The continuing story of Kiera Cass’ Selection series, The Elite offered a little more than its predecessor – but for me, not much more. The plot is a hodge-podge of political intrigue, clandestine goings-on, unreliable narration and life threatening situations wrapped around a love triangle. So there is plenty going on to keep your interest.
I found this book frustrating – On the one hand the protagonist, America’s moral opinions on her love interest kept flip-flopping on (what appeared to be) whimsy in the first third of the novel. Her Character had grown strong by the end of the first instalment of this series (The Selection), and the way Kiera Cass’ second novel began I witnessed America behaving more in the way I’d expect of her younger sister May. Maybe love (or the illusion of) can send you a bit cray-cray, but after such a great character arc in the first novel, as the reader, I was insulted. On the up side, The Elite had me tearing up at many points – the feels were completely unexpected – and ultimately well worth the read.
If Kiera had been able to tighten up the first half of this novel, maintained America with the strength of character she’d grown into at the end of The Selection, this novel would have been a home-run for me.
There was something about the main cast that had me squirming – whether it was the lack of realism in their situation, or the places they didn’t go/ questions they didn't ask, I'm not sure. It didn't sit right with me. It was like Kiera went almost to the point of empowering her characters with a will of their own, but backed down at the last second hoping you were satisfied with the information you did get. Besides that niggling feeling, all of the main cast had some great story arcs and transformed through adversity.
Shout out to America’s maids: Anne, Mary, and Lucy – these characters were the highlight of the novel and always had me smiling. In the first novel I was unsure of their presence other than a tool to insult the reader, and America, in regards to the caste system; but by the end of The Elite they were a team. They were friends and family.
This book falls under my guilty pleasure category – something about it is addictive and compelling. Although not a masterpiece it flows easily, lending itself to an elegant way to while an afternoon.