The Elite Book Review

The Elite Book Review

Title: The Elite (The Selection, #2)

Author: Kiera Cass

Pages: 336

Published: April 23, 2013

I finally read the second book in The Selection series! I am pretty sure it’s been over a year since I read the first one! The first one was just okay for me. I gave it 3/5 stars. Maybe it’s because it’s been a while since I read a dystopian novel that I really enjoyed this second story.

Nothing too huge happens in terms of the plot in this story. The Selection continues, but a winner will not be announced until the next book. America does find out more about how the current government came to be. America learns that she is not the only girl Maxon has been spending time with and the rebels continue their work to attack the kingdom.

This was a quick read for me. I enjoyed it and was able to stay engrossed in the story. I came to like and know America more as the story went on. America gets to see her family in this story and I enjoyed getting to know those characters. With the Selection narrowed down, you get to know the other girls a little better. Although I liked America as the main character, I came to wonder if she was the best choice for Maxon, as she wonders about herself. I am excited to read the third story and see how everything is all tied up!

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Man Crush Monday – Arin

the winner's curse

 

Marie Rutkoski’s novel, The Winner’s Curse, kicked my butt with ALL THE FEELS!

 

I both loved and hated this week’s Man Crush Monday, Arin.

 

Purchased as a slave by the general’s daughter, Arin is actually a spying revolutionary determined to overthrow the invading government that took over his country and enslaved his people. Too bad he ends up falling in love with his owner. Betrayal and heartbreak ensue, and I was taken on an emotional roller coaster of love and hate. Ugh! So many feels!

 

Arin possesses many good qualities one looks for in a swoon-worthy character: good looks, brilliance, sarcasm, and musical talent. That being said, I kept calling him an idiot in the last half of the book!

 

I suppose he did the best he could with the hand he had been dealt. He treated Kestrel well, and did his best to become a good leader. I just wish he hadn’t stomped all over Kestrel’s heart in the process. (Sorry to be so vague, but SPOILERS!)

 

And just when I thought things might get better, there was THAT ENDING. Gaaahhh!

 

I don’t know what’s in store for Kestrel and Arin, but I DO know this, Arin makes one hell of a Man Crush Monday!

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Man Crush Monday – Day

legend

 

Y’all, I just recently read Marie Lu’s Legend, and I am in LOVE!

 

Oh, Day!

 

He’s handsome. He’s smart. He’s brave. He’s thoughtful. Everything a book boyfriend SHOULD be!

 

Yes, he’s a criminal, but could you BLAME him?

 

The corrupt militaristic government is appalling! Sending ten year old kids to be tested for potential, and then shipping off “failures” to “labor camps,” where they actually become lab rats in sick government experiments before they’re ultimately killed?! WHAT THE EVEN HECK?!

 

Thank BOB Day survived!

 

And it’s that same scrappiness and courage that makes him such an irresistible character. That and his compassion. He’s like a dystopian Robin Hood, stealing from the government and giving to those in the plague-infested slums. Despite being legendary, he continues to help his family, and he even “adopts” a little girl off of the streets who couldn’t survive on her own.

 

I can’t get enough of this hero.

 

Even after going through so much (unspeakably horrible things), he continues to fight for what’s right. I’ve got to admit, I’m a little bit in love with Day, making him this week’s ManCrushMonday!

 

What book boyfriend is YOUR ManCrushMonday?

 

We would like to reiterate that we are not paid by authors or publishers for our reviews. We may receive a free copy of a book in exchange for a review, but reviews are 100% our personal, honest opinion!
We do, however, receive a small commission when purchases are made on Amazon through our site. This does not impact the authenticity of our reviews in any way.
Cover image obtained from Goodreads.

 

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Atlantia Man Crush Monday

Man Crush Monday!

This week’s Man Crush Monday is True from Atlantia by Ally Condie! Read the full review- including swoon-worthy details on True!- below.

Review of Atlantia

Hmmmm… What did I think of this one? I read it all in the span of a few hours one night so I could pass it along to my sister for book club. Reading it all in one sitting, I never lost interest. The plot got a little slow in the middle, but nothing major. 

This story is about Rio, a girl who lives in the underwater world of Atlantia, but who has always longed to move above. After the death of their mother, Rio’s twin sister, Bay, begs her to stay below at the choosing ceremony and she obliges. However, Bay chooses to go above, leaving her sister no explanation. Discovering why Bay left was interesting to me and I wanted to know why. 

Rio begins planning an escape to go above and find out why her sister left, but more secrets and mysteries become uncovered. 

