Review: The Elite – Kiera Cass

Happy Release Day for The Elite! If you haven’t read it or The Selection and are fans of The Bachelor/Bachelorette, get on that. I hate that show and loved these two books. Book Crack I tell you! BOOK CRACK!

Review: The Elite – Kiera CassThe Elite by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection, #2
Published by HarperCollins
Published: April 23rd 2013
Buy on Amazon
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five-stars

Kiera Cass’s The Elite is a must-read for fans of dystopian fiction, fairy tales, and reality TV. This sequel to The Selection will enchant teens who love Divergent and The Bachelor.

In America Singer’s world, a bride is chosen for the prince through an elaborate televised competition. In the second book of the Selection series, America is one of only six girls left in the running. But is it Prince Maxon—and life as the queen—she wants? Or is it Aspen, her first love?

The Elite delivers the adventure, glamour, political intrigue, and romance readers of The Selection expect, and continues the love triangle that captivated them.

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GAH!!!!!!!!!!! That was basically my thought the whole time I was reading The Elite. I mean I was an emotional wreck for two days every time I picked it up and it still hasn’t passed. It had been a long time, Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver and Insurgent by Veronica Roth long, since I felt the kind of stress I did reading this book. Every turn of the page I knew I was getting further and further into the story that was going to rip my heart out and that I was getting closer and closer to the end which meant I would have to wait for book 3. And when I did reach that end I think my heart was ripped out of my chest and stepped on. Because The Elite, The Elite was FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC! GAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The story takes place directly after The Selection has ended. America is now in the final 6 and knows exactly how our dear Prince Maxon feels about her.  And America is well on her way to feeling the exact same thing. Maxon is giving her what she asks for, time, but when something happens America has no idea what she really wants and in the process pushes Maxon away. Soon America is watching as Maxon begins to get close to the other girls while she begins to once again get close to Aspen. As a war wages closer and closer to the castle America must figure out which boy her heart belongs to and if she has the guts to live the life of a queen.

America frustrated me to on end in this book. She just would not make up her mind and it was making me crazy. One second she was all team Maxon and the next she was team Aspen. I just wanted to smack her upside the head and tell her what to do. And that right there is why I loved this book. I was dragged in to the story emotionally and mentally and that shows the power of what Cass was trying to convey. Because really, teenagers don’t know what they want. They are frustrating and uncertain and scared, much like I am at 33, haha. But really America’s uncertainty was honest and realistic. I saw what she was feeling at times because Maxon was acting a fool and I wanted to choke him. He would say one thing to America and do another. But again, he was just as uncertain as she was because he had no answers. She was leading him on and asking for time, but keeping her first love on the side without his knowledge. He was between a rock and a hard place and acted out which although annoying, I understood.

What I really didn’t like was Aspen. In the first book he definitely wasn’t my favorite person once the prince was introduced. But in The Elite I hated him. Everything he did I thought was very manipulative and played on America’s feelings for him. He was/is using her to play out his agenda, whatever that may be. I don’t feel he is genuine at all when it comes to her and I have no use for him. Even with Maxon being an idiot, I’m still Team Maxon all the way. He made mistakes, America has made mistakes, but really who of use hasn’t?! And learning a little more of his background made me love him even more.

Basically Cass made me an emotional mess with this book and proved I was right when I called this series book crack. It isn’t good for you, it will rip out your soul, but you need to get your fix. You get so wrapped up in the lives of America, Maxon and Aspen that you forget they aren’t real people and you don’t need to be as emotional about it. Bravo Ms. Cass for sucking me and in keeping me there. Now give me book 3!

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Second Chance Sunday – The Selection by Kiera Cass

With The Elite coming out in a few short days it was only fitting that today’s Second Chance Sunday be brought to you by The Selection, the first is this crazy addictive series. I was lucky enough to read The Elite already(review will posted on Tuesday) and trust me when I tell you, read this series! Read it quickly and read it often!

Second Chance Sunday – The Selection by Kiera CassThe Selection by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #1
Published by HarperTeen
Published: April 24th 2012
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads
five-stars

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

I am so confused why I have heard mixed things about this book. It was fantastical! I loved the characters and the story and the setting. I loved everything about it. I don’t quite understand why it has been compared to The Hunger Games other then the fact that America has maids and there is a host that questions the girls, but that aside, this book was a fun take on The Bachelor and I hate that show.

Basically The Selection is about America Singer, a girl from a lower caste number, that is “forced” to apply for the selection, by her mother and her boyfriend of two years, so Prince Maxon can find himself a wife. Heart broken and shocked when she is picked America moves into the palace with 34 other girls determined not to be the chosen one. What America doesn’t expect is to find herself an ally behind the palace walls and for that ally to be the Prince himself. Slowly America opens herself up to the possibility of a life with him. And when something unexpected happens she must decide where her allegiance lies and who her heart ultimately belongs to.

Now I know I should start with talking about America, and I will, but I need to first gush about Prince Maxon. I’m in love! Or in serious crush! He was simply put, an amazing character. Where you would expect a stuffy, snobbish Royal, you really got a down to earth, fun-loving guy that was trying to do the right thing for himself, his family and his subjects. His interactions with all of the girls was real and not contrived in the least. I believed everything about him and not once thought he was putting on a how for the cameras or the girls. He was so swoon worthy that I found myself wanting to be his princess! And his interaction with America made me like him even more! And America for that matter.

I feel like we got to know the real America through him and it made her endearing. When she was home she was always doing/thinking for someone else. But with Maxon she was finally thinking and feeling for herself. She was one of the least selfish people in the story and I admired that. I actually found myself rooting for her to open her eyes and see Maxon for the amazing creature he was.

On top of loving the characters I loved the story as a whole. Everything was paced out perfectly and the set-up for future books was there. I loved reading about Maxon and America’s time around the palace and her being his confidant. The fact that there was an added element of suspense with the rebel attacks just added to the whole story. And the use of a caste system really brought out that dystopian feel that I so love.

So basically I completely fell in love the Cass’ world and characters. The Selection is Cinderella meets The Bachelor in a world that was torn up by war and is still unsettled. Cass did an amazing job of drawing me in and keeping me there. Ignore the comparison to The Hunger Games and jump in. I really don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Like me you’ll be praying that 2013 gets here quickly so you can pick up The Elite and that the CW gets there act together so you can watch the TV show. 🙂

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