Reviews for Elite

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Protagonist America Singer is now one of six "Elite" girls in the competition to become Prince Maxon's wife, but moral and romantic challenges jeopardize her continued participation. This second novel (The Selection) dwells on America's indecisiveness, but interesting ethical issues and intensifying political unrest add depth to the "who will he choose?" aspect of the series, enticing fans back for the finale.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 March #2
Illéa's Selection pool of potential princesses has been reduced from 35 to six (The Selection, 2012), and the competition's getting tense. Among the six is feisty, iconoclastic America. If Prince Maxon Selects her, as he swears he wants to, she and her lowborn family will rise to Ones in Illéa's caste system. America is finally ready to say yes when her best friend is eliminated from the Selection with upsetting violence after being found in flagrante with her illicit boyfriend. How can America imagine marrying the future head of such an unjust government? Suddenly, former love Aspen seems attractive again. Love triangle re-established, Cass sends America's emotions lurching back and forth between Aspen and Maxon for the rest of the book. Life at the palace is periodically punctuated by episodes of violence, as various rebel factions break in and then fall back. The mischievous Northern rebels steal books; the scary Southern ones leave threatening graffiti. Twenty-first-century readers will wonder at the monumental ineptitude of the palace guard. Cass tries to compensate for the virtually nonexistent worldbuilding of the first book with occasional infodumps and excerpts from the diary of Illéa's founder, secretly lent to America by Maxon. As in the first book, though, the thoughts a well-formed dystopia ought to provoke are buried by the bitchy politics of the Selection and the teeter-totter of America's yearnings. Vapid, but at least it reads fast. (Dystopian romance. 12 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 March #4

In this sequel to The Selection, America Singer continues her deliciously entertaining quest for the affection of Prince Maxon and the title of Princess of Illéa in her country's time-honored tradition. Now whittled down to six girls, the Elite, the competition has grown even more cutthroat. Though Prince Maxon has made his feelings for America known, she wavers between wanting to be his future bride and following her ever-present feelings for her first love, Aspen, a guard from her hometown who has been assigned to protect her at the palace. Like the first book in the trilogy, this installment offers delightfully royal treatment for America, cat-fighting and tension between the remaining girls, a bit of dramatic action when rebels invade the palace, and, of course, tantalizing clandestine moments with both Maxon and Aspen. America's "whatever shall I do?" musings can get a little taxing, but all in all, Cass delivers another round of enjoyable, clean, romantic fun for readers who would love to spend just one day in America's pampered shoes. Ages 13-up. Agent: Elana Roth, Red Tree Literary. (May)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 December

Gr 8 Up--In The Selection (HarperCollins, 2012), 35 young women applied to compete for the chance to marry Prince Maxon and become princess of Illéa. America Singer is one of the six Elite contestants remaining at the palace. The girls perform various tasks in addition to going on dates to get to know the prince better. Maxon has told America that he likes her, and, if she could only say she cares for him, the competition would be over. Of course, he is still dating the other contestants. America is confused when she sees the way he acts with the others. Because she has only known him for a brief time, it is hard for her to trust him when his actions convey something entirely different. To complicate matters, Aspen, America's ex, who still loves her, is a guard at the palace. When rebels attack, Maxon and America are able to spend some time together, which enables them to clear up how they feel about one another. It will be up to America to prove herself as she competes against the remaining girls in book three. The Elite seems like a mix between The Bachelor, The Hunger Games, and Downton Abbey, but it is set in the future after the United States falls to China. Part of the plot involves learning how the United States became Illéa, a monarchy. Some parts of the story lack background information, but possibly the next book will answer these questions. There is a lot going on here, but readers can pick up with this book and, for the most part, make sense of it.--Jesten Ray, Seattle Public Library, WA

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VOYA Reviews 2013 June
Six girls remain in the competition for Prince Maxon, and America is a favorite among The Elite. Yet, America is not sure she is equipped to be princess, and worse, she still has feelings for Aspen. The clock ticks as the political situation in the country becomes more unstable and The Selection comes closer to its conclusion. Will America resolve her feelings in time The plot moves more quickly in book two as rebel attacks intensify and the girls become more competitive, ratcheting up the tension. Some secrets of Illéa's past are revealed--a history hidden behind castle walls that contradicts the oral history embraced by Illéa's people. It is a welcome addition to the series, as details about the dystopian kingdom come to light that were only previously sketched out. America's character is more fully developed; in simple prose readers see the complicated feelings that can evolve when one feels love for two individuals--albeit a very different kind of love for each. Aspen is America's "one constant." He represents America's link to the past, and her inability to move forward. Prince Maxon, however, clearly has a hold on her heart, but that hold brings with it America's encroaching adulthood--adulthood she is not ready to embrace. The dystopian elements take a backseat to the romance, and because of this, public and school librarians may find this work appeals more to readers of romance writers like Sarah MacLean and Anna Godberson rather than to fans of The Hunger Games.--Erin Forson 4Q 4P M J S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.