Title: The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass
Publication Date: April 2013
Two Sentence Synopsis: Only six girls remain in the Selection and America must make the decision between the Prince or her first love. All she wants, though, is more time.
Review: I really enjoy post-apocalyptic novels because so much can be done with them. So many different possibilities for the future. Kiera Cass’ The Selection trilogy has an interesting take on the dystopian world that she sets up in the first book and continues to build upon in this book.
My one big criticism with this series is the love triangle. I really don’t like love triangles in books, even when they’re reasonably well-written. The drama gets a bit much and it’s so overdone in YA. That said, I do think Cass wrote the love-triangle well. America does have a connection with both Aspen and Prince Maxon and the tension is increased in this book from the first. Other well-written building tensions in this book include the rebels and the competition between the remaining six girls.
It’s nice to see camaraderie between teen girls in YA literature. I do find the characterization of Celeste a little problematic with her over sexualization, since it’s a common “marker” of the antagonistic “mean girl” in YA literature, but with the other female relationships written in, I can’t really complain too much. America is definitely not a typical “not like the other girls” YA heroine who is disliked by other girls. She built up some strong, positive friendships with some of the other girls in the Selection, plus positive relationships with other minor female characters.
If you want a good dystopian YA book/series to read, you can’t go wrong with this one.