Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book
Rate this book
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.

322 pages, Kindle Edition

First published April 14, 2013

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Rachel Van Dyken

179 books18k followers
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances.

Hey guys I'm rarely on Goodreads, if you need to reach me feel free to email!
EMAIL ME: rachelvandykenauthor@gmail.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rachel-...

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
8,794 (40%)
4 stars
6,858 (31%)
3 stars
3,768 (17%)
2 stars
1,438 (6%)
1 star
864 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,949 reviews
Profile Image for Jennifer Kyle.
2,379 reviews4,627 followers
July 17, 2013
I really didn’t care or connect to this story at ALL. I finished the book so I can firmly stand by my rating.

This story was a HOT MESS.


The school Elite is completely BIZARE and not in a good way…more like in a completely unbelievable way. The children who attend are the superrich, the fabulously famous and mafia offspring. Our main character, Trace wins a scholarship to attend. She is a farm girl raised since the age of six by her grandparents, and oh yeah she loves COWS.

Nixon is the head of the bully group, the president of the student body and his family owns the school. Nixon graduated but runs his deceased father’s numerous corporations and plays a “Lord of the Flies” kinda shithead at the school along with his three pals…The Elect. They keep order…lunch schedules, elevator passes while physically and emotionally tormenting the students to keep peace. Nixon's henchmen are Phoenix, an ass, and Chase, a sweetheart.

Anyway, farm girl Trace is immediately welcomed by the three otherwise known as The Elite with horrible words and insults. Trace endures hell at this school, she is branded a slut, drugged, bullied, egged, etc., never once does the thought cross her mind to LEAVE!!!

Trace stands up for herself. Nixon and crew treat her like crap. Nixon puts together who Trace is by a necklace which has a name on it. Not from recognizing her grandfather???? Big reveal Her grandfather put her in school so she could find out the truth of who she is (Not from him but from strangers) and to lure bad guys to make a play like bait..WTF?


Anyway, further reveal is . Again…WTF?


I can honestly say that the only character that I liked was Chase. The story just didn’t work for me at ALL and I won’t be returning to Elite.

I’d much rather hang out with the cows! MOO!

*Arc provided by Net Galley via Forever (Grand Central Publishing)*
Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,861 reviews5,644 followers
August 5, 2016
I can't read this book any more... please don't make me. My brain hurts from reading just 24%... hurts so much...

I honestly thought that this was a joke book. A mockumentary if you will. It made no sense from the get go, and the dialogue was something maybe a five year old would write.

I'll give you a brief rundown of the plot before I purge this book from my memory. A country girl (Trace) wins a national lottery to go to an elite private school where celebrities and dignitary kids are enrolled. For some reason that makes absolutely no sense, as soon as she gets to campus she is mocked and greeted with hostility the likes of I have never witnessed in real life.

"We are untouchable. If you as much as sneeze in our direction, if you as much breathe the same air in my atmosphere, I will make our life hell."

Dude. Dramatic much??

The big bad mean boys don't just stop there. Apparently they also have access to Trace's key card to get her into all of the rooms and elevators on campus. They tell her that they are going to limit her food and freedom... just because... (what???). Does Trace get mad or ask them what crawled up their butts? No. She just cowers and pities herself and doesn't even consider getting out of this hellhole! However, of course, the head meanie (Nixon) is also apparently smoking hot and irresistible to our hapless heroine.

His eyes were a crystal blue, like the fires of hell had frozen over and the ice staring back at me was the result of orange flames dying slowly.

What. The. F. I tried to read that sentence three times before I gave up.

His entire face was symmetrically perfect. As if some famous supermodel and actor decided they should create a love child and programmed perfection in a computer.


I don't even want to guess what the book is actually about. I don't care. I just can't believe I read another 20% after that point. I deserve a medal.

**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for Natalie Monroe.
593 reviews3,541 followers
April 15, 2016
Welcome to Ouran High School!

A school for the children of the richest and most influential families in Japan America. One day, a poor scholarship kid contest winner will stumble across the Host Club Elect, a gang of gorgeous, influential and money-laden bastards, who then take her under their wing!

Aft—what? *listens to earpiece* Oh, I'm sorry, I got it wrong. This isn't Ouran High School, it is, in fact, Deimon High, where everything is controlled by a single fearsome man, Hiruma Nixon! School equipment, people...anything you need, you just go right to him.

I—what now? *listens to earpiece again* Sorry, folks, looks like there are some technical difficulties because I clearly heard Deimon High that time. Anyhow, turns out this school is called Ishiyama High, commonly known as the school for delinquents because it's a super freaky place to study in! Near everyone there has a connection to the Underworld in some way and the best fighters run the school. It's like a mafia Ouran High School.

Now, we can—oh for God's sake, what now? *rapid buzzing sounds from earpiece* Alright! Sorry again, people, it's actually Kokuyo Junior High. By some stroke of fate, a wimpy kid finds out he's next in line to be the boss of a very powerful mafia family. He's soon forges connections with members of other mafia families and gets in fights with them too.

There's also a really scary guy who rules the school with an iron, um...weapon.

*static noise from earpiece* That's it, I give up! You talk to them.

