by Kiera Cass
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Wow…I just finished and I don’t know what to say. Once I finished this book, I immediately realized something: I started this book today. I did fifty other things in the duration of my day and I still managed to finish in less than twelve hours. I’ve finished a few books in less than 24 hours, but never so quickly and completely as The Elite. I never felt dragged down, I never thought about how slowly a chapter was passing, and I never even registered the fact that I had only just started this installment today…because these were not problems. This book, even with its ever-present recurring predicaments, never once bored me and I didn’t want to put it down.
It turns out I’m absolutely terrible at staying away from you. It’s a very serious problem. -Maxon
America is once again a force to be reckoned with. And while I loved her for most of the novel, she did begin to piss me off a bit. In book one, she was encouraged to join the selection as a chance for opportunity for her family and a wish for a better life from Aspen. When she entered the palace she just knew that Maxon was not what she wanted-Aspen was. But here in book two, we begin to see her strong feelings surface for Maxon…all the while Aspen lurks around the castle as a guard.
I had missed these kisses, so quiet, so sure. I knew that, in my whole life, if I married Aspen or someone else, no one would ever make me feel this way. It wasn’t like I made his world better. It was like I was his world. It wasn’t some explosion; it wasn’t fireworks. It was a fire, burning slowly from the inside out. Sigh, I love Maxon.
Now, I’m not even able to explain how conflicted I am about the whole thing. One thing I can say with absolute certainty, though, is that 90% of how America is conflicted (for MOST-NOT ALL) about both Maxon and Aspen is believable, realistic. I don’t know that I could just forget my first love so easily-it ended abruptly and there was no closure. No closure=disaster. I can see how people would be upset or angry with how she handles both boys, but I feel it IS easy to get blinded by so many unexpected and unwanted feelings. But imagine a guy you trust, still love, still hold a sliver of hope for is walking around the castle while you slowly fall for the amazing and highly sought after Prince Maxon as he parades around with other girls as well. It’s bound to be very frustrating and heartbreaking. But that is where my sympathy for her ends. Sure, it’s a very difficult decision and she was more than upfront with both guys. But there comes a point where you are just breaking their hearts, as well as your own, and you have to make a somewhat sound decision, and quickly.
”What’s it like to be in love?” May asked.
Part of me ached. Why hadn’t she ever asked me? Then I remembered, as far as May knew, I’d never been in love.
Lucy’s smile was sad. “It’s the most wonderful and terrible thing that can ever happen to you,” she said simply. “You know that you’ve found something amazing, and you want to hold on to it forever; and every second after you have it, you fear the moment you might lose it.”
Maxon was absolute perfection in this novel. I adored him in book one, and I must say he was even better in this installment. He would give America the world if she’d let him, and more than once I wished she would. We saw a whole new side to Maxon that we had only gotten glimpses of in the first book. He was kind, adoring, and completely sweet. There were so many things that happened, good and bad, that had me pulling my hair out, but America is the root cause of the turmoil-that is the one hundred percent truth.
”Maxon, that’s not going to happen,” I whispered into his neck. “If anything, you’re going to realize I’m not good enough.”
His lips were at my ear. “Darling, you’re perfect.”
My only complaint for this story would have to be how all the problems pretty much came full circle. She made a decision. Why add more problems to the matter? What’s the point? It was beautiful and precious and could have been great. But then the author decided to make a problem where there was none, and I can’t say I agreed with that decision. Yes, I want to feel something when I read. A little light angst is more than welcome-and believe me when I say there was more than enough angst for me in this one. But ultimately, I didn’t like feeling angry toward Maxon OR America. It was completely unnecessary and made my heart hurt more than once-after a sound decision had already been made…I don’t know. I love Maxon, but it was hard to see him show his affections for other girls. I’m not even America and it stung me like a bitch. Imagine how that pathetic sap felt?
Could I not hate whoever Maxon ended up with if I chose Aspen? Could I not hate whoever Aspen chose if I stayed with Maxon?
All in all I loved this installment-I even finished it in the course of a day, which, as I mentioned above, is rare for me. I loved how America stayed true to herself and true to her character no matter what it might cost. I love that even as some scenarios were dragged out, we ultimately got a pretty well put together novel with lots of twists and turns. And finally, I love both Maxon and Aspen, and frankly, even as I adore Maxon and want nothing but for her to embrace him completely, I would be okay with either man she chooses. They are both very sweet and both (presumably) love her, and I know they’d have no problem finding love elsewhere. So good luck to Maxon, but I know no matter what happens, I’ll most likely be happy.
PS….Kriss? Celeste? I um…