The Elite ★★★★★

88da34d7109267fe2a399c9e3bc2f996I finished The Elite by Kiera Cass–like–yesterday. And I had meant to do a BookTube video about it but I was just so enthralled that I couldn’t be bothered to make myself stop every ten chapters to do the reactions.

Where do I even begin with this?

We’re further along in the selection and America is among six girls who were invited to stay. Celeste is still a… word I won’t say since I mostly write for children… and Marlee is adorable.

I think the thing I loved most about it is that we saw a darker yet more responsible side of Maxson. He clearly has responsibilities in this book that we didn’t really get to see before. We sort of heard about them when he started complaining about it all, but the action in this book, the constant rebel attacks and the treasonous selection contestant (I’m not saying who just go pick it up and read it to find out), obviously weigh on him, as does America’s indecision. 

That still does not excuse his behavior in the hallway (again, I’m not saying–just go pick it up). The scene in the hallway and the ensuing argument which happens afterward is such an engaging turning point. Especially since it’s shortly after America confesses her feelings to Maxson. By the end of the second book, we’re given a much different picture of Maxson than we had left book one with.

I’m also really impressed with the characterization we were shown for America, Maxson, and Aspen. I enjoy that she struggles and isn’t simply “oooooh, a prince!” I think my favorite passages are those in which America struggles to weigh the pros and cons of her options. I think both choices available to her now, Maxson and Aspen, are clearly difficult.

At the end of book one I was pretty much like “Screw Aspen! Marry Maxson! Clearly the only choice is Maxson! Why are you kissing Aspen!? America!!! America stop it!” Aspen had dumped her and, honestly, I still suspect that he is only interested now that she has moved up in the caste system… but then again…. so has he. So I don’t know. I’m still not sure about him.

But I was sure about Maxson at the end of Book One and now I’m not. And rather than whine about how confused I am on who I want to her to choose I must congratulate Miss Cass on instilling these emotions in me which make me mirror her main character so well.

By J. M. Tuckerman

J.M.Tuckerman is a neurodivergent writer with a big education. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, an MA in Writing, and a BA in Writing Arts (specializing in Creative Writing, New Media Writing, and Publication; concentrating in New Media Production), which she somehow managed to earn despite her three very loud and large dogs. Jessica was lucky enough to intern at Quirk Books and Picador, USA while earning her master’s degrees. Her service dog, Ringo, is very proud of all that she has accomplished and hopes to be on a back cover of a published book with her very soon. An avid reader, writer, and lover of young adult and middle-grade literature, Jessica’s bookshelf is overflowing with hardbacks, paperbacks, and a million half-filled notebooks. She is a proud fur-mommy to two lab/st-bernard littermates, a retriever-mix service dog, and one orange little hobgoblin cat, all of whom have made very audible appearances on the Booked All Night podcast.

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