Hey guys. Sorry about the confusion, though in my defense, this school sounds exactly like those so you can't really blame me for mixing them up. Anyways...the school is actually named Eagle Elite university which basically takes all those above elements, that work great in the ridiculous, people-can-whip-mallets-from-panties fantastical setting of Japanese manga, and mashes them in a contemporary American university setting. The result is a pile of uneatable goo.

Now, you may remember that I praised Cracked for doing the same thing, utilizing familiar concepts. However, Cracked is an urban fantasy/paranormal so it's entitled to a little reality-bending. Though you can bet that I'll call it out on its bullshit if it tries to pull the anime nosebleed or sweat gland gag on me.

Elite, on the other hand, is a contemporary novel, meaning I expect a certain level of reality within. Although it doesn't contain ghosts or demons, it failed to convince me that this is a college I could very well go to.

There's a gang of teenagers called the Elect and they're like the rulers of this majorly prestigious university. They control the elevators, the cafeteria, the gym...I bet they even control the rotation of the moon.

"Don't even think about it, New Girl. You touch me, I tell the dean, who just so happens to be Phoenix's dad. We control the teachers because, guess what? My dad pays for everything."

"She won a silly contest. The same contest we put on every year so that the poor underprivileged people of the world are able to join the high society"

To be fair, I've never set foot in a American university so I'm not sure if that's how they really operate. Honestly doubt it, but let's not quibble. I do, however, study at the arguably most prestigious university in Hong Kong and I can tell you first-hand that we don't have anything like the Elect there. Everyone was all smiles on Orientation day, like in Monsters University.

Yes, we do have a clique of kids from influential families and they have their own special dorm, but they don't throw their weight around. They just stick to themselves and throw wild parties. Or I assume.

Those problems aside, I wouldn't have enjoyed Elite anyway because it read like the most cliche YA book in the world. Or a Fifty Shades of Grey rip-off. Same thing really.

Exhibit A: the gorgeous bad boy who treats the heroine horribly upon first meeting her, but ends up being the love interest.

"His face lit up with a smile, and honestly, it was like staring at an angel. Nixon was gorgeous. He was an ass, but gorgeous."

"He wore his perfection differently than most guys. The beauty of Nixon was in his imperfection. His crooked smile. The lip ring drew attention to his lips, making them look larger. And then his nose, it looked like it had been broken once, but it was in that tiny crook at the bridge that you saw something fierce in him. And his eyes. His ice blue eyes would warm within an instant when he was amused. His hair would fall across his brow giving him a rough yet vulnerable look."

Come on now. Can you look at that and tell me that doesn't look ripped straight out of a YA paranormal romance?

Nixon, the ravishing hero, is an asshole, end of story. He humiliates the heroine, Trace, in public, sexually harasses her and commands her to eat and sit. Hey there, Christian/Edward/Xavier! Long time no see!

Like Katy Perry sings, he's hot and he's cold! He's yes and he's no! Nixon shoves Trace up against an elevator wall when he feels like it and then leaves her hanging. He breaks up with her too cause it's for her own good. Hmm, where have I heard that before?

Exhibit B: the stupid heroine who falls for the jerk anyway.

I'll get this out of the way first—Trace is an idiot. Not in an endearing way, but in a too-stupid-to-live way. The Elite have been mean to her from day one and when one of them offers her a drink at a party, promising he didn't drug it, she fucking drinks it. Then she goes woozy and the guy carries her off as part of his grand scheme. I'm trying really hard not to victim-blame here, but Jesus-fucking-Christ, grow some brain cells! It's rule one of the Child Commandments: don't fucking take candy from strangers.

Also, rape culture:

RULE #8: Women should always accept and trust the kindness of strangers if they offer help.
That's for the above.

And this:

"I'd like to see someone mug me with him around."

RULE #4: When in trouble, it is best to defer to the protection and judgment of men.
Other than Nixon, Chase, the friend-zoned guy (I'll get to him further along), protects Trace. Cause you know, us girls can't defend ourselves.

I'm not going to go into the implications of rape culture here because this review would be a mile long if I did. Just keep those troubling signs in mind if you plan on reading Elite.

Right, back to our tstl heroine. After all that verbal abuse, getting drugged and egged, she refuses to leave Eagle Elite. I know she wants to make her Paw Paw proud or whatnot, but nothing is worth this. I'm sure her grandfather wouldn't want his beloved granddaughter to take this shit either. There's a big difference between bravery and plain old dumb. If you charge an armed army on your own with only a twig for protection, that's stupid, simple.

Trace is your typical YA blushing-bride heroine, flushing every other minute and becoming breathless.

"Breathe. I just needed to breathe."

"A million different sensations ran through my body in that moment. It was nearly impossible to breathe."

"Was it possible for someone's head to heat up so much, it fell off their body?"

"Shivers ran up and down my arms at his absence.

Nixon released me and immediately, I felt so cold I shivered."

Somebody get the girl a sweater before she catches pneumonia.

Trace acts like this before Nixon 'reforms'. The second he does, she immediately falls into his arms, regardless of the shit he put her through before.

