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Read a full The Elite summary, book #2 in Kiera Cass’s Selection series. This page is full of spoilers, so beware. If you are wondering what happened in The Elite, then you are in the right place!

Kiera Cass

The Selection recaps
#1 The Selection
#2 The Elite
#3 The One
#4 The Heir
#5 The Crown

Special thanks to Mudita for providing this The Elite summary! Check her out on Goodreads.

***** Everything below is a SPOILER *****

What happened in The Elite?

In the second installment of the Selection series, the story unfolds from America Singer’s first-person perspective. As one of the remaining six girls competing for Prince Maxon’s affection, America shares a delightful garden date with him. During their conversation, the topic of Halloween arises, and they become intrigued by its forgotten origins. To uncover the truth, Maxon takes America to a concealed room filled with books. Together, they conduct research and decide to organize a Halloween party. Maxon sees this as an opportunity to meet the parents of the remaining girls and knows it will bring joy to America, especially her little sister, May.

At the Halloween party, all the girls’ families gather to celebrate. During the event, Maxon has a conversation with America’s father and confesses his feelings for her, expressing the possibility of a life together. However, the following day brings a significant change when America’s friend, Marlee, and her love interest are caught together. This act is considered treason as Marlee is still in the Selection, and her love interest is a royal guard. Despite the severe consequences they would normally face, Maxon intervenes and spares their lives, though they are demoted to the lowest caste level, the eighth caste. Unaware of what will happen, America tries to stop the punishment when she witnesses it, but the guards remove her from the scene and take her back to her room.

America faces a range of reactions following her actions. The queen disapproves of what she did but also expresses some level of approval. Aspen and her father, however, are proud of her. These mixed responses deepen her uncertainty about her suitability to become a princess, as she realizes she cannot stand by and watch someone suffer unjustly. Moreover, her discussion with the other girls leads to a confrontation with Celeste, the girl she dislikes the most in the Selection. As a result of these incidents, America’s standing in the public’s opinion regarding the next princess plummets.

During this time, America has been rekindling her relationship with her ex-boyfriend, Aspen, who now serves as a guard in the castle. Alongside her doubts about becoming a princess and concerns about Maxon’s character, she is faced with a challenging decision about whether to continue her relationship with Aspen. This adds an additional layer of complexity to her already tumultuous journey in the Selection.

The girls frequently participate in tests involving debates. During one debate, Celeste advocates for an increase in the number of men drafted for the war effort. In contrast, America proposes a voluntary draft, while Kriss suggests making it open to women, citing their killer instinct. In the next test, the girls collaborate to plan and host receptions for two visiting delegations from Germany and Italy. Celeste and two other girls are assigned to plan the German reception, while America and Kriss are teamed up for the Italian reception, though they face a disadvantage due to their smaller group size. Fortunately, they are given an extra day to prepare.

Working with Kriss becomes challenging for America because Maxon, due to her actions, starts considering alternative options and sees Kriss as a potential backup if America decides not to be his wife. As they plan the receptions, rebel attacks disrupt their eorts. First, the Southern rebels strike, followed by the Northern rebels, who attempt to steal books. During the Northern rebel attack, America ees into the forest, hiding in a tree. However, one of the girls spots her but keeps her secret. When the guards find America, she pretends to have outrun the rebels and later confides in Aspen about what truly happened.

Despite the obstacles, the girls successfully executes their respective receptions, passing the test. During America’s reception with the Italian delegation, she discovers that the Italians are supportive allies.

Amidst all the challenges and events, America finds herself grappling with her feelings for Maxon, constantly going back and forth. Her perception of him improves significantly when she learns that Maxon has been secretly sheltering Marlee and her husband in the castle, even providing them with jobs. Marlee defends Maxon, warning America to be cautious lest she loses him. This revelation enhances America’s admiration for Maxon and brings new dimensions to their relationship.

By the time the next test approaches, America feels overlooked during a session intended for the king and queen to know the girls better. Witnessing Maxon’s interactions with Kriss and Celeste and discovering disturbing truths about Gregory Illea, she decides she no longer needs to be part of the Selection. In an act of sabotage, she discusses Gregory’s diary and advocates for the elimination of the caste system, enraging the king and leading her to believe she’s out of the competition.

How did The Elite end?

As she prepares to leave, a rebel attack occurs, forcing America and Maxon to hide together. While helping him, she sees the painful welts on Maxon’s back, inflicted by his father when he disapproves of his behavior. Realizing her mistake, she fears she has ruined her chances with Maxon and the life she desires.

During this time, Maxon also understands that miscommunication has played a role in her actions. America confides in Aspen about the events and his plans for their future together, but she feels the need to choose between Maxon and Aspen. Just as she’s about to leave, Maxon surprises her, revealing that he has talked to his father, and she now has a second chance. However, she must be cautious as his father will try to eliminate her, and she needs to earn Maxon’s trust.

America returns to inform her maids that she is still in the competition, prompting Anne to suggest the need for a plan as the narrative reaches its end.

There you go! That’s what happened in The Elite. We hope you enjoyed this The Elite summary with spoilers.

Special thanks to Mudita for providing this The Elite summary! Check her out on Goodreads.

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