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The Elite (The Selection, #2) - Kiera Cass Gah, I can't believe I've just finished this in *checks time* 23 hours. Actually I can, the bags under my eyes attest to how long I was up last night. Around 1:00am I would say to myself near the end of every chapter that this was the last one...but it never was. I finally stopped last night when it came to a point I was so upset with a certain character that I had to shut my Kindle down and stew.
As I hoped this was better than the first, and helped by the little nugget of a novella, The Prince, that gave me a little insight into Maxon. It's so hard to get a read on a character like him sometimes because he can be so damn princely...even though I honestly believe anything he says *dramatic sigh*. But having some background and part of the first book from his perspective made this one sooo much better.
I'm still Team Maxon. I don't know if its the whole prince thing or how he's so proper but can be sneaky and silly with America at the same time, but I seriously think I love him. It's sort of scary to be honest. I mean he isn't the first book boy I've fallen in love with...*ahempeetaahem* but he's certainly truly only one of two.
Lately I've been reading so many paranormal romances and what not that I've completely forgot what its like to fall into a world that isn't coming apart at the seems from vampires, aliens, and angry gods. I'm so used the heroine coming out and kicking serious ass in a literal way and the sexy man being generally dark, mysterious, and a deadly killing machine. This didn't have the fight scenes but really did stress me out just as much if not more. Emotions are deadly.
It is such an easy read in that it was easy for me to keep going. There was never a moment where I thought, yeah, yeah, lets get on with it. The next page always held something else exciting or heart breaking that I couldn't put it down. It just goes to show you want an amazing story teller Kiera Cass is. She knows exactly who her characters are and I can tell she's invested in their lives just as much as she's made me invested in them. My only complaint in reading it so fast was that now I have a much longer wait for the next. So depressing.
It was a rollercoaster for me. One minute I was so happy and the next upset to the point that I felt sick to my stomach. I will not try to hide the fact that I will root for Maxon till the very end of this series but there were points I was just as mad at him as America was. And times I wanted to shake her and snap her out of her stupidity.
Now, I like Aspen...I really do. And if Maxon wasn't in the picture I'd be all over him in a heart beat. So I feel bad for him. I think out of the three of them (America, Maxon, and Aspen) he's the one who's getting the raw end of this deal. He's my Gale. He deserves someone who's going to fight for him just as much as he fights for America.
Speaking of fighters can I just say GO AMERICA! (I feel like I'm cheering on the Olympics again) Even though she doubts her ability to be a princess she is just as strong as the most bad ass girls I've read lately. She just doesn't do it with kicks and punches. And she's her strongest when she believes she's the most helpless.
Most obviously was the Marlee situation. (Which, can I say I called her being in love with a soldier early on) The way America reacted so violently to it, screaming and begging Maxon to make them stop, was amazing. Everyone else just sat there and allowed it to happen. I probably would have done thing same thing, I would have been to scared. She may have just been hysterical but it was beautiful that she would cry out for someone she cared about.
By the way I forgave Maxon for not doing anything in that moment. I mean, he saved Marlee's life. He needs to stop making me hate him and love him within just a few chapters of each other. It confuses me.

I feel as though I'm as emotionally drained as all the characters are. The ending gave me hope and worry all at the same time. I have a feeling the next book is going to do the same if not worse.
Oh and the thank you's at the end...I'm so glad I was so surprised I finished that I didn't want to stop reading and carried on. They cracked me up.