I actually like the bad-boy-with-a-heart-of-gold plotline. But if the guy treated the girl as horribly as he did Trace in the beginning, he has a lot of grovelling to do before I buy his transformation. And the girl needs to have some self-respect.

Since this book rips off so many mangas, I'm going to use to show you exactly how it should've went down. Moe Kare!!, Vol. 01, one of my favorite manga in the world, has a similar premise. It's about a girl, Hikaru, who's torn between two brothers. Extremely cheesy, I know, but that's not the point. One of the brothers, Arata, is very much like Nixon at the start. He's a womanizing bad boy and a complete jerk to Hikaru in the beginning. He steals her first kiss, sabotages Hikaru's relationship with the guy she likes, and insults her. Further in the story, he falls in love with her and wants her to be his girlfriend.

Unlike Trace, Hikaru doesn't fall into Arata's arms straight away. She distrusts him and with good reason, considering how mean he was to her in the past. Faced with this conundrum, Arata doesn't randomly shove Hikaru against an elevator wall and feel her up like Nixon. He takes action to redeem himself in Hikaru's eyes. He wakes up early to cook her meals, he comforts her when she cries, and even watches lame movies with her just cause she likes them. It takes an entire month for Hikaru to reform her initial impression of Arata and become his girlfriend.

FYI, that's longer than Nixon and Trace have known each other.

That is what Nixon should have done and how Trace should have reacted. Not go all weak-kneed like a newborn gazelle. Even Obsidian does a better job with the bad-boy-reformed trope than Elite does.

Trace is a Bella/Anastasia clone too. Remember how Bella loves saying "Holy crow"? Well, looky here:

"Holy superman."

"Holy crap."

"Holy hell."

"Holy football team."

Nice seeing you again, Bells. Now get out of my review space.

Exhibit C: Slut-shaming.

We've been seeing less and less of this in YA books lately, which is great. Yet the first NA book I pick up, I'm hit with this:

"Girls who looked more like my Barbie than a real person openly stared at me"

"If it was anything like the dress she was wearing now, then I was going to be put in prison for prostituting myself."

"Finally, she chose a purple dress with a plunging front and back. Only it was covered with some sheer material so technically it could not be defined as slutty.

I did say technically."

"She was ridiculously beautiful, making my mind immediately transport to every single book I'd read in the past year that warned me against girls who looked like her."

Tell me, Trace, what book did you read? Stereotypes 101? Just because someone's beautiful doesn't mean they like to get drunk and go bar-hopping.

Exhibit D: a half-hearted love triangle for shits and giggles.

"I truly loved Nixon, but Chase...well, Chase had been my best friend for the past few weeks when Nixon was off fighting Phoenix and the evil of his family."

It's your standard love triangle: a choice between the nice guy and dangerous dude. When Edward Nixon breaks Trace's heart, Chase is there to pick up the pieces. Same old, same old.

By the way, one of the awesome things about Moe Kare is that the girl goes with the friend-zoned guy in the end. The one who was there for her after the other shattered her heart. Team Arata, bitches.

Slightly irrelevant Exhibit E: Glamorizing of dangerous boys and dragging Taylor Swift into their shit.

"Fine, it's just, Nixon reminds me of that Taylor Swift song, Trouble? You guys heard it?" I laughed as they all shook their heads. "Yeah, well, if I didn't know any better I'd think Nixon dated her, dumped her and she wrote a song about it."

First, the song name is "I Knew You Were Trouble". Get your fucking facts straight. Second, the song is a warning. She's not telling you to date him. She's telling you run as far away from the guy as you can because you'll end up shamed and alone.

Still don't believe me? In Taylor's album, the track before "I Knew You Were Trouble" is "Treacherous", a song about the attraction of dangerous love.

This slope is treacherous
This path is reckless
This slope is treacherous
And I, I, I like it

Two headlights shine through the sleepless night
And I will get you, and get you alone
Your name has echoed through my mind
And I just think you should, think you should know
That nothing safe is worth the drive and I would
Follow you, follow you home...

I'll follow you, follow you home...

Right after this ballad, we get the dubstep-ridden chords of "I Knew You Were Trouble" with Taylor singing:

I knew you were trouble when you walked in
So shame on me now
Flew me to places I'd never been
'Til you put me down, oh
I knew you were trouble when you walked in
So shame on me now
Flew me to places I'd never been
Now I'm lying on the cold hard ground
Oh, oh, trouble, trouble, trouble
Oh, oh, trouble, trouble, trouble

A coincidence that the numbing consequences of bad decisions described by "I Knew You Were Trouble" comes right after the alluring seduction of risky love in "Treacherous"? I think not. Taylor put the two together for a reason. "I Knew You Were Trouble" is the aftermath of that kind of delusional love, and girls should GTFO before it screws them up. But Trace doesn't and gets her fucking HEA anyway. Way to educate the public.

To conclude, a very disappointing introduction to the New Adult genre. If you know of any good ones, please rec them to me. This genre needs to be redeemed in my eyes.

