*** As with any review of a sequel there will be spoilers for book one. If you are thinking about starting the series you can read my review of book one, The Selection.
I started The Elite, by Kiera Cass, at midnight earlier this week when my pre-ordered copy landed on my i-pad and finished it before brushing my teeth the next morning. This signifies three things: (1) that the book is a very quick read, (2) that like its predecessor The Elite is compelling, and (3) That I was up for most of the night with a ouchy ear infection. Don’t worry it’s cleared up!
I liked The Elite a lot. And I’m not just saying this because I’m scared of being targeted as a bully (I hate when authors behave badly). The things I liked about The Selection, I still liked in the Elite. The relationships between the girls continued to be interesting. WIth only six girls left in the competition it was easier to keep them straight, form favorites, and get to know them better. This is pretty much how it works in the Bachelor as well. Of particular note was the flushing out of Kris’ character and her interesting relationship with Maxon.
Maxon continued to be my favorite part of the series. He is not only the most likable character in the book (sorry America I know we are supposed to like you best), but the most fully formed and complex. There was an attempt to make him less likable and Aspen more likable. This attempt only made my like of Maxon and dislike of Aspen stronger. Team Maxon 4ever!!! I also enjoyed the shifting power dynamics between Maxon and America (still hate her name!).
While I think this is a more complete novel than the Selection, i.e. it doesn’t end practically mid-sentence, the things I didn’t like about the first book I hated even more in the Elite. The dystopian elements are heavy-handed and underdeveloped. I don’t understand what the point is of the war with Asia or the difference between the Southern rebels and the Northern rebels. These elements seemed random and made me feel like Cass was just phoning it in.
The book also felt a bit too episodic. I wished there were better transitions between events. I know that I often don’t pick up on foreshadowing (I thought the girl was going to end up with Tad Hamilton in Win a Date with Tad Hamilton) but some of the things that happen seemed as random as the world building.
I will say that none of the things I found problematic kept me from enjoying the book. I will probably reread The Elite at some point and definitely am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.
Just like I am eagerly awaiting the newest season of The Bachelorette. I love Des, and think this time it really, truly could be the most dramatic, most romantic season yet! Also, has anyone heard any updates on this series being turned into a CW show?