Elite (Eagle Elite #1)
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Release Date: 14 April 2014
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.
Oh wow. I've seen this book and this series around, but it sort of bypassed me until a couple of weeks ago. I decided to read the first book and it has totally blown me away. I'm almost happy that I've waited so long because now I have a bunch of books to gorge myself on!
Tracey Rooks is lucky enough to win a nationwide lottery to attend Eagle Elite University, which means she'll be pretty set for life after. Trace is worried about leaving her Grandpa by himself on their farm, but excited for the opportunity. It's fairly clear that she's in a little over her head when she arrives and the students mock her and belittle her. I was so impressed with Trace and her strength and determination. She tries not to let them see her cry and she fights back. I thought Trace was such a perfect main character because she's a normal, down to earth girl and it's very clear that the students at Eagle Elite are not your average college students, so you're right there with her trying to figure it all out.
Nixon is basically head of the Elect- the elite group of students who pretty much run the school. What he says goes. I loved that he's young, but so confident and self-assured, although unfortunately it all comes at a cost. Nixon has to avoid any weaknesses, and his growing feelings for Trace definitely become a vulnerability.
I loved Trace and Nixon together. Even when they're fighting and arguing, there's still that undertow of attraction which drags them toward each other. Nixon tries to push Trace away but somehow she gets under his skin and he can't just ignore her. By the time Nixon and Trace give in to that attraction, I was positively thrilled, As their relationship grew, I thought Nixon was just so sweet with Trace.
I'll admit that after reading reviews of this before picking it up I was worried that the idea of the students being so in control and having so much power would be a little unbelievable, bearing in mind they're all around 18-21 years old. But it's not something I really thought much about, the characters are so convincing that this unrealistic situation seems perfectly believable.
The rest of the characters also play quite important parts in the story and I'm looking forward to seeing their stories further along in the series. The intense and fast moving plot combined with a Romeo and Juliet-esque romance is just addicting. This book has everything you need to keep you absolutely glued to the pages and is a very intriguing start to the series.
Now, excuse me whilst I go read Elect...
*I received a review copy from the publisher, via NetGalley, for my honest review. Thank you!