Sunday, December 22, 2013

ELITE by Rachel Van Dyken ~ Review


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.*


I am a HUGE fan of Rachel Van Dyken.  I have not read a book of hers that I have not LOVED !!

I could not put Elite down from the moment I picked it up.  I was sucked in just by reading the Prologue.

"Whoever told me life was easy -- lied. it's hard.  It sucks.  The crazy thing is -- nobody has the guts to admit the truth.  Everyone, and I mean everyone, has a secret.  Everyone has a story that needs to be told." ~ Trace

Trace was raised by her grandparents after her parents were killed.  Trace won the lottery to attend the prestigious Eagle Elite College.  Trace wanted to be able to take care of her aging grandpa once she graduated and she wanted to make him proud.  The day Trace arrived at Eagle Elite, her life was about to change.  FOREVER.

Upon arriving, Trace was greeted by the welcoming committee, Nixon, Chase, Tex and Phoenix, the ELECT.  It appeared that these four thought their roles at the Eagle Elite were quite important.  They had a reputation to live up to and they were going to make sure Trace knew exactly who they were.  Nixon made sure to advise Trace that there were rules she needed to follow while attending the school. Rules are what kept people safe. What rules could Trace possibly have to follow to keep her safe?  Safe from what?  All she was doing was attending school?

There was something about Trace that got under Nixon's skin.  Nixon immediately had Trace on his radar and made her the focus of his attack.  Nixon humiliated Trace the first day she was there.  She knew this was going to be a tough semester and she was just praying that she would get through it.  She lucked out with a great roommate, Monroe...  who just happened to be the twin of Nixon.  Monroe takes Trace under her wing and tries to help Trace fit in. 

Trace is given a key card that gains her access to places that most are not granted.  For some reason, Nixon has given her access to lunch with the Elect.  The Elect consists of Nixon, Chase, Phoenix, Tex and Monroe.  Trace didn't understand why Nixon would do this and why he was being nice.  There were times Nixon would be mean to her, but then there were times he was nice to her.  His mood swings were given her whiplash.

After spending time with Nixon, Trace began to develop feelings.  She definitely was attracted to him.  How could she not be? He was six foot two, olive complexion, thick arms, a body to kill for, dark hair, tattoos, a lip ring, he was just gorgeous.  When she was around him, she felt butterflies in her stomach.  The only problem is, she didn't know if she could trust him.  She never knew if he was setting her up to humiliate her again.

"There was something about him.  Something that made me want to touch him, made me crave his touch, and I hated that I responded to him, especially after the way he treated me at first." ~ Trace 

Nixon was very secretive.  He grew up in a life style that most only saw portrayed on television.  Nixon knew he had to protect his family and the ones he loved.  He only told Trace what he wanted her to know.  If he told her too much, her life would be in danger.

Nixon is drawn to Trace.  It is evident that he has a connection to Trace that is unexplainable.  He vows to protect her from any harm that comes her way.  Nixon knows a secret, that nobody else knows except for his best friend/cousin, Chase.  Nixon needs Chase's help.  Nixon needs to distance himself from Trace to protect her.  Nixon needs Chase to be his eyes and ears when he is not around. 

Trace's life was about to change.  Trace finds out some information that was going to change everything.  The secret that Nixon and Chase know, is a secret that can cost Trace her life.

Nixon makes a decision that is going to hurt him and Trace in the process. Nixon vows to protect Trace at all costs.  Even if it means he may be pushing Trace into the arms of someone else.

"When I make a promise I keep it.  Regardless of whom it hurts, even if it means it hurts me or someone I care about the most.  Sometimes... sometimes in life we're asked to sacrifice something for the greater good." ~ Nixon

"I love you, Trace.  I always have.  Just remember that, okay?  Hold on to it.  No matter what I say or what I do...and trust me, I'll do some terrible things.  Just know.  I love you.  With every fiber of my being." ~ Nixon

Chase.. Oh Chase.  What a total sweetheart!!  Chase had a connection with Trace as well.  Chase was developing feelings for Trace, but did Trace feel the same way?  Did Trace see Chase as more than just a friend?  Was it wrong that Chase had feelings for his cousin's girlfriend?  Would he act on his feelings? When Trace needed someone, Chase was always there.  Was he more to her than she was willing to admit?

I LOVED this book.  I wasn't sure what to expect when I started Elite, but I was blown away by it.  I wanted to hate Nixon, I really did, but I couldn't.  In the beginning he is such an arrogant prick.  The pain that he caused Trace, I wanted to punch him in his face and kick him in his balls. But after getting the back story on why he did what he did, I don't agree with what he did, but I understand why he did it.  Once the puzzle pieces started to fall together and we get the whole story, I was routing for Nixon and Trace.  Trace and Nixon loved each other.  But sometimes, love isn't enough to keep people together.  Nixon made a promise keep Trace safe at all costs. If being with Trace was going to have her in harms way, Nixon would sacrifice his own happiness to make sure she was safe. 

This book was amazing.  You must ONE CLICK it.  I tip my hat to you Rachel.  You delivered another book that had me wanting more.  I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see where you were going with this story.  You shocked me with some things, and I have to admit, I never saw them coming!!

This review was prepared by Heather. 

ELITE (Book #1)

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