The Elite is the sequel to The Selection and therefore this review may contain spoilers for the previous book.
America Singer is still in the running to win the hand of the prince of Illea. Six girls remain; they are the Elite. Life in the palace may revolve around dinners and dresses but the rebels are growing in strength and attacks on the Royal family are increasing. Against a backdrop of political turmoil, America must come to terms with her own conflicting feelings. Does she really want to be a princess and the future Queen of Illea?
I’m not convinced there’s enough mileage in this find the prince a wife reality show scenario for a whole trilogy. America manages to dither between the two love interests for the majority of the story. One minute she’s falling for Maxon, the next it’s all about Aspen, then the prince does something she likes, then she doubts him, back to Aspen, oh but she just can’t make her mind up! It started to get irritating, not helped by the fact I really didn’t like Aspen from the first book. America seems to have forgotten how much the caste differences meant to him.
What I was grateful for was the introduction of politics. With The Selection I challenged its need to be set in a dystopian society but here some of those political elements are woven in between all America’s yo-yoing. We learn a lot more about Illea’s history and how the current system came to be. America comes across as immature not realising the position Maxon is in as well as the potential for her to do something meaningful if she became Queen one day. I rather like Maxon but I can imagine younger readers being horrified by him keeping his options open. Yet America’s behaviour towards him justifies it.
America has to come to terms with some of the hard truths of her potential life. Yes, she comes across as immature but I think by the end, she does seem to have grown up a bit. If you didn’t enjoy The Selection I don’t think The Elite brings anything new to bring you round but it is an enjoyable read. Just as before, the story is full of faults but the pages whizz by. And at least this time, the ending is in the right place, but with enough of a hook to make you want to read the final instalment.
The Elite is published by HarperCollins and is now available in paperback and ebook formats. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review via NetGalley.
Also reviewed @ Birth of a New Witch
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.
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