I’m having a tough time recapping the plot of The Elite in my own words…I feel like the second book in a series always contains lots of plot progression and deepening intrigue that’s a bit challenging to pin down. Like, a lot HAPPENS, but even more gets saved for the author’s show-stopping third or fourth (or seventh, in JK Rowling’s case) (or neverth, or in George RR Martin’s case) finale. So for the sake of efficiency, here’s the summary from Goodreads:
The Selection began with thirty-five girls.
Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon’s heart is fiercer than ever—and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen?
America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America’s chance to choose is about to slip away.
I tore through this book in a matter of a couple days. There’s something so deceptively rewarding about being able to indulge in an entire story from beginning to end over just a few sittings. When can I devour a fun, gratuitous YA title like this over the course of a weekend, I somehow feel better about the months it can take to power through longer, more “serious” literature. You’d think I would feel worse because of the escapist procrastination, but, well, I don’t. Sorry not sorry. After all, the whole point of reading is for pleasure, n’est-ce pas?
Like its predecessor The Selection, The Elite is a fun, intriguing read if you don’t take it (or yourself too) seriously. In addition to the developing grade-school romances, there’s a good deal more duplicity and strife among the individuals and society. Into it! Certain characters emerge as much more complex (and in some cases, much more menacing) than we originally imagined. There’s some saucy betrayal and a bit more physical heat (at least for a reading audience that consists primarily of preteens) in the burgeoning relationships. You also begin to get more of a feel of the sinister undertones within the political system. Lest you forget this is a true dystopian YA novel in the vein of Divergent and Hunger Games, there are misfit rebels with an obscure goal, threats made in blood, and government leaders who are not as altruistic as they may seem. TOTALLY NEW SUBJECT MATTER! Perhaps not, but it’s still totally captivating.
I also enjoy that America shows a bit more personality in this installment. She’s evolved beyond the traditional brave, family-loving heroine that we all knew and
tolerated loved in The Selection. She gets jealous, she has a reactive (/kind of humorously violent) temper…she’s scrappy. Oh, and also UNBEARINGLY indecisive. *Sigh*, Maxon is her future husband, she can’t imagine her life with anyone else. Oh wait, Aspen’s the only one who really gets her, the only one she can truly love. Girrrrrrrl. Get your shit together. 352 pages of these vacillations. Was I that psycho when I was 17? Probably. Probably still am. Maybe that’s why I liked this so much.
Have you read The Elite? What did you think?