Image via 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” Source
The Elite is the second book in The Selection series therefore this review will contain spoilers for the previous book.
To be honest before I started this series I wasn’t sure what I was going to make of it, I’d heard such great reviews from everyone but princess themed stories aren’t really my thing. Since I am planning to watch and review the TV adaptation I thought it was about time I gave in and read the books. Much to my surprise I found the first book, The Selection, a quick and addictive read and was glad that I already had a review copy of The Elite so I could continue on with the story.
At first I was extremely surprised to find that America was a fairly likable protagonist, she seemed to be a strong, determined, sassy character who (aside from the Aspen plotline) knew her own mind. Sadly she lost these admirable traits early on in The Elite. For this part of the story America’s actions were frustrating, most notably her indecisiveness; one of many examples of plot ‘padding’ found here, as well as her stubborn attitude, poor priorities and unwillingness to listen to what anyone, particularly Maxon had to say. Throughout the book she makes countless rash decisions and speaks with no consideration for how what she says may effect anyone else and at the end of the day she spends the entire book going round it circles. Whilst she does have some redeeming moments, little glimpses of the America we first met in The Selection, mainly portrayed through her compulsion to protect her maids from harm and looking out for Marlee, her only real friend amongst the Elite, it wasn’t enough to distract me from the fact that this seemingly strong character had suddenly turned into a bit of a wreck! Without giving anything away I’m hopeful that the ending of The Elite is an indication that the more likable version of America we first met in The Selection will be returning for the final instalment.
Protagonist aside the plot of The Elite isn’t particularly strong and even though the series hasn’t yet concluded I don’t believe that this story really needed to be told through a trilogy. At times it felt drawn out and like certain plot points or situations were just included to pad out the story and lengthen it enough to justify a three book series rather than a standalone novel. This time around more events regarding the rebels were thrown in alongside the Bachelor-esque competition. For me the rebels and their beliefs were an interesting part of the story, one that I would liked to have seen explored in more depth so I am hoping this storyline will play a major part in the third book, The One. In this case they just seemed to have been included as a distraction from the fact that not a lot actually happens in The Elite.
I can’t deny that this series is a fast, easy and addictive read but for me it probably falls into the ‘guilty pleasure’ category. Despite all of my complaints I am still quite intrigued to find out what will happen next, particularly with the hints to the intentions of the rebels and with that I‘m sure I will be picking up The One sometime next year.
If you love princess stories, have a secret addiction to trashy reality TV or if like me you just want to see what all the fuss is about before the TV adaptation hits our screens I say give this series a chance, it might be for you.
This post was written by regular reviewer Erin, get to know her here.