Following the first novel in the series (The Selection), The Elite takes readers deeper into the horrors of the Illea Society. As America continues to uncover the truth behind her country’s beginnings, she is also forced to witness the violence and harm that befalls anyone who steps out of line in the eyes of the royal family. Not only does she still need to decide which boy she loves, Maxon or Aspen, but she may even need to decide if her country is worth fighting for, and whether or not she would ever want to lead a country such as hers.
The Elite is the second novel in Kiera Cass’ ongoing young adult series and primarily focuses on America’s mental struggle to decide between her first love, Aspen, and Prince Maxon, whom she is currently competing for in a televised competition. While there is not much plot progression—America is still competing and continually confused about what she truly wants—this second installment is critical in that America becomes fully aware of the spiteful violence that occurs in her society. And in witnessing this cruelty and violence, America is forced to decide whether or not she is capable of leadership and promoting positive change for her country.