The Elite by Kiera Cass
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Ok… I’ve taken a few days to think and I discussed with the lovely Kassiah and have come to the conclusion that I’m torn on what to rate this book.
The problem I’m having here is that for whatever reason I can’t look away. I hated the characters, and I hated the very slim and almost non-existent plot of this book… yet I read it in a day and I didn’t want to put it down.
What the heck is a girl supposed to do with that?
So in The Elite, we are still hanging out with Prince Maxon – America has made the cut and is in the final six. Maxon is doing all he can to convince America that she’s who he wants… all while dating 5 other girls.
I mean, you’ve all seen The Bachelor and any other of those irritating dating shows right? That’s this. In book form and the dude is a prince.
Let’s start with the plot. I mean, what there is of it. I swear 80% of this book is spent going back in forth in America’s mind on whether she can handle being a princess and whether she loves Maxon or whether she loves Aspen.
I’m pretty sure at around 30% I wanted to choke her out. The girl couldn’t make a decision to save her own damn life, which I get sort of… she’s a teenager trying to make an adult decision. I mean there she was at the end of The Selection saying she needed to do this for her and choose for herself… THEN MAKE A GOD DAMN DECISION. She would see Aspen and she’d be all “ohhhhh I still love you.” and then she’d see Maxon and be telling him she wanted to be there and not to give up on her she just needs time.
You’ve had ALL of book 2 now… make your damn decision already. And to be perfectly honest, at this point in the game, if you’re still playing I just don’t think you should even be considering Aspen. He almost seems like the ideal back-up plan for her because if she doesn’t win she can always fall back on him. I don’t like that she expects him to wait in the wings while she does all the things with Maxon and then gets jealous when Aspen is talking with another girl. You can’t have everything America.
So yeah. I was irritated with her.
But I was also irritated with Maxon. Yeah I know… hold on for this.
The dude has spent all this time trying to convince America that she’s the one for him and when he finally does, suddenly he becomes distant.
WHUT?? And the excuses … I just wasn’t buying it. I mean I get that this is a competition, but honestly, I might have bought this reaction earlier in book 1 where he was meant to get to know all the girls, but at this point he has the field narrowed to 6 and he’s still kind of playing them all??? THAT DOES NOT MAKE A SWOONY BOY!!
I get it. I truly do. I know that he wasn’t feeling secure in America’s feelings for him, but instead of giving her MORE reason to question them, maybe … I don’t know… try allaying them instead of adding fuel to the fire.
yes yes yes… I know that wouldn’t have made a book 3 possible right?
Okay… aside from the 80% of America being all wishy-washy, the other time is spent on the girls doing tasks to show they could succeed at being the princess and hiding in secret rooms from the rebels who seem to be searching the castle for something and leaving cryptic messages all over the walls after an attack.
You guys… I’m making it sound like I didn’t like this and that’s not true. It’s really not. I’m seriously torn here, because like I said, I couldn’t look away, and at one point told a friend that I hated every single character in this book yet I kept going. I’m invested. I want to see if America finally gets her head out of her ass and decides which boy she loves more and I want to know what those damn rebels want.
I think what Cass did well here was show that even in the throes of competition women don’t have to go for the throat. America was able to develop some wonderful friendships despite the competition and we also get to see bits and pieces of her relationship with her father, which I think were really well done. His love and support for her even if she isn’t chosen really shows the true bond of family and it’s definitely something rare in YA books. I mean in all honesty, America is only seventeen and that’s a point in your life when you need that support.
Cass even gives us a bit more information on the creation of Ilea and the development of the castes. I’m not sure it was developed enough, but it was there, and I’m not even sure I like how it was done… i.e. reading through the former rulers personal diary. But it was enlightening for sure.
So there… I’m not sure what to tell you here. I was frustrated with the true lack of a plot and any movement forward with the story. The story here felt very static and there was only one elimination, which wasn’t even really a true elimination. I think by this point we should have the field narrowed down a bit more but … that’s just me. It will be interesting to see how Cass wraps up this series. I imagine the final book will be filled with everything seeing as how this book wasn’t filled with much of anything. AND YES. I’ll be reading book three even if I end up hating everyone in it.
If you’re a fan of The Bachelor or any of those other drama filled reality shows, you might just love this series. Though keep in mind, book 1 has a bit more action and drama than this one does. Meanwhile, I’ll be waiting around for book 3 like everyone else and shaking my fist at Cass because… I can’t quit your series. Even if I hate everyone in it.