Double Review: The Selection + The Elite

27

April 26, 2013 by Alice in Readerland

The SelectionFor thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself–and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

(Special thanks to ARCycling who had this copy sent to me all the way from JAPAN!)

I knew I had to read The Selection because most of the reviews I read were either:

Definite 1 Star

Grumpy Cat

or

Definite 5 Stars

Happy Cat is Happy

A book that either inspired either angry rants or happy fangirling? I knew I just had to read this book for myself!

After being forced by her parents (who need the money) and her ex-boyfriend (who wanted her to have a chance to marry better) America joins the Selection, a group of 35 girls who will undergo makeovers, smile for the cameras, and compete for a chance to win the prince’s hand in marriage. America, to say the least, is not happy. After just breaking up with her boyfriend (who she’s not over yet) and leaving her family, she’s forced to live in a castle being plagued by rebel attacks because of a competition to marry a prince (who she may or may not have mocked earlier).

While most girls chosen for the Selection are all “A chance at marrying the prince?!”

Does it Come With a Castle

Does it come with a castle?

America, on the other hand, comes out and tells the Prince “I’m here for the food.”

Cat Steals Pancake

Finally! A review where I have an excuse to use this cat-stealing-a-pancake adorableness. 

But when America meets the prince, when new friends and enemies are made, and when danger gets closer and closer, America will have to rethink what she really wants out of life.

 I heard that the author partially based this story on Cinderella, which I thought was really interesting! However, unlike Cinderella, America wasn’t all:

A dream

“Why, it’s like a dream! A wonderful dream come true.”

Instead, America wants to make sure everyone knows that she’s not princess material, and when she meets the prince, she may have yelled at him. But that only made things more interesting. Soon, America offers not to be a potential princess, but to be Prince Maxon’s friend which gave way to some really fun dialogue later in the book (such as when America and Maxon make a bet over breakfast). I loved the mystery about what the rebels were searching for in the castle, I really hope to hear more about it in the next book! The idea really fascinated me.

Cynical Cindy Says

The author paints America as being so much different than the other girls, which can be nice, but at times it made me feel as if the author was trying to make America “special”  by making all the other girls airheads or mean girls obsessed with marrying the prince. One time I felt this way was when the rebels were attacking the castle: America was the only girl who wasn’t acting upset. She then tells the prince to “pat the girls on the shoulder” and tell them it will be “fine”, as “they don’t want you to fix the problem,” they just wanted to be comforted.

Now for the sequel:

The EliteThirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, 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.

This book definitely upped the mystery and action! Between close encounters with the rebels, the tension between the remaining girls in the Selection, and America going back and forth between Maxon and Aspen, there was so much drama! It just makes you want to kick back and enjoy all the drama (without being part of it). Kind of like this panda eating popcorn:

Panda Eating Popcorn

My favorite part of the story was when Maxon showed America the castle’s secret spoiler which held all of the spoiler! I thought it was so cool, because who wouldn’t want to spoiler and it gave America a chance to peer into the past by spoiler. It definitely added a lot to the story! Not only did it help answer questions about the rebels, but it also presented a lot more questions. (Yes, I do realize that I didn’t really tell you anything. Sorry, but spoilers!)

Cynical Cindy Says

I’m very on the fence about this book. While it did give some more backstory,  I felt that it was kind of suffering from Middle Book Syndrome, as there wasn’t much that really propelled the entire plotline of the series forward. Oh, and America saying “I choose you. No. Backsies. I mean YOU.” all the time made me make a face much like this cat does in this gif:

Silly Kitty

Yeah, I may have stuck my tongue out at those scenes.

 This book does end on a cliffhanger that does makes me really excited for the next (and final) book, The One! (I can’t believe we have to wait a whole year!)

Have you read The Selection or The Elite? What did you think of it?

I love comments

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27 thoughts on “Double Review: The Selection + The Elite

  1. Thanks for the great reviews! My daughter loved the Selection and was just about to read the Elite, when I got the Maze Runner for her- too many books!

  2. acps927 says:

    I did enjoy The Selection, but I am going to try to hold off on The Elite since I have heard it’s a little frustrating and so I won’t have to wait as long for The One (which this is the first time to see the title of the third book!). So are you on a particular “team”?

  3. Michelle says:

    I don’t think these books are going to be my thing… but I enjoyed reading your double review and love the idea of doing a 2 in 1. I wish I could save up a review and do something like this, but when I read a book I’m all anxious to get the review out!! Love your gifs!! too damn cute :)

  4. Eileen @ ***Singing and Reading in the Rain*** says:

    I’m happy you enjoyed these two books, Alice! I refuse to read this series because the first review I ever saw was a two-star review and I STILL remember it from more than a year ago so I feel like it was taint my likability of this book >.< But I can see what you mean by Second Book Syndrome it happens way too often now, but at least the Elite has more mystery. OMG I hate when protagonists are all like special and "THE CHOSEN ONES" because it feels so forced and overused, kid of like America's specialness, as you said

    Thanks for sharing Alice! I love the gifs :)

  5. WNK says:

    Oooh… okay, then… in that case, I’m waiting for next year to read #2 and #3 together… I *hate* the book 2 cliffhangers!

  6. I struggled with the Selection, I thought America was unpleasant and I felt sorry for Maxim!

  7. Great review. I liked the books but think they both definitely contain problems and rely heavily on mean girls cliches. That being said, I find them really compelling. I can’t wait to see what happens in the sequels.

  8. Sunny says:

    YES YES and….YES. Although I didn’t enjoy The Selection all that much, for whatever reason I was SO hungry for the second one. I’m still dying to read it (ARCycling and giveaways have failed me;) so I drooled with envy when I saw in my email that you read it! Hence, the great review ;)

    I pretty much felt the same about The Selection in the way of America. I adored the cat gif (along with the other pictures). It felt as if Cass was trying to make America TOO special and I didn’t appreciate that. Then what you said about the Elite makes me think, “Oh great, middle book syndrome” but also makes me really excited EVEN MORE to read it (how twisted is that?) Oh snap, a cliffhanger. Thanks for warning me!

    LOVE the review, Alice!

    • Thanks, I had fun looking for the right gifs! :) Same here, I had my definite complaints about The Selection, yet I needed to find out what happened next in the story! :) Thanks for stopping by & commenting!

  9. I haven’t read any of these books yet but your review made me want to check these out! Both looks great. Thanks for a great review!

  10. Bella says:

    I have The Selection in my reading pile! I have to agree with you – all the reviews I’ve seen have been with very positive or very negative. I can’t wait to see what I think of it! :) Awesome reviews!

  11. CAT STEALING A PANCAKE.

    Great reviews. I can say that there were things in The Elite that made me like America more but then there was the whole “I like the boy that I can see” thing she was doing.

  12. Jaime Lynn says:

    Like you, with all of the reviews being either BAD or GOOD, I knew that I wanted to read The Selection. Luckily, I am one of the GOOD reviewers! I loved it. It was a fun, funny and great read. I am glad that I took a chance. The one thing that I wanted more of was some of the grit, like the rebel attack. It is great knowing that the second book makes up for that, and I can’t wait to read it!

  13. Overall, I agree wit you on these. The first book was a great intro. Lots of fun and fluff. The second book is a little more political, darker, more action. Interesting to learn the Cinderella was a basis for the story. Thanks for sharing these!

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