2013, Harper Teen
Series:Book 2 of The Selection
America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.
Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.
The Good: I adored The Selection, but was wary that The Elite would fall into the same trap as most YA dystopian trilogies where the characters escape the confines of the society we experienced in the first book and the second book is filler that takes space as we await the epic conclusion. The Selection was the complete opposite of everything I feared. The society remains, and while there is distention and turmoil in the world obviously leading to a showdown, the contest for princess continues unhindered. As America starts taking the contest more seriously, you start to like her all the more. And feel for her, because she's finally in the position the other girls were always in - caring and not knowing how Maxon ultimately feels about her.
The Bad: The risks America takes with Aspen are ludicrous. That they continue after seeing what could happen if her actions were revealed is even more insane. It's the one point in this whole trilogy that I just can't wrap my head around.