Book Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

T.B. Melanie February 22, 2014 0
  • Plot
  • Characters
  • Building Action
  • Climax and Falling Action
  • Love Story

The Elite by Kiera CassThe girls have been narrowed down to six and while Prince Maxon has to eventually pick one, Lady America Singer is torn between the prince and her long time boyfriend from home, Aspen. All the while it seems that the country of Illea has more problems and mysteries than even America’s love life. Rebels from both the north and the south attack the palace destroying and terrifying it’s residents. It seems that they are looking for something, but what could it be?

America the Indecisive

The Elite is Kiera Cass’ continuation of America Singer’s story from the first book, The Selection. In The Selection, America was born low into the cast system and is chosen to be one of several girls competing for a marriage to the prince. The Elite picks up on her journey in the middle of the competition. It is a much more tension-filled tale than the first, mostly in part to the building problems with the rebels. Suddenly it’s not just a ton of silly girls backstabbing and gossiping over a boy, suddenly the kingdom and their very lives are at stake.

Like in The Selection, most of the plot in The Elite revolves around America’s decision making process for who she wants to spend the rest of her life with. She flutters continually between boys, depending on who is in the room, and finds herself becoming fickle and unworthy of both boys. It was a relief when she made a choice in the final chapters, and I hope she’ll be able to stick to it. The indecisiveness made her seem weak, thoughtless, and self centered ending in near catastrophe. One of the main events was a large Halloween party thrown by Prince Maxon specifically for America. She shows her thoughtlessness when she agrees, even though she has spent a large deal of time trying to get the government to create programs and opportunities for the lower casts. Somewhere America has missed that frivolous parties take up money that could be used for the things she claims she wants most.

The characters in The Elite are much more dynamic than they were in the first book. Perhaps this is because there were fewer girls, perhaps it was simply the effect of having a second book, but many of the characters finally grew in color and depth. A few earned some back story and that gave us reasons to love and hate them and most of all, a reason to remember them.

The end of the Elite was arguably the best part. America grows up, and sees the torment she’s been putting herself as well as Maxon and Aspen through. She makes the mistake of trying to run away, and when the rebels attack sees that she is not the one paying the price. Finally the reader is no longer tormented, and hope (and interest!) for the coming third book, The One, is created.

You Might Like This Book If:

  1. You enjoyed Ms. Cass’ first book in the set, The Selection.
  2. You enjoy watching characters grow and become both better people and more dynamic as characters.
  3. You are looking for a combination of post-apocalyptic government rebellion in a dystopian society.

Overall, I’m not sure that this concept needed to be three separate books. They could have made one very interesting and satisfyingly lengthy novel. Even so, Ms. Cass has made this particular choice of book arrangement rather entertaining.

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