ARC provided by Netgalley.
Profile Image for Giorgia Reads.
1,010 reviews1,961 followers
December 25, 2020
3 stars

This story made very little sense. There were so many plot holes that I’m surprised I was still able to follow the plot (more or less). Basically this isn’t it if you’re looking to read something that.. makes sense. That being said, I still read every word, and will probably continue to read about other characters from the series because .. I just can't stop myself from trying.
I won’t continue with book 2 which follows the same couple, because honestly their “love” and relationship didn’t really exist and they had no chemistry, connection or even enough romantic interaction.
Profile Image for Jessica ❥Chatterbooks Book Blog❥.
775 reviews2,628 followers
August 16, 2018
This is my first Rachel Van Dyken read, and I know now that I need more of her in my life. For some reason, I thought Elite was some kind of military, political, or law enforcement type romance. I was very wrong lol, and I'm so glad! This was exactly what I needed last night when I picked it up.

Was it realistic? No...not at all.

Is the love triangle necessary? No.

Do I care? Nope!

I had so much fun reading it, and that's really all I wanted. It's super entertaining, well paced, and I enjoyed the writing style. I literally did not put it down until I finished. The only thing remotely negative I have to say is that I wish it had a little more steam, but overall, that's a tiny complaint.

I winged this review, so I apologize if it's not the most cohesive or informative one you've ever read. I wanted to leave something though, because this book has mixed reviews amongst my goodreads friends. Hopefully, it will be helpful to someone in some way.

Rachel Van Dyken definitely has my attention, and I can't wait to read more from her in the future. The Elite series just made it on my series to read in 2018 list. Elect here I come!
Profile Image for Sabrina.
3,243 reviews1,939 followers
September 3, 2020
Get it here:
Amazon US * Amazon UK

3.5 Stars

I stupidly thought that this series was set in a High School, and that's why I always passed over it, but after hearing so many people praise it I just had to read it. And quickly realized that I was wrong and it's set in a very elite College, and that this was not a YA.

This book was honestly unlike any other that I've read, and I loved that it could give me something new to me and unique within the genre that I love. After reading as much as I do and for as long as I have, it's hard to find books that have a completely new plot that I've never heard of before. So if you're looking for something out-there and so crazy that you'll love it, here it is!

The characters were interesting, a little annoying at times, but kept me captivated within their world. From the second I opened the book I had the need to know everything that was going on in this school and why Nixon acted the way he did. I really liked that I got so involved with the story and that it took over my life for my full day.

Overall, I'm seriously kicking myself for not reading reading this book sooner and I am not going to make the same mistake and wait too long to read the rest of the series. I did have a few issues with the heroine and I didn't like her that much, but it didn't make me hate the book. I would definitely recommend this book!
July 25, 2014
3 Elite Stars

"Maybe the world isn't as shiny and fun as you once thought. People are mean. Humanity is a cruel joke, Trace. I'm just trying to prevent them from getting the last laugh."

Let me explain

Every year Eagle Elite College, has a lottery. The winner gets an all expenses paid education at the college, this year the winner is, Trace Rooks. This is her opportunity to make her grandparents proud, by going to Eagle Elite College she'll be set for life, she'll get the best job with the best salary. She's pretty excited until she gets to the school and is immediately knocked down a peg by a "group" called the Elite. They basically run the school, Nixon is the leader and what he says goes. If she doesn't conform, she suffers.

There are rules to follow:
1. Do not touch The Elect.
2. Do not look at The Elect.
3. Do not speak to The Elect.

*rolls eyes*

What did I think of this book?

If you know me well, you'll know that I love outrageous plots with equally outrageous characters. Elite by Rachel Van Dyken only had one of these coveted points, I could have given this book five stars, I really would have. Why didn't I? Elite, had an unbelievable plot, that does not bother me. I found it all quite exciting. At first I wasn't really impressed with the characters, but hey I had time so I read on. And everything was going all hunky dory, until I realised it wasn't happening, I didn't like Trace or Nixon.

Nixon, was aloof and cold, and Trace... Trace was just dumb. There I said it, I'm fine and it's over. I can't begin to tell you at what point did Trace and Nixon decide they had feelings for each other. There was no build up, all of a sudden they were reciting sonnets (okay not sonnets) to each other and I was like WTF. Nixon's assholish behavior was far from cute and the fact that Trace never put up a fight was disappointing.

And then there was the Taylor Swift reference. The worst thing you could do in a book is mention an actual celebrity and then have said celebrity have a fictional relationship with a fictional character. I mean COME ON! Taylor Swift wrote Trouble because of Nixon. Look I no it's a book, but please go fly a flippin' kite!

I did like some parts of this book, I have this embarrassing thing I do. I love watching high school drama's with clicks and the awkward nerdy girl falling for the hot jock. So I was definitely entertained in the aspect although it wasn't exactly like that. Chase, is a side character that I loved, although I don't think he should be with Trace. I probably like him more than I do, Nixon.

This book lacked structure. Things just happened randomly and then they were over, and I was like HUH? I liked it when Nixon beat people up, I enjoyed it when they had to run from people shooting at them. I loved the excitement and supposed danger. I'm not sure why I'm giving this a three but I need to read the next book because I really need to know what happens next!

I couldn't figure him out.
I don't think he even had himself figured out.
He was like a giant puzzle with broken and missing pieces.
And as much as I new I would regret it...I was on a hunt, for the missing and damaged ones. Every. Last. One.

