Remember The Selection? I liked that much more than I expected I would, getting drawn into the complicated competition to chose the next Princess. I fell in love with Prince Maxon, got supremely annoyed with Aspen, and alternately cheered and groaned over America's choices. Good times. The Selection process is over, and now only the Elite remain. These six girls are so much closer to being Prince Maxon's bride, and changing their families' lives forever. America is one of those six.
I enjoyed The Elite as much as The Selection, and read it crazy fast. It's one of those stories you get really drawn into, and it takes twists and turns you don't always see coming. The tensions are rising, both among the remaining Elite girls and in general (kingdom unrest, rebels making statements, you know the drill). I just ... yeah. This book ... the way this is developing, and the surprises coming out of left field. The love, the agony, the hurts and joys. This stuff is real, y'all. I don't want to give away too much -- you really need to read this one through yourself, because there are some HUGE plot developments. I will tell you this, if by the end of the book you haven't formed strong opinions about the characters, then you are a lucky person. Ha! I kid, sort of. Maybe not. I got rather annoyed with America during The Elite -- she's wavering, waffling, being incredibly undecided and changing her mind every time her companion/setting changes. I believe in this girl, I believe she can do great things and she does have a heart of gold -- but she's got to stop falling prey to smooth words and the stranglehold of memories. She can hear what's in her heart, she knows what she wants to see changing in the Kingdom, and it's in her power to make stuff happen ... if she'd be brave and believe in herself the way I believe in her. The way Maxon believes in her.
Despite the love triangle-aspect becoming a much bigger deal in this middle book, I'm desperately waiting for the final installment (The One!). I'm totally a Team Maxon girl, and want to be Team America too -- if she'll just grow up already. It's an intense story, in a crazy-different world, and I find myself somewhat addicted. (And it's still gonna take William Moseley to make me like Aspen, if not someone with even more heft).
Book provided by my local library.