Thursday, October 24, 2013

REVIEW: ELITE BY RACHEL VAN DYKEN

For Tracey Rooks, life with her grandparents on a Wyoming farm has always been simple. But after her grandmother's death, Tracey is all her grandfather has. So when Eagle Elite University announces its annual scholarship lottery, Tracey jumps at the opportunity to secure their future and enters. She isn't expecting much-but then she wins. And life as she knows it will never be same . . .

The students at Eagle Elite are unlike any she's ever met . . . and they refuse to make things easy for her. There's Nixon, gorgeous, irresistible, and leader of a group that everyone fears: The Elect. Their rules are simple. 1. Do not touch The Elect. 2. Do not look at The Elect. 3. Do not speak to The Elect. No matter how hard she tries to stay away, The Elect are always around her and it isn't long until she finds out the reason why they keep their friends close and their enemies even closer. She just didn't realize she was the enemy -- until it was too late.


ebook256 pages
Published July 9th 2013 by Forever 
Received from publisher via NetGalley for review/Bought
Purchase Elite:
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Our Review:
This book is very different than the other two books I've read by Rachel Van Dyken (The Bet and The Wager) and I wasn't sure what I thought about it at first. Me too. It is definitely unlike anything I had read of hers before, and my favorite word: intrigued was said, a lot. And I'll gladly be a book snob and say: I read this when it was self-pubbed! I am so excited about the success that this awesome author has gotten, and can't wait to see what else she has in store for us! 

This story follows Trace as she enters a very private and elite college. She's coming off of the recent death of her grandmother and appears to have lived a very sheltered life (with her grandparents because her parents are dead). The minute she steps out of her grandpa's car, the crazy begins. She's verbally assaulted by a group of young men and left at the door step of her dorm with really very little knowledge of how this college works. 


Cray, right. I was thinking...uh...who do these freaking people think they are? Are they nuts. Is this a cult? Yeah, my mind was going all sorts of crazy insane places. But then, since I am all about living in fictional fantasy land, I started to really be intrigued (yeah, there is that word again..I like it, sue me) and stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to finish this book that I really was just checking out randomly one night, since RVD is a favorite author of mine. 

After being told to accept and follow the rules --which she has a very hard time doing--she makes her way to her room to find her room-mate, Monroe. It just so happens that Monroe is the sibling of one of the hateful boys, Nixon, who was so jerky to Trace when she arrived. Fortunately, Monroe is a great room-mate and they become great friends. She helps Trace begin to navigate this new world of college and tries to ease her hurts and pain when those arise too.


Monroe is a fast fan favorite for me, and she really helps Trace navigate this new world she's been thrown into. She helps her get the right clothes, and do and say the right things to avoid conflict with the Elect. The Elect are pretty freaky, and we're in the dark about their purpose and origin for a looonnnnng time! Nixon also becomes less of an enigma, and more of a thorn in her side. By this I mean he takes more of an interest, but only if he can hold her at arms length when and how he wants to. He frustrated me, but captivated me. I am Team Nix. I'm always holding out for the bad boy. Fatal flaw, yes?

I wish I could launch into a full exposition of what happens next but it would contain too many spoilers and, honestly, I don't know if I fully understand everything enough to try to explain it all! Here's what I can tell you--you'll have a shit ton of what the fuck moments, lots of questions, see a conflicted relationship between Nixon and Trace emerge, Chase and Phoenix create interesting subplots, and towards the end Trace learns some things that rock her world. Then...it ends....with the promise of a second book before the end of the year.


Yeah. Is there an award for vaguest blog review ever? Well, I think we'd be in the running for it, because we literally can't say much else about the plot without completely spoiling the entire story! This is kind of a bizarre problem to have! 

I wasn't sure what I thought or felt by the end of this but if this gives you any idea about where my headspace was by the end...I will definitely pick up book two to see what happens next. I thought about it for a while after, laying with my puppies at like 2 a.m. with them looking at me like I'm crazy. (Yes, I get that look a lot...) but I came up with the conclusion that I really, really liked it! I can't wait for the next book, and the teaser that we get...just gah...is all I have to say about it! 


Shelley: 3 1/2 Stars

Courtney: 4 Stars


Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers! You can follow her writing journey  at www.rachelvandykenauthor.com

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