America still lives in the royal palace and her daily routine now includes learning rules and how to run a country. She has never expected to last as long as she did and become one of the Elite. There are only six girls left and all of them compete for Maxon´s love and the royal crown. More and more America has come to realise that she may be in love with Maxon, but she does not want to become a princess and accept all the responsibilities that come with said crown. In addition to all that trouble, there still is Aspen who works as a guard in the royal palace.
On a date with Maxon, he shows her the royal library and together they find out what Halloween is. America discovers a journal which used to belong to Gregory Illéa, the first King, and she is allowed to borrow it.
America has become good friends with Marlee, another competitor in the selection. When America tells Marlee that Maxon mentioned to her that he would end the selection if she accepts to marry him, Marlee encourages her to do so. But America stubbornly resists, even when Maxon throws her a Halloween Party and invites all of the girls´ families. When on that evening Maxon admits that he would already have married America, she decides to accept him if he asks her.
“It wasn’t like I made his world better. It was like I was his world. It wasn’t some explosion; it wasn’t fireworks. It was a fire, burning slowly from the inside out.”
“America, there’s no question that you’ve had my heart from the beginning. By now you have to know that”
The next day, five of the remaining girls get told to dress black and get escorted outside. They´re being told that there was a crime involving one of the Elites: Marlee. Marlee and a guard have been having an affair during her time at the royal palace. It´s a crime punished by death. Maxon, however, shows mercy by demoting both of them to eights and whipping them in public. America is shocked how brutal Maxon can be and wants to leave. However, Maxon persuades her to stay.
“I was overwhelmed. He understood me so well, how nervous I was about making this commitment, how frightening it was for me to become a princess. He was going to give me every last second he could and, in the meantime, lavish me with everything possible. I had another one of Athose moments when I couldn't believe this was all happening. "That's not fair, Maxon," I mumbled. "What in the world am I supposed to be able to give you?" He smiled. "All I want is your promise to stay with me, to be mine. Sometimes it feels like you can't possibly be real. Promise me you'll stay." "Of course, I promise.”
America and Maxon drift apart and her feelings for Aspen are coming back. America again has to decide which one of the two she wants. She loves both, but has she lost her chance with them?
I liked this part about the same as the first one. Though, I didn´t like America as much as I did then. Throughout the whole book she flightily changed who she is in love with. Of course she was confused and wasn´t that sure about either of them, but the America we got to know in ´The Selection` wouldn´t decide who she loves and change her mind the next day. Maybe it was just love, but it was annoying, too.
The book is still cute, still well written and still lovely. The rivalry between the six (or five) remaining girls is pretty good and sometimes amusing. There is not much more to say. If you liked ´The Selection` you will probably like `The Elite`, too.