The Elite: It’s Still the Bachelor with Dystopian Rebels

*** As with any review of a sequel there will be spoilers for book one. If you are thinking about starting the series you can read my review of book one, The Selection.

Elite coverI started The Elite, by Kiera Cass, at midnight earlier this week when my pre-ordered copy landed on my i-pad and finished it before brushing my teeth the next morning. This signifies three things: (1) that the book is a very quick read, (2) that like its predecessor The Elite is compelling, and (3) That I was up for most of the night with a ouchy ear infection. Don’t worry it’s cleared up!

I liked The Elite a lot. And I’m not just saying this because I’m scared of being targeted as a bully (I hate when authors behave badly). The things I liked about The Selection, I still liked in the Elite. The relationships between the girls continued to be interesting. WIth only six girls left in the competition it was easier to keep them straight, form favorites, and get to know them better. This is pretty much how it works in the Bachelor as well. Of particular note was the flushing out of Kris’ character and her interesting relationship with Maxon.  Continue reading “The Elite: It’s Still the Bachelor with Dystopian Rebels”

The Selection: Tonight on the most shocking dystopian novel yet

I liked The Selection, by Kiera Cass. In fact, I reread the second half immediately after finishing. It is light, fluffy and very girly, but I like all of those things.  There is also a little dystopian flavor thrown in. The main character, unfortunately named America Singer, is not an unreliable or annoying narrator.  Plus there are princesses! It doesn’t surprise me that the book is an instant hit and already set up as a television show on the CW for the fall.

In a world where society is broken into numbers, defining the characters’ profession, education level, financial and social status, there is one way that a girl can raiser her fortune and help support her family. It’s called the selection. A girl is chosen from every district to compete for the prince’s hand in marriage.  The girls all live in the same castle, are eliminated in stages, and the whole thing is televised to the entire nation. Sound familiar?

It’s an opportunity that only comes around once a generation, but America Singer wants nothing to do with it. This is particularly surprising, considering her status as a 5 (also known as the starving artist caste). She’s secretly in love with Aspen, a boy from a lower caste. When s series of events end her up in the castle, she’s in a world of revolving flirtation, fashion, and friendship. She learns that Prince Maxon, isn’t as bad as she expected. Drama ensues…

The plot is a little formulaic, but kind of makes sense because The Bachelor is too. If you’ve watched the show, you will see many familiar situations. America talks about the girls being closer to each other then to the prince. The prince doesn’t listen when the girls try and tell him about the villainous girl left in the competition.  Dresses are ripped and interviews are misconstrued.

Hunger Games fans will also notice many familiarities in The Selection, even though the girls aren’t in a physical fight to the death like some people thought when reading the back cover. An economically unfair caste system, a love triangle, doting attendants, districts, rebel armies and the reality television come to mind. I think it is obvious Cass read the Hunger Games and thought, “I could do this but with the Bachelor instead of Survivor.”

Despite these similarities and inspirations, I don’t view this book as a copycat. I haven’t read a book like this before. I would definitely recommend this book to dystopian fans, and Bachelor viewers. I will say, that I didn’t like the love triangle at all. To me one of the relationships is obviously superior, but I’ll let you read the book yourself to figure out if I’m talking about Maxon or Aspen.

For further reading and reviews: