Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Review: Elite by Rachel Van Dyken

Goodreads Summary:

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.*

Publication Date: April 14, 2013

Elite turned out completely different than I was expecting. Bizarre? Yes. Unrealistic? Yes. Intriguing? Yes. As crazy as the plot turned out to be and as unlikable as I found the characters, I couldn’t stop reading. In fact, I finished the book yesterday and I still can’t stop thinking about it.

The premise starts out with Trace, a country-bred girl coming to an elite college on a scholarship. Trace is a very sheltered and naïve girl who seems to have only been friends with her cows, Matilda and Wilbur. As soon as she arrives, a group of bullies start harassing her. Trace decides to stay because graduating from the college guarantees a cushy future.

The setting of the book was so out there that I just found myself gasping at the craziness of the whole thing. The students attend college, but it’s completely run by Nixon (one of the bullies and of course the love interest). There’s no adult authority figure as Nixon doles out cards that decide how often students can eat, when they can eat and their elevator usage. He roams the hall, keeping order while also be asked to teach one of the courses.  

Nixon was horrible. Even when the “explanation” is given for his behavior, I still found him repulsive. He humiliates Trace, yelling at her in the middle of public places by lying and saying she’s a desperate farm girl who tried to throw herself at him. He moos at her, threatens her, bosses her around. He then does a complete 180 when he finds out who she really is. And she lets him get away with the behavior because of how “hot” he is. Gag.

Trace was even worse than Nixon. I think calling her a to stupid to live character is an understatement. She not only allows for the reprehensible behavior to take place, but never once thinks about leaving school or reporting any of the guys to the police. Even after one of the guys drug her and leave her in another guy’s room so that she gets the reputation as being a slut. Plus, she comes out with gems like this: “I’d rather he beat me. Cuts heal, bruises fade—but broken hearts? They carry scars for a lifetime.”

Here’s the but in all of this. I was still hooked on the story. The twist is so crazy that it moves the story in a completely different direction. I had no idea what to expect and I couldn’t put the book down. Maybe I enjoyed the novel so much because it was like watching a train wreck take place.

Do I plan to read the sequel? Absolutely. I’m doubtful that Trace and Nixon will become a couple I could cheer for, but there were secondary characters I enjoyed, especially Chase and Nixon’s sister Monroe. As far as a rating, I’m at a loss, so I’ll leave this one unrated and suggest readers give it a try, even if its only out of morbid curiosity.

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book for review!


  1. Wow, sounds like a lot going against it, but something was right because you were hooked

  2. This: "As far as a rating, I’m at a loss, so I’ll leave this one unrated and suggest readers give it a try, even if its only out of morbid curiosity." cracked me up. I may actually check it out because I'm ridiculously intrigued that you couldn't rate it :) LOL! Wonderfully written review, Heather! Thanks for sharing. WRITE ON!