Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Publication Date: July 9, 201330
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.
I just… NOPE.
I’ve seen rave reviews about this book and… I don’t understand…
Ever heard of Boys Over Flowers? Hana Yori Dango? It’s like that, except extremely idiotic.
Alike to the manga/string of dramas, there’s this poor girl who receives a scholarship to this extremely elite school where rich people from around the world get their education. At the top of this college food chain is Nixon, Chase, Tex, and then Phoenix. Nixon is the leader of his little group (ahem, Domyouji), Chase is the second guys who’s JUST nice enough to her that he seems like a relatively humane person (Rui), and then Tex is a cool guy but is barely ever there, and then Phoenix is just a douche. ENTER TRACE. This girl defies The Elect (-coughF4cough-), and she doesn’t dress in designer clothes, and she doesn’t think Nixon is some hot guy that she should be falling for. (I would compare her to Makino, but let’s face it, Trace is just a whiny girl who can’t stand up for herself, and is just … no.)
Is it just ’cause I know of HYD that I found this less appealing than other people? Maybe, but let me get down to the nitty gritty details.
Trace. Trace was annoying. She had no backbone (and if she did, it was liquid). She sucked at standing up for herself when it actually matters, she literally just sat around and contributed nothing to society. She’s also not that smart to be honest. She knows The Elite partially hates her, what does she do? Walks right into their schemes setting herself up for stuff that she can’t handle, because by gods she’s a weakling. She cried more than she spoke, and when she spoke, half the time she was asking a question. In addition to all that, her thoughts during times of duress are pulled from the gutter. Girl, you have a bajillion and one problems, do you REALLY have time to be thinking about that NOW?
For example, there’s this one scene where stuff happens to her and she’s like bawling her eyes out and then OH LOOK AT HIM. HE LOOKS LIKE CHANNING TATUM. LIKE LOOK AT HIM *A*
Also, she says things like “it literally…” and “seriously, this happened…” A LOT. As a reader, I don’t need those because I wanna say that what the narrator (MC or third person perspective) says is what they see and what’s actually happening. When they say that though, I feel like the credibility of the narrator gets lost ’cause then if they don’t say it, did it REALLY happen?
Along those lines, I felt like the author told us what happened more than she showed us. An example of this was when Trace was being moody (again) and she snapped at someone, she said:
Clearly I was dealing with a lot of emotions right now.
Honey, if it was clear, you wouldn’t have to state that.
I also found that a number of things were unrealistic. I could see the bullying fine, the mafia stuff fine, kay, whatever. But people chanting some guy’s name in the hallway. You just hit crazy on the weird scale.
As per most books these days, this book had that insta-love-hate thing going on. For the most part, she spends the beginning just like NIXONNNN UGHHHHH and then every now and then just like HOLY HELL THIS MALE SPECIMEN IS SO ATTRACTIVE. -3.5 seconds later- I IS IN LUV ~~
I’m so tired of this insta-love garbage. Love has to stop being such a superficial emotion in books. It downplays the emotion, and makes something beautiful almost meaningless. I don’t know why authors think it’s acceptable to just toss it out there. I feel like it takes down the book with it because it just shows how much the author was willing to put into the connection between the characters and their back stories.
The last thing that bothered me throughout the book was that the author spent a lot of time setting up for jokes. They weren’t subtle things, or just blunt statements that would cause me to laugh, no she would orchestrate a full conversation between characters to get her jokes out, and often times it made me want to facepalm more than laugh.
This book was a huge miss for me. While I didn’t mind the overall story, the characters, and the over dramatic everything drove me up the wall. It was the little things – the set up jokes, stating the obvious, telling instead of showing – they all just added up into a novel that I just couldn’t bring myself to like. Definitely not on my top ten for this year.
World Building: 2/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.25/5
eCopy obtained via Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via NetGalley