Elite by Rachel Van Dyken

Posted February 23, 2014 by Kate in Liked It, Review / 0 Comments

Elite by Rachel Van DykenElite by Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Eagle Elite #1
Format: eARC
Published by Hachette-Forever Source: Netgalley
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Thrillers
Buy on Amazon

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.

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So this book has a college setting, only it’s like no college I ever went to, and I’m pretty sure I prefer my college experience than the one the kids in this school have. But hey that’s just me. So the beginning starts out a little rough for me, not as in hard to read because of bad writing or anything, but rather hard to read because it’s hard to see how Trace is treated at her new school. And for the record Trace deserves a medal for not breaking someones nose, if anyone ever did to me what they did to her, I don’t think I would be able to reign myself in enough to not lash out.

I liked Trace, she puts up with far more than I would, but it’s understand and doesn’t read as false. I like that she does have a mouth on her, that she has no problem dishing back whatever is served to her. Granted this always seems to backfire (issues with a drink, eggs, the list goes on). But she does for the most part stand her ground. If I had one complaint about Trace it comes after she was attacked and after said attack she’s like making out with someone, with it being so fresh I don’t think it read as convincing or real.

Nixon as a character both pisses me of to the extreme and then I flip the page and then I like him again. He is clearly playing the politics of the school/life he lives, but still sometimes I think he takes it way to far. You can tell without a doubt that he is stuck in a world that has these jaded rules and he is doing his best to remain both loyal and true to his word as well as do as close to the right thing as he can. Without a doubt he tries to protect the people he cares about, but forces tend to work against him in this respect.

Thankfully, Trace has a couple allies at the school, her roommate Monroe is there for her the moment she meets her. I like Monroe, she is genuinely nice to Trace, but still can’t exactly stand up to her brother, Nixon. My only real notes about Monroe are that I wish she had more depth, but hey this is a series so maybe we will see more depth from her in book two, especially since she was kept from knowing things for he vast majority of the book this go round. Chase is also another good secondary character, he clearly cares for Trace and protects her whenever possible, but a love triangle is clearly in the future for Nixon/Trace/Chase. It will be interesting to see how that plays out because Chase is Nixon’s cousin.

The mob is the backdrop for this book, which does make it hard for ordinary people to kind of relate to some of the situations that these characters find themselves in. But what it lacks in relatability it makes up for with a fast pace and a storyline that pulls you in. The author does a good job of keeping enough mystery in the air about what is going on that you can’t help but want to turn the page a little bit faster. Overall I think the book is a solid opening for the series. I do want to read the second one, so it’s easy for me to recommend this book. If you like books with romance, are a fan of new adult, or just like books with a mafia flare then I think you should definitely give this book a try. It was a good read and an excellent ride with the characters.

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About Rachel Van Dyken

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!

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