The Elite (The Selection, #2)Warning: Mild Spoilers Ahead. Do not read if you don't want to be spoiled. Please read at your own risk.Actual rating: 2.5 stars
This is not a dystopian, This is a book centered on a love triangle.
Believe it or not, I did like The Selection, but this book, unfortunately, did not live up to its predecessor. The reason why I enjoyed The Selection so much was because of the similarities to the TV show The Bachelor(which I watch, occasionally). I personally think adapting the competition into a bookWarning: Mild Spoilers Ahead. Do not read if you don't want to be spoiled. Please read at your own risk.Actual rating: 2.5 stars
This is not a dystopian, This is a book centered on a love triangle.
Believe it or not, I did like The Selection, but this book, unfortunately, did not live up to its predecessor. The reason why I enjoyed The Selection so much was because of the similarities to the TV show The Bachelor(which I watch, occasionally). I personally think adapting the competition into a book was a nice idea. Even though it was predictable, cliched and pretty cheesy, I still had a lot of fun reading it. But this book, as I said, annoyed me to no end. The crucial element that made The Selection worth reading was gone, and replaced by the MC's constant insecurity issues and a back-and-forth love triangle between our dear America and Prince charming Maxon Schreave + First love Aspen Leger.First things first, the plot. As you can tell, the main storyline of the series is about a competition named The Selection, in which the palace picks out the new princess for their country, Illea. The Selection is actually a live show broadcasted to all the citizens of the country, and is one of the biggest celebration events of the country. In The Selection, the selected has to interact with the prince, and if the prince dislikes someone, he can kick her out of the game. At the end of the first book, the number of girls in the running was reduced from thirty five to six, also known as The Elite. Our main protagonist, America, is one of the girls who remained in the competition. Moreover, she's the one the prince adores and wants to marry, but as you can guess, it's not so simple, because America is also in love with her first love, Aspen, who turned out to be one of the guards in the palace. Basically the plot of this book is about Maxon trying to convince America to be with him, while America doubts Maxon's sincerity and her ability to be a princess. And at the times when she believes that Maxon is "just like the others" or "playing with her feelings", she just runs to Aspen for comfort. And so this brings us to the love triangle.The love triangle never bothered me in the first book, mainly because it was obvious she's going to end up with Maxon, and there wasn't much of Aspen. But in here, America was constantly going back and forth between Maxon and Aspen. (Ha, their names rhyme!) While she fell in love with Maxon, and wanted to stay with him, she fell victim to her insecurity and went hot and cold towards Maxon. And when Maxon went to find out if he could like the other girls, in case America leaves him, she just kind of used Aspen for comfort. Her insecurity and doubting bothered me a lot. I mean, why can't she just choose someone already? It's not like she doesn't know what she wants, she just kept on acting stubborn and wouldn't forgive Maxon for something he didn't do, EVEN THOUGH SHE WANTED TO. What the hell? There was never a need for a love triangle, because we all know who she'll end up with, and therefore the "love triangle" is really just America's denial issues.
The plot also "centered" on the rebel attacks. THAT IS A LIE.Here's what the premise promised.
"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."
Did we really get that? Not really. As described above, the rebels were supposed to be "violent" and powerful enough to "destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending", but in truth, the rebels only showed up for around three chapters or so. AND ALMOST NOTHING HAPPENED. Sure, the rebels killed people. But no one major died, except maybe the sister of one of the Elites, which is still unimportant. Now now, don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say that those people's lives aren't important. I meant that the rebel attacks isn't the spotlight of this book, it is the LOVE TRIANGLE. The rebel attacks is just mostly there. Yes, it did influence the main characters' lives, but not much. It's mostly just a secondary plot. So why did I say that nothing happened? Because despite that, all they really did was "damaged the walls of the hallways of this magnificent palace", which really counts as nothing. Plus, there was this scene towards the end of the book, in which America and Maxon were stuck in a safe house together during a rebel attack, and they basically had this romantic night and sorted things out. So I wouldn't really consider the attack of the rebels as "destroying her chance at a happy ending", but more of a "creating an awesome chance at spending a night together with a prince".
Here's another thing, towards the end of the book, America discovered that what the rebel really wants was books. Yes, BOOKS
and Gregory Illea's diary, I'll get to that later, but that really doesn't make any difference. WHAT KIND OF REBELS WOULD WANT TO STEAL BOOKS? That is just ridiculous. The worst thing is that, America found out about that sooo late, whereas I noticed it when I was around 50% in. It was OBVIOUS. Why, you ask? WELL BECAUSE THE REBELS ONLY TOOK THE BOOKS. Okay, so there was another scene when there was another rebel attack, and America had to run to a tree and hide up there. And when one of the rebels passed, she noticed that the rebel was carrying loads of books, ONLY. I can't believe how she can be so *coughs* smart. Her IQ really amazed me. And there is something a whole lot more ridiculous than that. That is, when the rebel walked pass her, she (rebel) fell and noticed America holing up on a tree, and you know what she (rebel) did? SHE BOWED. WHAT THE FUCK? *sigh* Sorry for the swear word,
I just...couldn't help myself.Now, the characters.
