Friday, August 2, 2013

REVIEW: "Elite" by Rachel Van Dyken

 DISCLAIMER: This electronic galley was given to me in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 Type: New Adult, Series, Book One, Mafia, Twilight-esque, Umm...

About the Book: 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.
(Book description from

My Review: Huh. Well. Let's start with what I didn't enjoy about this book, or what I found inconsistent. First off, the book was supposedly set in a private college - but the classes were set up exactly like a high school. There were actually bells to let the students know class was over or ready to start, and they had a lunch period. The whole book felt like the author had written it in a highschool setting, and then made a split-second change to a "private college" in order to fit in the New Adult market group. And the students run the school - they have absolutely no one to answer to, so alcohol is a-okay. Maybe I'm thinking of this wrong, but wasn't the glass of wine sneakily obtained and hastily drunk in a dorm room half the fun of being in college? (Okay, not half, that is a total exaggeration. I really didn't drink much in college).

My problem with this book was my problem with Twilight (hence why I thought it was so similar) - the relationship felt so unhealthy. He held all the cards, and she just went along with it like a sick puppy. I mean, he's the man and he's the ruler of the school so whatever he does must be golden, right? NO! He's being a jerk, and she needs to call him out on it. The heroine was a little too wimpy for me to really connect with. I understand being so overwhelmed in a new place that you don't know what to do.. but she was more than willing to just lay down and take the abuse - physical, verbal, and emotional. Despite how horrible he treated her, she thought he was god, and clearly could do no wrong.

However bad I thought this book was (and yes, pretty bad), I will say that it kept me entertained and kept me reading. I wanted to know what was going on, and how everything would be solved (or not).

And frankly, I kept waiting for the Volturi to show up in the end... but no, something even worse is coming - EUROPEANS!

Cover Lovin': I'm definitely not a fan of this cover. The guy looks too old to be Nixon, and I just don't get a "want to read!" feel from the image. I prefer the original cover (which was on the galleys). I included a picture for reference.

Recommendation: This book is listed for 18+, but I didn't find it to be too violent or too "sexy." Yes, the main character gets attacked, and there is some violence at the end, but.. I'd say it's no worse than the Hunger Games, which is marketed to teens. I think I would recommend this book to Twilight fans, because it gave me a very Twilighty vibe the entire time I was reading it. Not really a New Adult book, but for someone desperate for more of that age group, they're welcome to give it a shot.

Final Rating: TWO out of FIVE stars (2/5). I'm giving it two stars because.. well, it kept me reading. I wanted to know what was going on. But over all, I found this book to be a disappointment. It could have been so great, and then...

Review will be cross-posted on and

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda ~!~