Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Rereview: The Elite by Kiera Cass

Title: The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release: April 23, 2013
Series: The Selection
Pages: 323

See Bottom For Edit!!!!!!

First off, this book KILLED my feels! Like, straight up murdered them! The author, Kiera Cass, said that the feels weren't that bad in this book, but would be major in the final book in The Selection trilogy, The One. If I got this emotional reading The Elite, The One is going to kill me! To prove how much I loved this book, here's how long it took me to read it. It arrived from Barnes & Noble at about 4pm Friday afternoon. I began reading it non-stop until 6pm when I had to leave. I began reading again a little after 9pm. I had finished the book by 11pm. I stayed up way to late reading the book, but, even though the feels were crazy, couldn't put it down. It was an emotional roller coaster to say the least. I've been waiting for The Elite ever since I read the first book The Selection last year. The Elite did not disappoint.

The main character is America Singer. In The Selection, she is taken from her poor life as a five (it takes place in a future America called Illéa where they have a caste system, one the best and eight the worst) and taken to the palace (oh, and did I forget to mention that the country has a royal family instead of a president) to possibly be the future wife of Prince Maxon. Although America has always disliked the caste system, things happen and America sees things that affect her greatly. Kiera Cass said that chapters seven and eight would be particularly hard on readers feels, and she couldn't have been more right. I think you'll agree with me when I say those chapters are emotionally overwhelming, for the reader as well as America. America proves again and again in the book that she is strong and will fight for what she stands for. Her ideals grow stronger in this book with every passing page. Readers also get a glimpse at what others believe in and out of Illéa. These things only strengthen her ideals and make her a character that all readers will love. What makes America relatable is that she still makes mistakes. Sometimes really stupid ones. Yet, eventually, she is able to own up to them and learn from them, which is an important trait for any person to have. America shows readers strength and weakness, calm and havoc, certainty and doubt, despair and hope.

While not the main focus of the book, there are some odd events in the book that don't quite add up, but I feel will be explained in The One. I can't give complete spoilers, but let's just say some enemies might not be quite as bad as one might believe, or so it's implied. I believe there is more to America and her history then meets the eye, things that even America doesn't know. America has some ideals that even she doesn't seem to realize can be revolutionary. Though it isn't obvious to her, it is to the reader that she is steadily becoming a beacon of hope for the hopeless, in Illéa and beyond. Truthfully, she's exactly what Illéa needs, even if she doesn't realize it yet. The plot in the book is amazing, and leaves just the right amount of questions unanswered that readers can't wait for the final book. At the same time, it has an ending that leaves readers satisfied. There were parts in the book I couldn't bear to read. Not because they were bad, but because they were done SO well. There were parts I knew were coming that were written, developed, and done so well that it was almost painful to read. Scenes so tense, I had to turn away. Scenes of heartbreak, pain, devastation, loss, and, ultimately, hope and promise, that I wanted to look away, but couldn't at the same time. I give this book a full five stars from the bottom of my heart.

ETA: Thinking back on reading the book, I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought. While the book was still good, the characters drove me insane. Aspen put America down the entire book. For the most part, Maxon is naive and annoying. America actually does some amazing things towards the end, but the only people that appreciate her are the maids. Up to that point, I mostly want to smack her. My opinion? In The One, America can go join the rebels and, though I'd prefer her to end up with Maxon, I would not cry if both boys disappeared. Whatever happens, America needs to end up on the thrown, because she's about the only good thing the country has. I downgrade the book to a three simply because of character annoyance.
Author Info:
Kiera Cass is a graduate of Radford University and currently lives n Blacksburg, Virginia with her family. She is also the author of New York Times bestseller The Selection and the self-published fantasy novel The Siren. Kiera has kissed approximately fourteen boys in her life. None of them were princes. You can learn more about Kiera's books, videos, and love of cake online at www.kieracass.com

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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.

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