Profile Image for ✝✝ Ⓓaisy ❣ ✝✝ .
493 reviews272 followers
November 21, 2013

This book

 photo 850943.jpg

" So, I am going to be a prisoner in my grandfather's home?"
"Of course not, You're going to be a prisoner in mine"

I absolutely loved it!!!!!! Elite is full of action, love story like Romeo and Juliet with Godfather situation!

Tracey grew up with her grandparents after her parents were killed when she was 6. She grew up in a ranch. And one fine day, she wins a scholarship to study at Eagle Elite after her grandmother motivated her and stating that it was time she knew who is she....

 photo FionaShameless.jpg

Enters Elite boys, Nixon, the gorgeous president with tattoos and a lip ring (I so wanted to bite that lip ring each time he does bite it). Nixon and Chase def took my heart away as they entered in the scene!


 photo 8742ae21c50f691a17e14301e94be704.jpg


 photo jordan_zpsbf7db443.jpg

Wat she didn't know how these two boys will became a part of life until she can't imagine her life with them? Best part, Nixon was never nice to her at all, he was really mean and cocky!!! Ooo I love those kind!!! <3

Will Nixon and Tracey fight their fear? What was that Tracey's grandmother wanted her to learn about herself!!!

"Don't you every apologise for being beautiful - for being perfect. You are... exquisite"

 photo tumblr_mmp7hzalsT1s07nu0o1_500.gif


 photo gangster-squad.gif

And for once, there was no pregnant girl with an excuse "Ooo I forgot that the bloody pill or shot"

RACHEL VAN DYKEN, YOU WERE BRILLIANT!!! Gonna dive into Elect now, wohooooooo

 photo tumblr_m8o1e3qKqd1ql5yr7o1_500.gif
Profile Image for Jacqueline's Reads.
2,772 reviews1,473 followers
January 21, 2014
5 Stars


I had no idea what Elite was about, I just knew it was a Dyken book and figured, light and fuffy? Well, it was so MUCH MORE!

It was adorable

It was intriguing

It was gripping

It was action pack

It was intense!


Tracey got a scholarship into a very prestigious college. It’s not your typical college, they wear uniforms, there’s a class system with key cards and cliques. I actually just watched a Korean Drama that had a similar story line and I loved it, so Elite was a home-run for me too.

Since Tracey is on scholarship, she’s kind of the odd duck out. Nixon is the head man on campus, everyone respects him and he kind of rules the school. For some reason, Nixon gives Tracy a hard time and she doesn’t know why.

How adorable is the story line? Damsel in distress, Hero picking on the Heroine and Heroine just going through the emotions… yes please! I simply devour plots like these. The book was good from start to finish. The beginning was hilarious! Nixon did pretty mean things to Tracy and the things that were done to Tracy were just down right horrible, but in a funny good way. Who doesn’t want to read about a mob throwing eggs at the Heroine?

Of course there’s a reason for everything and when you find out, the book only becomes more entertaining. Plot twist like these hold a place in my heart, I really do enjoy them. To me it’s like stepping into another world and I can just become a part of it. Let’s just say, Nixon is very mysterious and dangerous.

I was never bored, I was never frustrated and I was entrained throughout. You want to know if there is a love triangle? Kind of… not really. There’s always the Hero’s best friend right? Chase is in the picture, but it’s really a small glimmer (something I can handle).

Is there a cliffy? Not really, closed one. Will I go to book 2? HECK YEAH!

I even love the cover, although it didn’t really tie in with the story, but the models were much better than the original.

The down side of the book… realistic? No. Do I care? Hell no! Give me fantasy, thank you very much!

It’s a great book and Dyken is amaze balls.

An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Ivie dan Glokta.
311 reviews206 followers
June 14, 2013
By chapter two i knew i would hate this book, by chapter five i wanted to throw my reader against the wall.

This story was so over the top it might as well been pulled out the authors ass then written.

This is a revised version of my original review. I just had to come back to it, it was bugging me THAT MUCH.

My original review was a rant of just a few key points of the novel that I had issues with. But now a few days and conversations later I am ready to properly explain why I hated this book so much.

I would usually start at the beginning and work my way on but there is one paragraph that I would like to quote.

“Chase shrugged. “He’s not just in charge of the key cards, he’s student body president. He makes sure that access is limited for each student. Take for example, a kid from North Korea going to school here. You think they’re going to get along with a South Korean? Or better yet, some ritzy American kid?”
“Um… no?”
Everyone laughed.
Phoenix shook his head. “That’s a hell no, New Girl.”

Well done van Dyken...
Now for those of you that haven't yet read this book this paragraph refers to Nixon, our leading man in the novel. He is a student that is student body president and somehow manages to teach a class as well. That is nothing to get worked up about, but however the fact that he is in charge of all of the administration, gets to decide who lives where, who eats when and how much is. Another example : “He reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue key card and dangled it in front of me. “Say thank you.”
“For what?” I would not cry. I would not cry!
“Allowing you to eat, of course.”
“I’m not finished talking,” he said smoothly. “This key card gains you access into the elevator only once a week. It also gains you access into the cafeteria, twice a day. Not three times. We don’t want you gaining weight. Use it wisely and if you impress me with your ability to follow directions. I may just up your freedom. Until then…” He shrugged and cleared his throat. “Move aside.”

