Summary from Goodreads:
Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.
America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.
Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.
I really was surprised when I read The Selection last year. I thought I was going to dislike the book but I gave it a chance anyway for unknown reasons. When I really adored The Selection I put The Elite on hold as soon as it became available at the library. Then I hesitated once again with this series because so many people seemed to be giving The Elite just so-so reviews, saying it was a huge disappointment after the first book. I started to doubt this book before I had even read it but after reading it I will say that this is a must read if you have read the first book.
We return to America, Maxon and Aspen all living in the palace together like they were at the end of the book. America is more confused now than ever before because she has two guys after her heart and she doesn’t really know what she wants. Add on top of that the fact that she also doesn’t know if she should even consider Maxon one of her choices because she is really not sure she could ever become a great princess and eventually a great Queen and ruler. She is afraid that she doesn’t have what it takes to rule a country with a cold heart and an iron fist.
I know many people didn’t like the fact that this book fell into the trap of a love triangle and most people were not happy that for most of the book America is testing out her feelings for both Maxon and Aspen by one second being taken with Maxon only to return to her room and kiss Aspen like they once did in their treehouse. I know people don’t like love triangles and I have to say I’m not a huge fan of them either but in this case I feel that it works. I mean Aspen is the guy from back home who let her go and so she wants to let him go and now that he has come back to win over her heart again she doesn’t know how to feel about that. Plus Maxon is a great new guy who is stealing her heart as well and she doesn’t know which way to go. I have once sat in this same position. Having to decide if it was right to go back to a guy who was once my boyfriend and a long standing relationship or if I wanted to move forward and find a new guy who could give me different things in a relationship, things that I felt I needed out of a relationship. So even though most love triangles do not work because both of the guys are new in the heroines world I really loved that this love triangle pitted one old love against a new love. I felt it to be more believable to what goes on in real life. I truly think that if any girl sat down right now she could probably say she once had to make a choice about letting an exboyfriend go in order to pursue a new relationship with a man who might be better for her.
I know I just went on a huge rant about love triangles and my feelings for this one inparticular but I feel strongly that this one worked. I do have to say I love Maxon because he is honest with America about what he wants and he seems to want her to open her eyes to what he can give her, not just the kingdom but himself and his love. He really did steal my heart even though he did have a few slip ups along the way with a girl that I won’t mention because we all know we hate her from the first book.
Ultimately I really loved this young adult book because I feel it brings real teenage emotion to the story without going overboard. Some YA authors act like their teens can act rashly just because of teenage emotions but I felt the emotions, the struggles, the love, and the passion to feel so real in this book that I was taken. I read this entire book in one night and now I need the last book because I have to know how American’s life changes and grows in the last book. Plus I feel she is ready now to stand up and fight for exactly what she wants and I can’t wait to see her finally stand up and take charge and stop letting the boys make her decisions for her.