Monday, 22 April 2013

Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass (ARC)

Title: The Elite

Author: Kiera Cass

Series: The Selection, #2

Release Date: April 23rd 2013

Genre: Dystopia, YA, romance

My Rating: 3/5

I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley.

Goodreads Summary:

The hotly-anticipated sequel to the New York Timesbestseller The Selection.

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.

My Review

I want to start off by saying that I loved The Selection, I thought the storyline was a brilliant idea and I liked how consistent the characters were. There was a struggle within America, the lead protagonist, but she seemed to be dealing with it in her own way which was ok once she was moving forward. By the end of The Selection it became clear that there were a lot of unresolved issues and that these would be solved in the following books. It seemed, however, that these matters would be cleared up in the second book and the series could have ended there or at the very least continued with the story after the competition was over. When I saw that there would be at least two more books after the first I immediately knew that the author would draw out the love triangle for as long as possible, which is not something I am fond of but I had hope that maybe she would do it in a different, less painful way. I was sadly disappointed.

I had high hopes for The Elite as I felt that the story would progress and I would learn more about the characters and the countries, which did happen but what I learned could have taken up a few chapters instead of an entire book. The storyline barely progressed and I came to realise that I was no longer hoping that anyone would win. America was no longer moving forward, instead she constantly went backwards and forwards in her thinking, having the same doubts in every chapter, making it hard to know whether or not she is even capable of making a decision let alone committing to it. I understand that characters have their faults and this is what makes them human, but it is not just the character at fault here. It seemed as if I was reading the same thing several times over in the book and by the end I felt like the story was at the exact same point as it had been at the end of the previous book except for a few details.

Overall, I was not surprised with the progression in this book as I suspected that the author would hold out until the third book to give the readers any real story. Because of this I was disappointed because I still held out some home that I would be proven wrong, but it was not the case. This story had some much potential but it could have been written as a novella instead of a full book or skipped altogether. I think that a reader could go from reading the first book to the third without missing much.

There was possibly two or three details of great importance. I will say that I did find parts of it very emotional, but again I feel like there could have been a bit more to them.

There was some more information about the founding of the country and the rebels. Without this side to the story I don't know if I could have dealt with the see-saw motion of America's feelings. This part could have been developed a bit more as well.

I wish I had more positive things to say about this book but I just feel that it was partially unnecessary as a complete book. Perhaps if the author had spent more time developing different parts of the story it could have been an amazing book to read but as it was it felt like the lone coin in America's jar.

For anyone looking for an in-depth book or even just remotely intellectual, I would not recommend this, not yet anyway, I'm still holding onto the hope for the third book to be amazing.

However, if you are looking for a light read then this series is ideal, it does not have the same heaviness that I have found in most dystopian novels yet it still incorporates most of the same ideals. Even though I am unhappy with the outcome of this book I still like the series and will continue to read them. For the series I would possibly give four stars but for this book I give only three.


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