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. 


Tracey Rooks is a girl from Wyoming. She's lived a quiet life with her grandparents on a farm and heading into Chicago to go to school at a very elite college is pretty darned scary. She won a lottery that Eagle Elite holds every year and accepted because she felt that it was her duty to her grandfather and her now deceased grandmother to make something of herself. She had no idea what she was getting into, that's for sure.

From the first moment she's on campus things turn to shit. She approached by a group called the Elect the moment she gets out of her car and is told the rules. Yeah, Trace (as she's known as) might be scared but she's not about to let bullies tell her what to do. The head of the Elect is Nixon. He's gorgeous, a complete ass and obviously in charge but that doesn't stop Trace from defying him at every turn. She learns her lesson soon enough when he lets the student body get a hold of her and when that happens she realizes that she needs to be nice to Nixon as he's her ultimate protection.

As they get to know each other a bit Trace starts hanging out with the Elect – she's rooming with Nixon's sister so this is understandable – but when she wears a necklace that her grandfather gave her (one that belonged to her grandmother) Nixon's protection moves up about 50 notches. Secrets start flying around Trace's life and she can't figure out what the hell's going on until her grandfather comes back to town and tells her the truth about who and what she really is. The secret's a huge and and changes her life completely.  Unfortunately it doesn't change her growing feelings for Nixon – until he betrays her.

Oh Lordy I wish I could tell you all of the ins and outs of this book. There were so many of them! The suspense in this book just about killed me as it seemed that every page turn brought on some new experience or emotion. I was kind of on the edge of my seat.

The relationship between Nixon and Trace is well...volatile. Nixon is a complete ass until you get to know him and even then he does things that made me want to throttle him. He does love Trace though, I honestly believed that, he just had a strange way of loving her. It's touching, gruesome and heart-wrenching all at the same time.

Trace was hard to put a finger on. I liked her but she cried an awful lot. She was very emotional, and at times she had a darned good reason to be that way, but others...not so much. I honestly couldn't figure out what the attraction was with Nixon. I mean, his attraction to her. Yes, she was beautiful but overly innocent and na├»ve as well. Maybe that was it? Despite that I thought that once things were explained and they were together they were adorable. Then Nixon became...Nixon and it went to hell. 

There was the hint of a love triangle toward the end of the book and reading the excerpt of the next one there definitely is. As much as I want to read the next book this is kind of a turn off for me. Honestly, don't Nixon and Trace have enough shit in their lives? They have a hard enough relationship to get through, did the author really need to bring in another guy? I don't get it. This is a New Adult book – is this something that the college aged kids get into? IDK. I've NEVER been a fan of love triangles so if I end up reading book 2 in this series I guess I'll just have to gird my loins. Lol

Overall a really good book. It was well written with never a dull moment. I look forward to reading more from this author.


Rating: 4 out of 5

There's currently a giveaway of Elite here on Tracy's Place.  Go to this post to enter to win. (Open until 7/31/13)


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