(Warning: This contains spoilers. If you haven't read the first book in the trilogy, please do not read below this unless you want to be spoiled!)
In The Elite, we continue with America's story as she braves deeper into the competition that has been narrowed slimly from thirty-five women to six, whom are known as the "Elites." The competition is more brutal than ever as the girls try to prove that not only do they have what takes to be a good bride, but also a great Princess. And America, her heart torn over two guys that she both loves, has to decide which fate she is truly destined for.
(Cont. review under the cut)
As we get into the story, we also get to learn about the other five girls in the competition, which makes the book actually feel like they were in a competition, which the first book didn't have. America is very innocent to the whole idea of the competition, since Maxon openly confesses that he is in love with her, and in this novel, she is now fully aware that she is, in fact, competing for Maxon's heart when she discovers that she shares Maxon's heart with another.
Extreme events happen in this book and America also becomes truly aware of what it would truly mean to be a Princess. Yes, a crown comes pretty dresses and ravish parties, but it also comes with war and politics and having to have a hard heart, especially when dealing with traitors.
We also get to see more sides of Maxon. He develops into a 3-Dimensional character as the story starts to unfold. Maxon always appears to be calm and put together, but underneath the beautiful facade is the stress of politics and his country being at war, the anxiety of choosing his new wife in a short amount of time, and the pressure of being a Prince and the soon-to-be King. Events like that can make the most calm man unruly, and it's great to show that even the strongest men can fall down sometimes.
In my honestly opinion, the writing was a bit bland. Her explanation of the History of the country seemed boring to me, and sometimes completely unnecessary. But I am so glad she included Gregory Illea's story, about how he rose to power and how Illea came to be. Some of the dialogue didn't go well together, but all in all, I loved the story. It was a bit predictable, but that didn't stop me from tearing through this book in eight hours.
Rating: 4/5 stars.
Do I recommend this series?: Yes. It's not the strongest read, but it's fun!