The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass

3.5/5 Stars
Published by HarperTeen
Published April 23, 2013
*May contain light spoilers*

Synopsis: The Selection began with thirty-five girls. Now, only six remain. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon's heart is as harsh as ever - and America is still struggling to see where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or is it with her first love, Aspen? America is desperate for more time, but the other girls know exactly what they want - and America's chance to choose is slowly falling from her grasp. 

Wowee, I really flew through these books! I didn't enjoy The Elite as much as I enjoyed The Selection, however there were still some very redeemable qualities about this book. I still continue to see the potential, because I really do like the concept of this plot. There was a lot of drama in this book --- it was basically the central element --- which made it hard to really stay sane. I found myself getting really frustrated over little things that America would do and say, which was terrible for my mental stability. The one thing that really kept me going was my never-ending love for Maxon.

What I enjoyed the most about this book was the character development, but I'm not talking about the main characters. The five other girls who were participating in the competition really took the stage and showed me their personalities. It was a lot easier now to connect to these girls simply because it's been cut to a smaller number. Marlee has definitely been my favorite throughout this series. She is very kind and genuine, and overall she adds a lot of happiness to this story. Another one of my favorites, surprisingly, is Celeste. She's very spunky, with a lot of attitude, and it just adds a lot of diversity to the bunch. I also really enjoyed the world building that took place. We get a glimpse at the past and learn about the history of this world. Kiera Cass provided us with more details about the palace staff, Maxon's family, and the different cultures. There was a bit of a political theme that was revealed as well, which really proved how wrongly governed Iléa is, and I am hoping something is changed in the next book.

The worst thing that came out of this book was America's attitude. I found that she was very indecisive and worst of all, she continued to drag out her relationship with Aspen. She constantly found fault in everything Maxon did, yet she did the exact same thing behind his back in spite of him. For such a smart character, America acts very stupidly. She is very rash and doesn't think things through, and worst of all she get's caught up in a love triangle. America goes back and forth trying to decide whether she loves Aspen or if she's meant to be with Maxon the entire novel. Aspen is also very infuriating, because he gets in the way of America actually revealing how she feels. When she begins to get an idea of what to do, there's Aspen reminding her that he's still active in her game. I do not support Aspen being in this story anymore, I feel like all he does is cause trouble for America and gives me a headache. 

Kiera Cass did an excellent job setting up this beautiful world, and I really hope she takes advantage of it. It's been a really crazy ride so far, but I think the plot of this story has been the best. There are a lot more events that take place, America is taken outside of her comfort zone, and she is tested on her ability of becoming the future princess of Iléa. We are introduced to more characters outside of the palace that we hopefully see in The One. Plus, there is a lot more action in this book as rebel attacks become more frequent and secrets are slowly unraveled. I hope that in the next book Maxon continues being his lovely self, America has a reality check, and Aspen is set in his rightful place.