I shall return to Nixon shortly right after the Korea disaster. Now this is a school right? And in this school you might find children that are the sons and daughters of diplomats and politicians but that is just it. They are, and to quote van Dyken herself -KIDS!!!! Van Dyken angled to prove just how exclusive this place is by adding bits of real life to it, with absolutely no research what so ever. But just in case I wasn't overreacting because of fictional characters I decided to ask for the opinion of my very real, very South Korean colleague. After the initial 'the b*tch said what?' look, she greeted that particular nugget with two middle fingers raised and a bunch of profanities I chose not to repeat. Long story short, that paragraph made as much sense as saying you can't have a Catholic in the same room as a Muslim. I bet she got the idea watching the evening news one night when North Korea was mentioned. The author wanted to imprint the exclusivity and the importance of her characters but had not thought of how to achieve it that she shot off the first thing that came to mind, and not even bothering to think on how little sense it all made. If she did, she would realise just how unbelievable ranting about some random kid making school cafeteria seating schedule for the benefit of all mankind and world peace really is, or how offensive it would be to label people based on their nationalities alone. That last one by the way......is a big NO-NO.

Now the rest of it...Jesus, where even to begin?

Lets just stick to Trace and Nixon.

Trace, as the author wants us to believe is an innocent as flowers little farm girl. So innocent that she refers to hair curlers as “weird rod thingy”. I would even believe it if she wouldn't refer to the guys in the next chapter as GQ models or “having nothing on Tommy Hilfiger”. So she knows about models and fashion, but has never heard of hair curlers? Right, another believable and thought- trough moment there. Secondly she gets nothing but abuse but she never has any real emotions involved. Her emotional response is about a sentence long. She gets drugged with a date rape drug and dumped in some random guys bed and she just gets up and gets on with her day? Huh?

That is not cool. That is not how any woman on this planet would feel and most certainly that is NOT OK! She is not a naïve little farm girl-she is a moron.

Nixon is the biggest fail in this book. With him the author went for all or nothing and would up with a smelly carcass achieved by an overkill of her vivid imagination. He looks and acts like a GOD, he speaks ten languages, he is single-handedly responsible for the peace between the kids in school therefore in the world by his very politically correct lunch seating arranging skills. He is student body president and a teacher. I mean Superman move the phuck over, we got Nixon in the house.His real traits however are as sad as can be. He is self obsessed and an abusive asshole.

This book is a disaster. The author gave it an honest try but failed in every aspect that counts. She did no research whatsoever and it shows. If it's not a cliché upon a cliché then its absolute and utter nonsense. The conversation between the characters was so immature, the alleged humor was so childish and forced it was like reading a kid's first attempt at writing an essay. Why did i still go trough it? Let's just say that this particular novel was like a bizarre accident, you know what your eyes are seeing is horrific but you just cannot seem to be able to look away.

There are more things about this book that just don't add up but it's just not worth the mentioning. Suffice to say that the sheer amount of idiocies in these pages are enough to make the experience of reading them painful. They flow trough your mind like salted sandpaper on a burn.

Congrats van Dyken, you just made to the top of my I won't read that sh*t list.

What a waste of money this was. I could have had my fave coffee at Starbucks instead.... damn
Profile Image for Lindsay.
2,198 reviews503 followers
April 30, 2013
OMG! This book was

I can't even begin to describe how much I loved it!

I saw this book a few weeks ago on Amazon and fell in love with the cover. Then I read the description. I was hooked. I was dying to read it. But…I couldn’t. I had a plan…a book plan. I had it planned out (through buddy reads) what I was going to read. So I put this off. But it wasn’t far from my mind. I thought about it daily. Then, I finished a book that was mentally exhausting. I could feel a book funk coming on. As I was flipping through the pages of books on my kindle, I saw “Elite by Rachel Van Dyken” and decided to give it a try. From the first word, I was hooked.

Lol. I didn’t know whether I was supposed to love or hate Nixon and Chase when they were first introduced. I hated them for how they treated Trace but I was also intrigued. They made the book so much fun! (And it doesn’t hurt that they’re both hotties! ;) ) I honestly didn’t know who I liked more. And just when I thought I had it figured out, things would change on me.

I felt so bad for Trace. She was treated horribly by the other students at the school. I did like Monroe, she was a good friend. But part of me wishes we saw more of her. Poor Trace, she was completely in the dark. Everyone was keeping secrets from her. But I enjoyed her as a heroine.

This book had me laughing, had my heart racing and even breaking with the events that occurred. I couldn’t think of a better book to read. This was perfect. I have to say, the author did an amazing job. I can’t wait for more books from this series and I’ll be buying up all her existing books as soon as this review is posted. She has a new fan and she is a new auto-buy author for me.

If I could, I would give this book more than 5 stars. One last thought: If you haven’t read this yet, go read it. It’s a great book that will keep you hooked.

