Review: The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #2
Published by: HarperTeen on April 23, 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Romance, YA
View on: Goodreads
Grab it: Buy on Amazon
About the Book:
The hotly-anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller 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 Iléa.
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.
I had been anticipating this one for a while. And of course, given my sky-high expectations, the book had to fall just as far as it had been built up before.
Here is a list of all the things I wanted to see resolved, or at least developed, over the course of this novel.
1. The decision between Maxon and Aspen: who does she actually WANT?
2. The issue of the Northern and Southern rebels: what do they want, how are they going to tackle this problem?
3. The reason behind Celeste’s horrid behaviour. Her background, history, etc.
And the questions that were actually answered, or at least DEALT WITH? Nada. Nothing. Zero.
I felt like I left the novel at the exact same place I left the prequel. On the exact same footing, with the exact same choices to make, and basically with the same ending lines.
America was just so…frustrating. One moment she’s ‘in love’ with her country, willing to make a change, [eradicate all castes (hide spoiler)], and the next moment she’s apologising for her ‘political statement’, (which, by the way, came too late in the novel. Her ‘epiphany’ was something I believe was hinted at throughout the series, and I presumed it was pretty obvious until she seemed so surprised to come at the same conclusion). She was just so confused, contradicting herself throughout the book, that eventually I gave up trying to understand her.
The most upsetting part of this book was that it had SO much potential. A fairy-tale story, every girl’s dream come true turned into a brutal dystopian world, with a corrupt government, haughty rebels and an unfair caste system? Genius. What was not so amazing was the way she carried out the storyline. Where was the cynical, skeptical America I saw in book one? And who on earth is this two-timing, selection-worshiping, naive young girl who has taken her place?
I think the biggest issue here is that the author is in love with the IDEA of the book, so much that she has ignored the execution of it. (Yes-I’ve been saying this a lot in my reviews recently, but I can’t help that it seems to be a recurring theme with YA reads these days!) The concept of the Selection was brilliant, but that doesn’t excuse poor writing and a silly plot. A great example of this would be when America started crying when she assumed someone was ‘dead’, not knowing who had actually died. She is upset at the IDEA of death, yet is it not an insult to dead people everywhere that you mourn not their vivid personalities or the tragic impact of their loss on the world, but the mere fact of ‘death’ that occurs every day? You mourn someone when you truly understand their impact on the world, and crying for no reason whatsoever is absolutely disgraceful and disrespectful.
Overall, it was a disappointing read. Hopefully the third book will pick up where the first left off, brilliantly-paced and well written.
Note: This review can also be found on Sarika’s Goodreads