Monday, April 29, 2013

Book Review: The Elite

The Elite
by  Kiera Cass
Date Read:  4/29/2013

Rating:  ★ ★ ★ 

I think this book actually leans more to 2.5 stars.  But it’s hard for me to give that low of a rating to book that actually sucked me in and I couldn’t stop reading. But there are some major things that just make me mad about this series – so they’re being shown in the rating, but I can’t really put a finger on what makes me still enjoy these books.  I think it’s America and Maxon’s relationship – when she’s not being stupid.

My main complaint with this specific book is America’s wish-washy indecisiveness.    I have never ever seen someone change their minds about who they care about as often as she does.  Today I love Aspen. Now I love Maxon.  Now I love Aspen. Now I love Maxon.  Good grief!  Obviously her feelings toward both guys are not very strong if they can be swayed so easily by certain events.  Also, in one breath she is telling Maxon that she doesn’t think she can be the princess, and then the next minute, she’s upset that the King didn’t even talk to her.  Well, who cares, you just said you didn’t want to be princess. Make up your mind!!!!  There were several times in this book where she wanted to leave, but the only reason she didn’t is because Maxon begged her not to.  She reacts to everything so quickly. She doesn’t sit back and let it all sink in, think about it, and then react. No.  She just gets mad and lashes out at Maxon.  And you know what?  You can’t be mad about what you caught Maxon doing with Celeste.  Yes, it hurts.  It hurt me when I read it.  But you know what?  She was doing it to him with Aspen.  But Maxon just doesn’t know.  So what he doesn’t know doesn’t matter?  It still matters.  She’s still cheating on him.  She has no right to get upset with him when she is doing the exact same thing.  And his reasons are completely valid.

This leads to something I did like in this book.  Maxon.  I am glad that he’s not just pining away for America.  Of course she’s still his first choice, but he’s not just going to sit back and let her take her sweet time.  He is pushing her to make up her mind, and he’s trying to find an alternative he’d be happy with if America doesn’t choose him.  And I like that he’s standing up to her.  One of my favorite parts was toward the end [spoiler: when he fought to keep her here, but he also told her that she had his heart, but she didn’t have his trust.  That she would have to earn that. ]  I am pretty sure he is the reason I am enjoying this.  And he’s so sweet to her.  He is the one redeeming quality to this book.  He has really grown and I am excited to see him become King.  He will be a great King.

Alright, so one of the things that really bothered me in The Selection was the lack of information regarding the rebels. I felt like it was just thrown in there to create any kind of suspense.  I had no idea who they were, what they were after, or what their motivation is.  Not a whole lot more is answered in this, but at least I felt like I knew what they were after by the end.  Though, I’m still not sure why they’re after it.  And they were teenagers, so I’m not really sure the motivation or who they are.  It seems they want to get rid of The Selection too, but again, not sure why. 

But in this book I felt like the world was built a little better.  Something else that really bothered me in The Selection was the world building.  It was very hard for me to believe it was a dystopian world.  And I still had trouble with that in this book.  I feel like if she just tried to make it a different world, instead of a dystopian world, I would believe it so much more.  But at least in this one, we got to see into the eyes of Greggory Illea, the man who supposedly saved the nation after WWIV.  So I felt that at least the world was built a little better, but the lack of belief in this world is hard for me.

Alright, maybe I can talk about some things that I do like.  I already talked about Maxon.  He is really the bright star in this book for me.  But I also really like the relationship between America and Maxon.  It was built up so well in The Selection.  That was the one thing that I felt Cass did really well.  It didn’t seem like it developed too quickly.  I think she had them interact enough that it felt like months had passed and I believed their feelings growing for each other.  That continued in this book.  And I believed the arguments they had.  They both had good points, and I really felt the emotion.

I also liked that jealousy showed up in this book.  I was taken aback in The Selection when there wasn’t any jealousy in The Selection – how could she not be jealous as her feelings began to grow when he would spend time with the other girls?  So at least the jealousy came up in this book.  It made me believe that she really did care for Maxon.  Of course a girl is going to be jealous if they guy she is falling for is spending time with other girls, right in front of her.  So I appreciated that.

The ending was a little abrupt to me.  Everything seemed to be calming down, and then, END.  What?  Really? I expected another chapter to close it out.  I feel like authors can’t create a real end to stories anymore.  It’s stupid.  But I kind of feel like America might have made her choice at the end of this book.  So I’m hopeful for what will come in the final book.  It’s titled, “The One”, so that should give us some hope, right?  Obviously she’s better suited for Maxon.  They compliment each other well – they seem to bring out the best in each other.  And I just don’t really see her with Aspen. I never really did.  Not that I really have anything against him, I just didn’t really connect with him.

So, overall this book gets 2.5 stars from me because of the major things that made me crazy.  But there is something there that keeps me hooked.  Whether it is Maxon or his relationship with America, or just the fact that every girl dreams of being a princess when they are little and we get to put ourselves in those shoes for a few pages – there is something that keeps me reading.  I can’t help but think of the line from Anastasia “I guess every loney girl would hope she's a princess.”  But there are obviously things that Cass needs to improve upon.


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