“The Selection began with thirty-five girls.
Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon’s heart is fiercer than ever—and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen?
America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America’s chance to choose is about to slip away.”
This focus remains on America, but very much is about what happens when the competition dwindles down to only 6 remaining girls. These 6 girls are considered “The Elite” in the competition for Prince Maxon’s heart.
I received the first book in the series as a part of a secret santa gift from Lucy @ https://thatbookgal.wordpress.com/! After I finished “The Selection” I went to the library and immediately checked out the next book. I had to know what happened to America and if she would ultimately become the one that would capture Prince Maxon’s heart! Continuing this series had to happen! It just had to okay? Don’t judge me and my addiction to this series.
OMG! What did I read with this book? I was expecting it to be totally like the first and be primarily about the game of “The Selection” process, but it was that and so much more. It was so much deliciously more. It was phenomenal! This book took what I was expecting and said “Yes, that is true, but.” It was that but that was so wonderful. It challenged you to think beyond what you thought this book was going to be about “a romance trilogy about a girl finding out she loved the prince.” This book took it in a direction that allowed it to be a wonderful series with a wonderful message about society. I won’t tell you what that message is, but just remember that part of America’s world is the caste system that is the norm for her society.
The romance part (triangle alert, sorry if ya’ll couldn’t see that coming in a romance type of book but that makes you the problem not me hehe) was a bit off-putting. Several times throughout the book I was like “Girl, make up your mind. You flip flop more than a fish out of water taking its last breath.” Sorry for being graphic, but that is how I felt about America going back and forth here. Sometimes it felt like she went back and forth for almost no reason at all. Seriously! It felt like “Oh, I woke up on the left side of this expensive bed in the castle today. I think I am now in love with *insert triangle member 1*” and then the next day “Oh, I woke up on the right side of this expensive bed in the castle today, I think I am now in love with *insert triangle member 2*.” By the end of this second book I was like America get your ever loving stuff together because right now you are a mess. A MESS GIRL!
There are some truly shocking moments. My goodness are there. I am pretty heartless when it comes to fiction or fictional characters. I am like “it ain’t real, so why get upset?” but oh my damn! There was a moment within this book that literally took my heart, stomped on it five times, and guess what Cassie noticed? TEARS. I noticed flippin’ tears coming from my ever lovin’ eyes! I was so invested in a character that I cried at a book. When I cry at a book, you have to know it was a pretty powerful book. I, of course, won’t give away what happens because then what the heck fun would it all be for you to go get it yourself and pick it up? Yes, I think you should pick this up.
Cass, again, does a phenomenal job of making you feel connected, even if it is sometimes hating them, to other characters in the series outside of America. It is so vital to have that in a series where people are competing for love of someone. You have to have a few people you are rooting for or at least suspect could win over the main character. Without that there is little tension, but the beautiful thing about this book is that there is another plot that develops that we are introduced to in this book that allows us to see past the competition. It also allows us to start seeing what could be the plot of the next book. This book also does a masterful job of really cementing the affection between Prince Maxon and America. Developing it in a natural and unforced way, which is surprising given that the relationship is literally a competition for love that was in a sense forced upon America.
One aspect of this book that I found myself drawn to was that it seemed that America really had to question if she was willing to give up aspects of herself. Deciding who she was as an authentic person and also figuring out herself morally. Was she willing to do things that went against her morals for the sake of the prince? She definitely makes mistakes based on this and it gets even deeper in the next book (yes, I have finished the first three books because reasons or are you paying attention to the way I am talking about these? I obviously loved them fool!), but here you start to see her wondering about her morals. I loved this aspect of America and her journey towards figuring out who and what she would be, even if she did or didn’t end up with Prince Maxon by the end of it all. I also loved the development of her relationship with other characters as this progressed. We get a firm adversary by the end of this book, we see new possible friendships forming, and we see directions that one would have never expected by the end of the first book. The twists and turns are so well-down here that I forgot where we started with “The Selection” and found myself preferring reading “The Elite.”
Again, this series isn’t going to make you smarter or make you feel like you learned something about diversity, but it is a fun little read. It gets you to sit outside of whatever situation you find yourself in at that moment and lets you enter into another world. Not every single book we read has to have a message that is so profound that we feel like we have connected with a higher power or become the Dalai Lama from it.
While there are three books in this trilogy, there are five books in the overall series. There is also a collected edition of “novellas” that Kiera Cass wrote regarding characters featured in the series. It also contains scenes from the first three books. I have yet to read this book, but I have every intention of reading it soon!