Thursday, March 6, 2014

Elect (Eagle Elite #2) by Rachel Van Dyken | Review

Elect (Eagle Elite #2) by Rachel Van Dyken | ReviewElect by Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Eagle Elite #2
Published by Forever on December 10, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 267
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
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3 Stars

Would you die for the one you love?

Nixon Abandonato made his choice. And now he has to pay the price. Tracey is the love of his life, but being with him has made her a target of his family's enemies. The only way to keep Trace alive is convince the world she means nothing to him.

Trace Rooks has fallen irrevocably in love with the son of her family's sworn rival, and she knows in her bones nothing can tear them apart. Until Nix suddenly pushes her away and into the arms of his best friend... But Trace isn't ready to give up on a future with Nix--and if he won't fight for them, she will.

In the end, a sacrifice must be made. A life for a life. For what better way to cover a multitude of sins than with the blood of a sinner . . .

A while back I kind of tore apart the first book in this series, Elite. I really did not have very many good things to say about it. For some reason I decided to give the second book a shot and I’m actually glad I did. While I didn’t love it, it was a definitely improvement over the first book and I enjoyed it.

Trace and Nixon have matured a bit since the end of Elite. I wasn’t impressed with how their relationship was so hot and cold in the first book and that definitely improved with this book. Sure they were still really obsessed with each other but they seemed to know more about being in a relationship this time around. They talked to each other more and they tried to work things out together this time. They didn’t manage to work things out together but at least they tried this time around.

The story was a lot more intense than the first book and I wasn’t sure that was possible. This time things were officially life or death. Nixon and Trace love each other but their relationship is forbidden. How do you fix this? You have your best friend (who just happens to be in love with your girlfriend) pretend to date your girlfriend so that nobody suspects you. Yeah, that seems like a good plan. That’s not the real drama though. The real drama starts when the Sicilians come to town and threaten to take matters into their own hands if the killers of Trace’s parents aren’t found and brought to justice. Seems simple, right? Not so much. It’s up to Trace, Nixon, Chase, and the rest of the ragtag group of teenage mobsters to find out who did it and bring them to justice. Things are definitely intense.

Overall, I still had flaws with Elect but I ended up enjoying it much more than the first book. If you’ve already started this series, definitely continue it.

What others are saying about Elect:
 
The Book Bellas’ review: “This is an action-packed, mafia-themed book with some romance that includes a hint of a classic love triangle.” 
 
The Lusty Literate’s review: “I really enjoyed ELITE and was pleased to find that ELECT successfully continued the Eagle Elite thrill ride with drama and passion to spare.”
 
Dark Faerie Tales’ review: “Elect was very different from its predecessor.”
Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Elite (Eagle Elite #1) by Rachel Van Dyken | Review

Elite (Eagle Elite #1) by Rachel Van Dyken | ReviewElite by Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Eagle Elite #1
Published by Forever on July 9, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 338
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
2 Stars

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.

Elite by Rachel Van Dyken is one of those books that I really don’t even know why I didn’t DNF it. To be honest, I’m not sure why a traditional publisher picked up this originally self-pubbed title. Fair warning: this review might get ranty.

Let’s start with the thing that bothered me most about Elite: the romance. Well, not really the romance but the love interest. Sure Nixon sounds sexy as hell but he’s a total ass! Since when is it okay to treat someone like shit and then say that you were doing it to help them? Oh and by the way, you think you might love them. No. That is not love. Nixon is a grade A asshole and I could not get past how mean he was to Trace. Oh and the secondary love interest, Chase, (because we really need a love triangle) isn’t any better. He helps set her up to look like this huge slut after one of his friends drugs her. Umm, no. So not okay. I thought I’d read about bad love interests before but these two take the cake.

Then there’s Trace. Where do I even begin with her? She figures she can’t win against Nixon and Chase and the rest of the Elect so she decides she might as well make fun of herself and maybe people will think she’s cool. Yeah, that doesn’t really work out for her. As if that’s not bad enough, she is the biggest cry baby I’ve ever had the misfortune of reading about. Every little thing sets her off. And she’s not one of those people who cries in private, she cries in front of everyone. Like that’s really going to make people like her more. Oh and the main source of her crying fits, Nixon, just happens to be the guy that she can’t stop thinking about. Of course.

The story makes no sense. This 20 something year old guy runs the school? Even though he’s not actually in charge of anything, everyone listens to him? Even the principal? How exactly does that work? It’s kind of explained later but it still doesn’t really make complete sense to me. Also, what kind of school lets their kids get away with this kind of bullying? There’s also segregation (for the good of the students) and other stupid crap like that. I don’t know about you guys, but I would leave that school ASAP.

There’s a lot more that I could rant and rave about but I’m going to try to wrap this up. The writing is crappy, the characters are annoying, the story makes no sense, and the romance did nothing for me. I truly wish I could get back the few hours I spent reading this book because it was a complete waste of my time.

Overall, Elite is one book that should have remained self-published. This is one book that I highly recommend you don’t waste your time or money on. Oh and as if one book isn’t bad enough there is going to be at least one more in the series.

What others have to say about Elite:
Tinley Innes’ review: “The best way to summarize this book is this: Twilight with the mafia instead of vampires.”
Confessions of 2 Book Lovers’ review: “This book had me laughing, had my heart racing and even breaking with the events that occurred.”