Book Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

EliteTitle: The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection
Published: 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
From: Walmart
Rating: 6/10

As I’m sure most of you who have read The Elite know, it is the second in a series of young adult dystopian romance novels by American author Kiera Cass.

The Elite, the second of The Selection series, focuses on the main character America Singer as she climbs her way to the top of the royal food chain.

America and her competitors for Prince Maxon are all part of a caste system put into place after the Fourth World War, where a monarchy now stands in the new United States, which also contains the rest of the North American continent. She and five other girls are competing for the crown and the love of the prince by proving themselves diplomatic, able to handle stress and well-behaved.

This novel was better than the first. The Selection focused more on the romantic points between America, the prince and her other love Aspen, as well as betwen the prince, America and the 34 other girls vying for his hand in marriage. I enjoyed The Elite more because it included all the things I wanted in the first novel: espionage, action, love, wonder and, most importantly, character development.

The Selection character development was only based around America, I felt. Cass, I think, was able to develop the characters of more of her characters because there was more than just romance going on. In The Elite, the king and queen were no longer two-dimensional, and neither was the prince. Even America’s three maids were given pasts and shown how they develop in their own stressful situations. I thoroughly enjoyed that.

I also enjoyed the action woven throughout Cass’ novel. The rebels were more active, which I loved because then I wasn’t just reading about kissing and dancing all the time. I like knowing there’s more to life than love, there’s more to a kingdom than becoming a princess, and Cass was able to show that thoroughly with the rebel attacks. There was even a little mystery in their storylines, which was so intriguing!

Again, I obviously didn’t like all the lovey-dovey stuff. The Selection series is about the girls falling in love with a prince, but there is honestly so much more to politics and diplomacy and being a princess than looking good and smiling and getting along with your significant other. I felt there wasn’t enough of the other stuff in this novel, but I’m still glad it was there.

I also thought the writing was still the same. Usually, I can pick up on when the author is on his or her second or third novel because the writing style changes, it becomes deeper, more interesting, harder to read because there’s more going on in any given sentence. But, Cass stuck to what she is good at, which is young adult, and that entails explanations up the yin-yang and not leaving much to the imagination. It’s normal, though, and very consistent, so I can’t fault her that.

Basically, I thoroughly enjoy these books because they are fast, easy and entertaining. I’d never just pick it up to read one day because I wanted to, but I am enjoying myself as I quickly turn the pages.

Kiera Cass and the rest of her world on paper can be found at Barnes and Noble in stores and online, as well as at The Selection series currently contains four regular novels and a handful of novellas.

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