‘THE ELITE’: THE ELITE TRIUMPHS OVER THE SELECTED. Review of the 2013 YA fairy tale novel by Kiera Cass. All review text © Rissi JC

This was one of those reading-forever kind of novels because once-upon-a-time, I fell embarrassingly behind on reviews so instead of speed reading thorough The Elite (as I desperately wanted to!), I slipped in portions here and there. Book two of Kiera Cass’ successful trilogy picks up where The Selection drops off.

BOOK REVIEW | ‘The Selection’ by Kiera Cass

STORY: It opens with America Singer and Prince Maxon together, blissfully so, before various manipulations tear them apart. With the Selection down to only six girls, the competition is tougher and America is confused about her feelings for her first love, Aspen and her feelings of becoming Illea’s new princess. Also a complication is Maxon’s distance – no longer do he and America talk as they once did and instead, America watches as her fellow competitor, Kriss, claims a piece of Maxon’s heart… all of which may push America back into Aspen’s arms. 

The Elite, by Kiera Cass | Book Review


I cannot count the number of reviews that criticize. During the three year fandom these novels have spanned, these are the reviews I’ve scanned during this time. Whether or not the prose is innovative or not among its peers, flaws and all, this is all a portion of the reason this series “works” so well (for me). I love stories that can take me on a journey yet not overthink things – to me, that is the heart of storytelling or at least, that is what I enjoy because when I’m reading, I don’t like a book that leaves me feeling as if I have to work to get lost in its world (as if I have to “force” myself into feeling a part of the world) or one that leaves me feeling as if I only got half its story because the prose was too “big.”

As the dreaded middle book of a trio of novels, I do think The Elite suffers from a kind of book slump. There are one too many things that merely didn’t set well with me in the book – not in the sense that they “bothered” me, more in the sense that America drives a wedge between herself and both of the men vying for her heart because of her addled teenage brain. Like, seriously, girl, Make. Up. Your. Mind. 

With the close of this novel finally comes the chance to read The One. It’s long overdue and considering my TBR stack is shrinking (*knock on wood*), I anticipate revisiting the world of Illea. I’ve been gone longer than intended and because of that, I will welcome the drama of switching emotions and love stories. Because at the end of the day, I’m this world’s biggest fangirl.


Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: 2013
Source: Bought
Find Reviews Elsewhere: Amazon | Goodreads
Shop the Book: Amazon | Bookshop.org | Goodreads
Series: The Selection, 2
Rating: ★★★★ 

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. I definitely agree with you; America drove crazy with her inability to make up her mind! That's the main reason this book wasn't my favorite in this trilogy. It isn't a bad book, just some of the things the characters did where annoying.

    Great review, Rissi! Looking forward to seeing what you think of "The One" :)

    1. Right!? SO glad to not be alone in this! I wanted her to be more decisive. *sigh* Hopefully The One is better. (Though I still claim this as one of my favorite, happy and carefree series!)

  2. I'm with you wholeheartedly! I don't feel the need to heavily criticize everything, and a book that lets me sit down and have a wholly enjoyable read is a good book in my mind. Sure, these books could deal a lot more heavily with the world outside of the Selection, but I honestly care about the romance the most anyway, so a focus on that doesn't hurt my feelings!

    America is a little frustrating, because she's SO indecisive, but I always felt like it was immensely clear who she SHOULD pick. I still need to read the final book in this series, though I didn't enjoy The Heir as much as the original trilogy.

    1. *applauds* Well said, Rachel. I 100% agree. A book that I enjoy (whether the "best" novel ever or not) is to me, a good book. And this is sometimes why I feel comfortable rating a book 5 stars – if I liked it, and it made me happy, it's worth ALL THE STARS! :)

      Me too. I love the romance – it's what makes these so dreamy and fairy tale-esque. (Who America SHOULD pick was always clear for me as well – but that's a post for another day. ;D)

      Bummer. I've heard The Heir isn't quite as good, but as a fan, I still cannot wait to read this one!

      So glad you stopped by, Rachel. Thanks!

  3. Its been so long since I read this trilogy – but I do remember liking it. However America did drive me a little crazy too with her indecisiveness, but I totally fell in love with ideas of this book. I also like all the secondary characters, some of the girls are vicious!

    1. Right!? America's indecision was, sometimes, just a little bit "too much." That said, like you I love this book (concept). This series is my "guilty pleasure" read series, although not in the traditional sense of the phrase. :) So glad you enjoyed!

  4. It's been a log time since I read this book! This series was definitely one I found really easy to read and had fun while doing it but I did have my problems with it (a lot of it stemming from under developed world building and America's indecision). Still, I did really like reading these ones! I hope you get the chance to read THE ONE soon!

    1. Me too, Ashtyn. For me, this was an easy, enjoyable series and oftentimes, this is precisely all I'm looking for in a book. Ditto. America's indecision grated my nerves a bit, but in the end, I still adore this as a fangirl. Glad you enjoyed them too – and thank you! :)

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