I 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.