I liked Rio okay and liked her love interest, True, a lot. True wants to protect Rio and he cares for her. However, he isn’t overbearing about it. He still allows her to make her own mistakes even when he doesn’t agree with them. True is also really intelligent and talented at working with metal. He, too, has a secret. He’s smart enough not to reveal it until the perfect moment, though! It’s somewhat rare that I actually like a YA love interest recently, but I loved True!

Maire, Rio’s powerful siren aunt, was certainly the most fascinating character. You and Rio don’t know whether or not you can trust her nearly the whole story. Characterization overall wasn’t a strong point in this story, though. 

The world of Atlantia was interesting, although there did seem to be some unanswered questions about it. Why did people live longer down below? Where did their air come from? I wasn’t sure until the very end of the story if the book was meant to take place in our world and at what time period it was taking place. 

The religious aspect of it was very different. I haven’t decided what I think of it. It also seemed to leave unanswered questions about whether or not the religion was true, but in the end, it didn’t matter too much. It’s very different to have a YA book with such a focus on gods, worship, and miracles. 

The strongest part of the story was the plot, mysteries, and the premise. It has a unique basis, with the underwater world, the world above, and the sirens. I didn’t feel the “love story” was at all needed, but it didn’t detract too much from the main story. The plot and finding out what happened to Bay and her mother kept me reading and engaged in the story. 

3/5 stars. I would recommend it if someone were really into sirens or out of dystopian literature.

***The buy link above is from Amazon. I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews. They are 100% my personal, honest opinion. I DO, however, receive a small commission when a book purchase is made by clicking on the provided link. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way.***

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Perfected Book Review

Perfected Book Review (Elizabeth’s Version)

By Kate Jarvik Birch

Published on July 1, 2014 by Entangled: Teen

Genre: YA, Dystopian (ish)

Pages: 304

I was very intrigued by the premise. I don’t know if it really fits into the dystopian genre, as nothing is very different from our current world except the pet situation. The United States has passed a law allowing people to keep genetically engineered humans as “pets.” Ella was raised/trained at Greenwich Kennels and told her purpose in life is to bring happiness to her owners. She is adopted by a congressman who helped pass the pet law and his family- a wife, young girl, teenage boy, and older sister who is out of the house. There is a mystery as to what happened with their previous pet. Ella becomes a companion to the young daughter, Ruby. She gets the feeling the wife doesn’t want her there but doesn’t know why. The congressman shows her off to all his friends as if she were an expensive car. Meanwhile, Ella starts to develop feelings toward the teenage son, who she knows she isn’t allowed to be with. This causes her to question her purpose in life and wonder why she can’t have her own happiness. 

I thought the comparison of Ella as a pet to a dog was well done. Ella is given a beautiful “necklace” with ID tags (I.E. Collar), microchipped, and there is talk of spaying her. There were also allusions to pets being like slaves, even though their purpose is more to be on display than to serve in the traditional sense. It all definitely raised ethical questions. 

I really liked Ella herself. Although she has grown up naive and brainwashed, she was still a likable heroine. I wanted the best for her and sympathized with her when she was in the real world for the first time. I felt sorry for the challenges she faced. It seemed realistic for someone in her situation. 

The love story was just so-so for me. It seemed more of a plot convenience than “true love.” I don’t know. I didn’t like the love interest all that much, maybe he was just too stereotypical? Doesn’t want to do what his dad wants to force him into, angst-filled teenager, etc. I’m not sure I can put my finger on it, but it just felt too contrived and I couldn’t believe they’d actually fall for each other.

I did love the relationship between Ella and the young girl, Ruby. Ruby is an unpopular kid without many friends and so she and Ella form a very sweet bond. I liked reading about kind-hearted Ruby who blurs the lines between owner, friend, and sister. 

I did feel that there were some gaps to the pet situation though. A neighbor alludes to the fact that genetic experiments were started in Nevada with people saying they were only making companions for the elderly or otherwise in need. However, that’s really the only background information we are given about the experiments or the law. I also was not convinced on why someone would want a “pet”. It’s another being to feed and care for and pets are not self-sufficient (for example, Ella doesn’t know how to heat up food). I guess you could argue that a dog or cat pet is also work, but they don’t require as much space, money, etc. as a human pet. It only seemed to make sense for someone who was going to take advantage of the pet, but it was unclear to me why other people would get pets.

I really am eager to read the sequel and see what happens next. I like Ella and I find the premise fascinating, but I hope the background and current world of human pets will be explained in more detail in the next two stories.

To read Lindsey’s review of Perfected, click here.

***The photo above is from Amazon.com. I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews- they are 100% my personal, honest opinion! I do, however, receive a small commission when you purchase a book through Amazon by clicking one of the links above. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way.***

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