Monday, January 27, 2014

The Elite

Review Time! Okay so I was totally planning on posting a heap in January but instead I took another hiatus from posting (oops). In my defence, December was super busy on the blog AND I read a lot of books which need reviewing so I'm back (for now)! The Elite by Kiera Cass is the second book in the The Selection trilogy, I'm a huge fan of the first book so I'm glad that I found the time in December to finally get around to reading it! You can purchase a copy of The Elite from The Book Depository | The Nile | Booktopia | Bookworld. Thanks to HarperCollins for the review copy (sorry for the super late review)!

(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.

The Short Story? - I'm aware there is a lot of hate out there for The Elite but I'm not sorry for LOVING THE BOOK. I loved The Selection but The Elite was so much better, I laughed, I cried, the book was an emotional roller coaster. There was more action and while some people found the love triangle to be annoying, personally I think it's one of the high points of the novel. This series has quite possibly one of the best love triangles out there, there is drama, intensity and scandal - what more do you want from a love triangle? Well written, great characterisation, The Elite was an incredible sequel to The Selection.

The Long Story? - I like to read reviews of books before I read them because it gives me perspective on the book. Before I read The Elite, I read a bunch of horrible reviews about how terrible the book was however I disagree with every one of those reviews. Just because a book isn't typical to the genre doesn't mean it's a bad book. I think people need to be more open-minded about the dystopian genre. It doesn't HAVE to have a crazy amount of action, a body count and an over-the-top rebellion movement. So what if romance is the main focus, personally I think it's refreshingly different. The Elite provided a nice alternative to the typical dystopian genre and there was action and drama incorporated into the plot even if it wasn't the main focus. I'm not a fan of love triangles but when it's well done - they make pretty great books and the love triangle America, Maxon and Aspen is a roller coaster ride. Beautifully written, I think Cass did an incredible job with this sequel and I look forward to reading the last instalment.

I'm very impressed with the characterisation, I thoroughly enjoyed the characterisation in book one but the growth in America as a character was amazing. She's starting to stand up for what she believes in even if it means dire consequences, I'm starting to see a fighting spirit inside her. My connection to America as a reader is incredible and I completely emphasise with her. Definitely a great protagonist who I expect great things from in book three! I'm very torn over Maxon because I love him and I'm rooting for Maxon 120% however he made poor choices and he needs to stick up to his father, HE NEEDS TO GROW A BACKBONE. Aspen is lovely but is very much overshadowed in this book and from what I did see of him in the book, I didn't really love. He's an okay guy and he always has America's back but I just don't think he's the one for her (read: I wouldn't be upset if he died).

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Elite and it's definitely one of my favourite reads of 2013 (although I only read like 50 books). The writing was great, the characters were fantastic and I think Cass did a wonderful job with the world-building as we are starting to see more cracks in the society. I also loved the romance, the drama and the action of The Elite and I'm excited to see what kind of conclusion book 3 will bring. Two thumbs up for The Elite!

What's it Worth? - Hand Over the Paycheck 

Badass Bookie xx