My Nixon:

My Chase:

My reviews can also be found on Confessions of 2 Book Lovers.
Profile Image for Shannon.
386 reviews142 followers
August 20, 2017
This. Was. Awesome. Picked it up around 9pm last night, didn't put it down or go to sleep until I finished. I couldn't! The heroine might be a bit of an airhead at times but other than that, this is addictive, intense, angsty and has so much goodness to suck you in.

I need to start Elect NOW! Thankfully I already have a copy on my shelf. I feel like this is going to be a serious, series binge read.
Profile Image for ☆ Sammy ☆彡.
266 reviews215 followers
October 20, 2014
Elite was my first novel by Rachel Van Dyken. Having heard so many wonderful things about her Ruin series and being intrigued by the blurb, I decided to jump into this book relatively blind. As a whole, I really enjoyed the story but unfortunately there were aspects of this book that left me with mixed feelings.

What I Liked:

I had a hard time putting this book down =) The plot kept me engaged and I was really intrigued by all the mystery surrounding the university and its students. I wanted to know what was really going on with the school and why the students, especially Nixon, were so secretive and acted so horribly to Trace.

Trace is a character that I had an easy time relating too. Like her, I would have been intimidated moving from a small farm in Wyoming and starting college at an elite, ivy league school like Eagle Elite University. I really respected Tracey's strength of character. I mean, the snobs at the university treated her like garbage and did everything in their power to make Trace believe that she didn't belong but she wouldn't let them break her. She stayed focused on school, refused to be pushed around, and even responded to everyone's hostility with witty comebacks and sarcasm.

What I Struggled With:

When all the answers to my questions were finally revealed, I was little disappointed. Nixon's reasoning never justified his behavior and I still don't completely understand why he had to be such an asshole to Trace.

This brings me to the next aspect of the story that I struggled with: Nixon's character. Don't get me wrong, I love my fair share of literary bad boys but I almost found Nixon's behavior non-redeemable. My feelings for him might have been different had his justification made more sense to me.

The last thing that I had an issue with involved the story's structure. The way everything was revealed in the end, combined with all of the action, I felt like the ending was a bit rushed. If all the secrets had came out a little earlier in the story, it would have given me more time to digest the information and would have decreased the level of frustration I felt throughout most of the book.

Final Thoughts:

Elite by Rachel Van Dyken was definitely a page turner for me. I was hooked by the intrigue, the secrets, a strong heroine, and forbidden romance between Trace and Nixon. I will be continuing the series because, even though I had some mixed feelings, I was still thinking about this book and these characters days after I finished reading and I really want to see how everything works out in the end.

ARC courtesy of the publisher, Forever (Grand Central Publishing), via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Rooks.
160 reviews
June 4, 2013
Ok, here's the thing - this book was candy. Moderately tasty candy, more than a little improbable candy, but you know, sometimes you just want candy. I feel like it's more of a 2.5 - while the plotting pushes me towards a 2, the fact that I read it in one sitting pushes me towards a 3. After typing everything out, I'm giving it the 2, mostly because if someone walked up to me and asked me what I thought of this book, I would say, "It was ok." Those are the exact words that would leave my lips. It was rather readable, but many caveats, etc.

Like what, you ask? OK!

The initial premise of Elite is basically a wholesale ripoff of Boys Over Flowers (a manga/tv show from Japan/South Korea). It doesn't stay straight unoriginal, BUT STILL.*

nerd rage
It just bothers me, ok?

Right, so like I was saying, Elite begins as a BoF knockoff, but instead of an elite (heh) high school cum college, it's just a college. (An American college where they make you wear uniforms to class? Okaaaaaaaay.) Many of the initial plot points are near carbon copies - the main heroine winning the proverbial (or in this case, literal) lottery and becoming the token outsider kid in a world of richy-rich douchebaggery all for the sake of the untold opportunity said college provides, her getting hazed via egging and thereby having her one super-fancy uniform ruined, the initial acrimonious run-ins with a clique of four super hot dudes born to immense privilege wherein the hottest one is both the leader and the biggest asshole of them all (at first), the bonding with the super-nice model (or hot enough to be a model) lady affiliated with that clique, blahblahblah. It's westernized and eventually mobbed up, but yeah, it's the same.

This, but with Sicilian-Americans.

That mobbed up bit is where it gets interesting, and also problematic. I'm honestly not sure why it took Trace so long to figure out the mob thing. Seriously. Despite the fact that she seems reasonably intelligent, I wanted to buy this girl a clue on more than one occasion. (Since this book is actually on a goodreads list for mob stories, I don't consider this a spoiler.) Also, when prompted, Trace can find her spine, but (full disclosure) I tend to prefer protagonists who can be even modestly badass without being pushed to it.

I really don't believe you, like at all.

Also, there are things that sort of don't make sense, like who is pissed at who is sort of evident, but the rationale behind the obvious why is a bit of a headscratcher, which is a problem because all of this Cosa Nostra drama is informing the actions of the characters in ways that also sometimes don't make sense. Taking this a step further, in the context of the main character being a bit milquetoasty, then, the end makes sense. Sort of. In the context of this being a mob book, the end REALLY DOES NOT MAKE SENSE. NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT. The cliffhanger ending has an incredibly simple solution, but in order for it to actually be a cliffhanger, it looks like no one's gonna go ahead and handle their business accordingly. (Sorry to be all oblique, but I'm trying to keep it entirely spoiler free.) As I was reading this book, I couldn't help but think, "Umm, Michael Corleone would SCHOOL THESE BITCHES." Because he would. He really, really would. For realsies.

