Wednesday, May 27, 2015

REVIEW... ELITE by Rachel Van Dyken

When I won the annual Eagle Elite College Scholarship lottery, I was thrilled. After all, my grandma had just died and I wanted to take care of my aging grandpa -- he couldn't be a farmer in Wyoming forever. And graduating from Eagle Elite meant opportunity.

But I wasn't counting on meeting Nixon.

Nor was I counting on the rules of the Elect.

1. Do not touch The Elect.
2. Do not look at The Elect.
3. Do not speak to The Elect.

And worst of all? Don't discover the secret they hide, because in the end, you may just realize... it's about you.

*This is a New Adult Book, blood, violence, cursing, sexual references, and drug use. Not recommended for those under 17.*


This Book Nerd Says: 

I have wanted to read this series since I heard the premise. It didn't hurt that I heard so many glowing thoughts on this. So when I had the chance to read the first, I jumped right in... 
The synopsis does a good job of setting up the story for you. Trace is from a small farm town in Wyoming. At her grandmother's urging she enters a lottery for a chance to attend Eagle Elite College. From the moment she arrives, everyone treats her like dirt and continuously reminds her that she's an outsider. Nixon, leader of Elite -the school's best of the best, jerkiest of the jerks, makes it clear that he won't allow her near him, but doesn't seem to stay away. It's written only in Trace's POV and it was actually a fairly quick read for me. 
Did I love it? Unfortunately no. 
Did I like it? Ehhhh... kind of. 
Let me explain. 
I still love the premise of the story so much so that I do want to know what happens next. The problem I had was the majority of the dialogue. It never felt natural to me so there were times when I kept losing myself in the cheesiness of the banter. Now, cheese isn't always a bad thing but sometimes it's too much. I felt like Elite walked that line. While it's plot is centered around a college infused with a mafia presence, I felt like it's more about a prestigious private high school and it took a whole lot of mental redirection to remind me that they were supposed to be NA age. There's nothing about the college aspect that feels real.

It was a few of the characters that made me keep reading this story. Nixon and Chase. Chase and Nixon. These two guys kept me turning page after page. Bad boys with a soft heart... yes and yes. Even though the presence of both of them screams a set up for a theme I'm not always a fan of... in this book I don't know what I'd do without either of them. 
Sadly, I could take or leave Trace. 
Her naivety drove me a little crazy as I would assume that a girl her age would pick up on some of the blatant signs around her a bit quicker. I'm assuming this was to make her shock value greater later on but seeing as how she still doesn't get it until everyone spells it out to her, I'm not buying what she's selling. Sorry Trace. 

As this is book one, it sets up the rest of the series fairly nicely. Even though I am not raving about it or rushing into the next book I would read the rest in the series... eventually. Especially if I get more Chase. 

I'm giving this book 3 Stars

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