In The Elite, America Singer, our very own protagonist, is unbearable. I really can't stand her doubts and insecurity and constant break downs. I actually thought she was an okay character in The Selection. Although annoying at times, I did like how she brought a change into the palace and actually treated her maids, her friends nicely. That's why I don't get how she suddenly turned into a coward. She kept on saying that she isn't princess material and doubts her own abilities. And she also kept on thinking that the other contestants are better than her (or their place in the caste system are higher, she's the lowest!), and that she doesn't get how Maxon could love her when there are so many people who's a lot better than her willing to throw themselves to him. What's worse, she kept on crying. Whenever she is faced with some minor conflicts (*weeps*Maxon doesn't like me, he likes Kriss*sobs*), she just starts CRYING! THAT is something I cannot stand. I really hate it when heroines break down when faced with a minor problem.
Here's another thing I can't bear, the oh-I-want-answers-but-I'm-too-afraid-to-ask thing. There are a lot of times when America was wondering about something, and kept wanting to ask about, but just wouldn't. The reason is either I-decided-that-I-didn't-want-to-hear-it or I'm-too-afraid-to-hear-him-say-it or I-don't-want-to-intrude-someone's-privacy. MY GOD, AMERICA! If you want an answer, JUST FUCKING ASK! This is not a good way to keep people in suspense. It usually just frustrates people. So, please, don't ever do that again! *Ugh, see what you did there? You just made me swear AGAIN.*
I have to admit, I loved Maxon in The Selection. He was this awkward sweet prince who never entered a relationship, and is naive and hot as hell. But in The Elite, he turned a bit too serious. There was some problems he could've avoided if he would just talk to America. I believe that communication is really important if you want to maintain a relationship. There were things he shouldn't have held back. Plus, I really don't like the fact that he also likes Kriss, one of the other contestants. Maybe not as much as he likes America, but I guess I'm just biased. I mean, America can like two people at once, why can't he? But...it's hard to explain, but I just don't like it. Anyway, I really think he should've proposed when he wanted to, there wouldn't have been so many issues if he had.
Aspen. Well, I never really liked him, except maybe at the beginning of The Selection. The thing is, he actually told America that she's not fit for a princess. He said something like "I just don't see it in you". And that led to America's self-doubting. I really don't think he should've said that even though he was jealous/honest, whatever. It's just not...nice. I mean, why can't she? Everyone can if they're willing to try. He really shouldn't have discouraged her. Despite all that, I kind of feel bad for him. He's the guy who America turns to when there are problems between her and Maxon. And that's WRONG. America shouldn't have led him on when there wasn't really a chance for him, therefore I feel bad for him. I do hope that he finds his own happiness in the last book.
The secondary characters. Marlee. She's one of the characters I actually have nothing against, if not like. There's not A LOT of her in here, though. But her big reveal did have a huge impact on everything. Celeste. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE HATEFUL BITCH? She was pretty boring in The Elite, she never did anything evil again. I never thought I'd say this, but I kind of miss it. Kriss. She turned into a pretty important character in this book. Mostly because Maxon likes her, AND THEREFORE I DON'T. I'm sorry, but I just don't like the idea of Maxon liking someone else at the same time. Other than that, I don't really have anything against her, I just think she's too optimistic to be real. The other girls. They're mostly just there. But one of them DID say something pretty mean. Elise, another contestant, actually told America that they weren't friends and that she wouldn't EVER help her because they were in a competition. While I can understand that, I just don't get why she has to say it out loud. That's just HARSH. The maids. I liked them in The Selection, but while I still like them here, I just don't like them as much. They were nicer in the first book.
I promised I'll write about this, and here it is. Gregory Illea's diaries. They're basically about how Gregory gained enough power to build this country. It turns out that this "saint" everyone loves, is a douche. He's pretentious, and power hungry. He made the caste system (Yes, there's a caste system!) just so he could get more power. But I don't get why the rebels want his diaries. I hope it's explained in The One.
Despite this hateful review, I DON'T hate this book. There were just parts that annoyed me. I seriously don't know how many times the book made me roll my eyes, but I still enjoyed the reading process, just not as much as the first book. This was a HUGE disappointment, but I will be reading The One. I'm just really curious about how it will end, although the title says it all.
This is the most lengthy review I've ever written, please do bear with me if there's any grammar mistakes, as I've just finished typing this! I *might* be adding more thoughts if anything new occurred to me, I've finished this book for three days already, and there are just things I really can't think of, so I may be editing this again sometime in the near future. I apologize if this review offended anyone, this is just my honest opinion....more