The Elite

The Elite - Kiera Cass (As reviewed on my blog, Paper Riot.)Warning: this review is a bit of a rant. I stayed up until 4AM finishing this book. You can decide whether that's good or not.If I would rate this book on feels alone, The Elite would get a glorious four star rating. Because for a book I have so many issues with, I was surprisingly invested in this story. Maybe that had to do with my change in expectations. Where The Selection started off as a book I had to get used to, I knew what to expect this time. I was prepared to have issues with the writing, the dialogue and the world building. But I also knew that all my issues wouldn't matter because I would still somewhat enjoy the story. This kind of happened: while The Elite, for me, is not a good book and I found it to be even less likeable than the first, it is still quite entertaining. Like my friend Gaby says: it is reality TV.So let's get down to business and talk about what happened in the book. The first thing that was noticable for me was that the dystopian world is being explored. No, there is still no answer as to why there are these sudden and violent rebel attacks (and the rebels seem to be stealing books, which is, you know, awesome but weird). But through diary entries and insight information about Maxon's dad we learn more about why this book qualifies as a dystopia rather than just a fairytale. Since the world building was once of my biggest issues in book one, I really appreciated it. I did, however, hate the way the world building was handled and still have no idea how it actually works, but that aside.However, where in The Selection, the characters were more interesting to me than the world building, it seemed to be the other way around in The Elite. The characters were... different. And by different I mean I hated every single one of them. It didn't start out that way. I was simply enjoying the fairytale at first - but that was until things started to go horribly wrong. Everyone started making poor decisions: America was running back and forth between Maxon and Aspen; Maxon, who I liked in the first book, was doing things with other girls that I absolutely did NOT approve of; Aspen was being whiny and should have jumped off of something instead of whatever the heck he was doing, etc.When I was about 60% done I was so incredibly angry at all of them that I wanted to a) scream, b) get a physical copy of this book, and c) throw said book out of the window à la Bradley Cooper. Basically, this book gave me a lot of (angry) feels. I am impressed that it is possible to dislike all the characters in a book (they all got under my skin this time and - ugh) and still continue to read. All in all, I think The Elite is worse than The Selection, because Kiera Cass took out all the enjoyable elements from the first book and replaced them with more angst than necessary. It was much too dramatic for my taste. But even though these books are (very) flawed, I do think that they are highly entertaining, and very easy to get addicted to. And yes, I will probably still read The One.