[Review] The Elite by Kiera Cass

This book is definitely “un-put downable”!!! If that is even a word. LOL. It’s been a while since I was THIS engrossed in a book, that I was willing to sacrifice watching my daily dose of US TV series, Korean dramas AND even sleep — just to finish it quickly! I’ve always thought that most of the book series that I’ve read before were a bit disappointing at some point. The first book would get me hooked but then the second or third would be so-so or somewhat uninteresting. BUT, The Elite totally dispelled such prejudice! The story just keeps on getting better and better. For want of a better word, it’s juicier. Haha!

This will definitely contain SPOILERS, so if you haven’t read it yet – SCRAM. ^^

Since I am on TEAM ASPEN all throughout The Selection, I was absolutely ecstatic to read MORE of him in book two. I just love the fact that he was somehow inserted into the picture in the most obvious, yet marvelous way possible! A royal guard! Why not? Haha! And I’m so sorry to all you Maxon Schreave fan  girls, but ever since book one I’ve always imagined Aspen Leger to be MORE HANDSOME than the prince. I mean, it would justify the fact that America wanted him so badly and she even mentioned how afraid she was of other girls stealing him away. And Maxon is already THE Prince so that gives him a different advantage than poor Aspen. So I guess they are both attractive, but without the TITLE, Aspen is WAY HOTTER.

I actually thought America’s days at the palace were repetitive in this book. There was a certain pattern to it. Like, in one chapter she’d be with Prince Maxon – getting showered with heart-fluttering compliments and mushy, romantic words, feeling like she COULD actually be his princess. Then the next chapter, she’d be having secret rendezvous and stolen moments with Aspen in some dark palace room. The next chapter she’d argue with Aspen and have her uber sweet/romantic moments with Maxon. By the end of that chapter, she’d be having a misunderstanding with Maxon, again, and go back to Aspen’s arms.

So in short, SHE’S ONE LUCKY BITCH. LOL. Okay, so this book was clearly about her confused mind and heart, whatever. XD This bitch needs to sort out her feelings. News flash, you can’t have them BOTH. You can only choose ONE. Actually, that’s just one minor thing that I’m kinda frustrated about in this series. There was actually NO COMPETITION. Right from the start, Maxon wanted America. End of story. Sure, Maxon TRIED to date the other girls and give them a chance. But we all know he was only being polite and fair. Okay, so maybe the competition here was between Maxon and Aspen… but not really. They are completely different and America’s feelings for them rooted from different circumstances and memories.

So, if I could summarize this series in an equation, it would be like this:

The Selection: America VS. 34 Girls AND America VS. her feelings

The Elite:  America VS. 5 Girls, Aspen VS. Maxon, The Royal Guards VS. The Rebels (North and South) AND America VS. her feelings… again.

The One: America VS. King Clarkson… and possibly America VS. Kriss

Yep, that’s about it. Pretty simple, yeah. BUT the details, actions, dialogues, scenarios and moments were too compelling for me to pass up. There are only a few novels that I’ve read which could make me read so fast just so I could turn to the next page and find out what happens next. There was never a dull or boring moment. Moreover, I’m NOT a big fan of politics or history but the author successfully, and creatively, weaved and sprinkled political and historical issues here and there without making it too heavy or draggy to read. I almost enjoyed it.

I like that the competition was not just about getting Prince Maxon’s heart (or the King’s, Queen’s, advisers, public’s, for that matter). They were actually being taught how to be a Princess – their actions, gestures, reactions, and more importantly, how to be a ‘lady’. It’s not such a bad competition, especially for someone like America who came from a lower caste, coz after all these, when they all go back home, at least they have learned something good from their stay in the palace. They might’ve lost the crown, but they gained something else. 🙂

Honestly, I saw myself in America in The Selection. If I was in this competition, and I had a gorgeous boyfriend (okay, ex-bf) like Aspen waiting for me back at home, I would just make the most out of my time in the palace. Enjoy the attention, celebrity status and grandiose dresses, meet new friends, and of course eat as much food as I am allowed to! Haha! I always thought I would’ve done exactly what she did… or said what she said… However, in The Elite… she kinda changed. Of course, she was bound to change at one point but I didn’t see myself doing the things she did anymore.

Anyway, just when I thought it was gonna be another boring day at the palace, Marlee’s ‘fornication’ (LOL, I just wanna use that word XD) with Carter happened. I was absolutely mortified while reading about the ‘public caning’ part. Although I kinda felt suspicious about Carter during the previous chapters, I never thought that his character was THAT big. This climax was so out-of-the-blue, so riveting and it put me on the edge (of my bed XD) . I was tearful while reading this part, almost as if I was there – witnessing everything. I wanted to scream and throw things at Maxon too. Of course, it wasn’t his fault but he’s the easiest person to blame and get mad with.

Okay, in all fairness to Maxon Schreave, he managed to make me ‘waver’ a little in this book. My problem with him is… he’s just too nice. He’s attractive, a gentleman, good-humored, well-mannered, and just everything that you could ask for in a prince. But he’s NOT my idea of a ‘prince’. He’s too nice and too likeable to the point of being BORING. I think if we’re gonna be realistic about the ‘prince’, he would have flaws here and there. You would have to hate him at some point. Maybe for being arrogant or a playboy or a brat – anything to make him more human. Maxon is FAR from perfection, but he’s almost there. I just didn’t like that. It destroyed my image and possible fantasy of him. It made me turn around and like Aspen more than him. And he might be the prince but, dude, you’re a GUY. At one point, he would break under all the pressure of having these beautiful ladies around him (some even throwing themselves AT him). That’s why when he did what he ‘did’ with Celeste, I was happy. Finally! He’s more human now. He makes mistakes. LOL. Nevertheless, my heart broke when I ‘saw’ the scars on his back… it was just horrible. 😦 I can’t imagine how America must’ve have felt upon seeing those… and it was partly because of her.

I was practically pulling my hair out by the end of the book! Of course. Maxon would find a way to make America stay despite everything that transpired. Dammit. Again, if I was America I would’ve gone home and waited patiently for Aspen. End of story. Haha. So now I guess Maxon got leveled up in her heart. And coz she’s a feisty redhead, she would never back down even against King Clarkson. Now, all I’m hoping to see in the next book is King Clarkson finding out about Aspen and America’s ‘relationship’ and of course his relentless efforts to bully her into giving up. Haha! I’m giving Maxon a chance too. But I’m still on Team Aspen. 🙂

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