The Elite

Title: The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection Series, book 2/6
Genre: Dystopian, Romance, YA
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: April 23rd, 2013



Note: This post reviews the second book of The Selection Series. You may like to read the first book in the series, The Selection, before reading this review. 

America is now one of the Elite of the Selection – one of six girls left to compete for the love of Maxon, Prince of Illea. While the other girls compete fiercely to be the next Princess, America doesn’t know if this is really the life she wants. She feels something for the prince, but does she love him? And though he is very interested in America, does he actually love her back?

Sadly, as Maxon realizes he may not be able to win over America, he starts to consider his other options in the competition. Now we have to see Maxon pursue and date other girls just in case America decides that she does not love him by the end of it.

To make matters more complicated, her first love, Aspen, has been chosen to be a guard at the palace. This means that he has been elevated from a lowly six to an esteemed two in the caste system, and is now able to see a future with America, where there was no hope before the Selection. America cannot get over what she had with Aspen, and finds herself drawn to him, even during the Selection when she is supposed to be focusing on Maxon. Will America make her choice before it is too late, or will she miss out on the love of her life?

This was an exciting sequel to The Selection, and I couldn’t put it down!

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The Selection

Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection Series, book 1/6
Genre: Dystopian, Romance, YA
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: April 24th, 2012

America Singer is a five. Reluctantly, she enters her name in the Selection, a contest in which one of thousands will be chosen to be the future Princess of Illea – and Prince Maxon’s bride. America is one of the 35 girls chosen to compete for the love of the Prince. From the beginning, however, she is convinced that she will not fall in love with him. She holds back because of Aspen, her childhood sweetheart, and has no room in her heart for this stuffy, boring Prince Maxon.

Happily for us, she is proven wrong about Maxon. Their relationship starts off as a solid friendship. America is honest about her lack of feelings for Maxon, and he decides to keep her in the competition anyway because her family desperately needs the stipend she receives from participating. Their friendship blossoms, and both of them realize that, whatever the future will hold, they will clearly be more than just friends. I must say, I appreciate the pace in which the writer allows their relationship to grow. It does not develop overnight like most classic fairytales, but instead progresses at a steady pace, becoming something strong and real.

I read through this book quite easily in one sitting – the sign of a fantastic book and a mesmerizing writer. I just couldn’t get enough of Amaxica!

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The Beauty of Darkness

Title: The Beauty of Darkness
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles, book 3/3
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Publisher: Henry Holt
Release Date: August 2nd, 2016

Note: This post reviews the third book of The Remnant Chronicles. You may like to read the first two books in the series, The Kiss of Deception and The Heart of Betrayal, before reading this review.

Lia and Rafe have escaped from Venda, assuming the Komizar to be dead. They struggle across the wilderness, until finally they reach a stronghold of Dalbreck, Prince Rafe’s kingdom, where they are able to rest and regroup. Both Dalbreck and Morrighan are in danger of Venda’s wrath. Lia has seen the Vendan army for herself, and knows the real threat they pose to the other countries. Even though she is considered to be a traitor by her own people, Lia feels that is her duty as a First Daughter of Morrighan to warn them of the impending attack.

But Rafe, relieved to finally have Lia to himself and out of danger, cannot support her decision to leave Dalbreck and return to her country that has disowned her. Being true to her heart, despite her love for Rafe, Lia leaves him for the sake of her kingdom. Kaden, who was taken as a Dalbreck prisoner and later freed, accompanies her, having his own problems to face back in Morrighan.

This stunning climax of The Remnant Chronicles did not leave me disappointed. I finished all 679 pages of the beast in less than 24 hours – it was that good! The author wrapped things up so well, and didn’t destroy her beloved characters in the process, a recent trend I have seen in YA fiction. The Remnant Chronicles will forever be one of my favorite series!

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The Heart of Betrayal


Title: The Heart of Betrayal
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles, book 2/3
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Publisher: Henry Holt
Release Date: July 7, 2015

Note: This post reviews the second book of the The Remnant Chronicles. You may like to read the first book in the series, The Kiss of Deception, before reading this review. 

Mild spoilers.

 
This first book left us with Lia and Rafe being taken captive in the kingdom of Venda. Lia has discovered that Rafe, the man she has fallen in love with, is the very same prince she jilted on her wedding day. Lia feels betrayed by Rafe, who knew she was his betrothed all along.
 
In an attempt to spare her life, Kaden presents Lia to the Komizar, the cruel ruler of Venda, claiming that she has the gift – a sort of magical power that has been passed down through the royalty of Morrighan. The Komizar is intrigued by Lia, and allows her to live as his prisoner, degrading her at every chance he gets. He is not convinced that Lia does in fact have the gift, but he thinks she could yet be useful to the kingdom in other ways.
 
At this point, we have all three men in the story interested in Lia, each for his own reason. Rafe and Lia love each other in a complicated way; Kaden loves Lia, but Lia does not feel the same way; and Lia despises the Komizar, who begins to see that if they were to wed, it would be a hugely advantageous war strategy. 
I loved this sequel to The Kiss of Deception and I recommend it for young adult fantasy readers.
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