A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Elite is the second book in The Selection series, set 100 years in the future. America Singer is still in the televised competition to win the heart of Prince Maxon of Illea -- and the role of his wife. America has many moments of indecision about whether she wants to continue her quest. The Elite is more romantic than the first book, with mild kissing, flirting, and caressing. And there's also more politics and violence -- attacks on the palace in which people are hurt or killed, corporal punishment -- as well as mean-spiritedness and backstabbing by America's fellow contestants.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
America Singer remains in the televised competition to win the hand of Prince Maxon Schreave of Illea -- a contest that's one part The Bachelor and one part The Hunger Games. Her feelings for Maxon are growing, but she still has feelings for her childhood sweetheart, Aspen. Aspen would rather she leave the palace behind and wait for him. But the competition and her greater purpose for being there, including making sure the other catty competitors don't win, makes her want to stay. When America sees a chance to be the wife of Maxon slipping away, she must decide what she really wants, and if what she feels for Maxon is true or just make-believe.
Is it any good?
THE ELITE ups the ante in the romantic department. In the series opener, The Selection, Maxon seems more wooden, but he comes vividly to life in this installment. His love for America is clear, but she's too wishy-washy about her feelings for him. In one breath she hopes to be with Maxon, in the next pines for Aspen, and readers may get tired of it. Maxon gets tired of it and becomes interested in other competitors, even though he desires America.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the Selection series. Did you read the first book? How does The Elite compare?
America becomes jealous when Maxon flirts with and dates the other female competitors, yet she steals kisses with Aspen behind Maxon's back. What do you think of America's double-standard regarding boys and dating?
Why do you think stories -- and reality TV shows -- involving competitions to be chosen as a date or spouse are so popular?
- Author: Kiera Cass
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Arts and Dance, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, Holidays
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: HarperTeen
- Publication date: April 23, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 13 - 17
- Number of pages: 336
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
For kids who love romance and fantasy
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.