see a bit more of the rebels, if only a tiny bit. I really wanted more plot and although I got a taste, I wasn't satisfied.
I was, however, annoyed as hell with America. I like her as a character, I do, and she's very strong but she spends almost the entire book hemming and hawing over Aspen and Maxon, going from one boy to the next and then overreacting if one of them looks like they might have had a toe out of line. In one aspect, I do think Maxon made a poor choice but for everything else, America flies off the handle at the smallest hint of a problem and doesn't let anyone explain. It's alright once but it happened at least three or four times in the book and it was getting old.
This is not to say that I didn't enjoy the book because I did. I even missed my subway stop because I was engrossed in it. The book plods merrily along and I definitely want to know how the series is going to end. I was a bit disappointed that this book didn't make the most out of what it could have been but I'm hoping book three will blow it all out of the water.