I'm sorry, what was I saying?

And yes, of course I was more than a little annoyed by the whole "girls need rescuing" thing at the end. (Actual Quote: "Stupid girls. We always need rescuing.") I think it was supposed to be cute or something, but c'mon now.

Props for being explicit with it, I guess?

What else is there to say?** Shit is bothersome. Finis.

But no, not finis, because I can't finish talking about this - and this is a way longer review than I intended - without discussion of the love "triangle". SIGH.

Upon discovering most love triangles.

Why the scare quotes? Because it is SO. DAMN. FORCED. I know love triangles are the thing to do, or whatever, but I feel like Trace and Nixon have enough interesting potential problems (like the fact that dude's name is Nixon - can you imagine yelling that out in bed?) with their relationship and with the world at large to not need a monkey wrench that even the author describes as a poor man's version of the male Lurv Interest. We all already know who The One is, so let's not kid ourselves. If I never read another love triangle simply for the sake of having a love triangle, it will be too soon.

After reading most love triangles.

But yeah, other than all of that, candy-ish? I guess? I'll probably read the next one if I stumble across it, and it was interesting enough for me to check out some of this author's other work - she writes a good make out scene - but not enough to make my autoyes list by any means.

*At this juncture, you may be asking yourself, what the hell kind of random, grown-up USAmerican would randomly know enough about a teenage Korean TV show that aired for three months four years ago to know that this book is copying off of that show's test page? And so I answer, someone who watches A LOT of Netflix and then follows her late night viewing down the rabbit hole of the Internet via the gateway drug that is Wikipedia. Seriously, go watch the first episode on Netflix - never fear, it's subtitled - and tell me the premise is not the same; this review will be here when you get back.
sherlock research
There's always time for research!

**Patriarchy, etc.
Profile Image for NiCoLeTa E. {Addicted To Books}.
1,349 reviews85 followers
February 21, 2018
This book was surprisingly good...

I was hooked from the first moment...

Yeah! It was a little bit confusing in the beginning but that confusion had its charming!!!

And most of all i was confused from the way that this college was working and more of all i was confused and irritated from the people attitudes... especially the attitude of the Elects...
Oh, God!!! They were such assholes, but gorgeous assholes!!!

But let me take the things from the beginning....

Trace won a scholarship in the "Eagle elite", and that was such an honor because in that college they went only powerfull people and she was just a farm girl who was leaving with her grandfather....
But when she arrived in the school, nothing was as it should be.
The first people that she met were calling themselves the Elect and they were having an awful attitude toward her... They even warned her with some awful rules about them...
Have they lost their minds??? Who did they thing they were???
As she will discover later they were the elite of the school and they were ruling the body student...
Everything they were saying was a rule and Trace tried to resist them!!!

Such assholes!!! Such gorgeous assholes, because they were all of them perfectly made from the God!!!

That was my reaction and Trace's also!!! How was even possible they can act like that???
And not only that but they could control everything.... The elevators, the food... Everything!!
And all the other students seemed oddly hostile toward her, but the good thing was that they stay away from her...

The only thing that saved her day was her lovely roommate, Monroe. But for a twist of luck, she was the sister of the chief asshole, Nixon!!!
The most powerfull and handsome man in this school...
And the worst of them all!!!The most dangerous of them all!!!
Why??? Because he was the one that scared the hell out of her and at the same time he was the one that she was drown to...

As for the rules???? She didn't follow them and she paid the prize...
Nixon insisted to stick by them but she couldn't accept them...
He was insist that these rules will protect her, but she didn't believe him...
So, he left her alone to prove his point and everybody turned against her...
Oh, god!! It was awful!!! All the students turned to a bunch of bullies and the only victim was Trace.

I felt so pity for her that moment... Her fear and her embarassment made my heart ache...
And for all that awful things, in her mind she accused Nixon...
Him and his Elect who acted like they were step out from a mafia movie...
Where they???

But Nixon wasn't who she think he was, and neither she...
She was more than she thought she were and she was having every right to be there...
Her past were hidden so good and the secrets that they've been kept from her was too many and too powerfull...
The evil lurked in the dark and what will happen when everybody discover her true identity????

I know!!! You think that all of the above was clear, but believe me when i'm saying that in the 65% of the book i was full of questions and my mind was a minute away to become crazy!!!
Who were those guys??? And why were acting like that???
Why Nixon was above them all???
Why Nixon didn't want to touch him, but he was touching her???
What her grandfather was hiding???
Why she couldn't remember a thing before the age of the six???
And what was that glimpses that she was having from time to time????
How she knew a language that she never learn????

And much, much more questions that drove me nuts!!!

Yeah, these assholes were cruel and dominating, but we discovered that they were having a softer spot and then they became more playfull and sooo... charming that you couldn't resist them!!!
Especially to Nixon and Chase....
But Phoenix, that son of a bitch, i wanted to kill them!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!

I can't wait to find out what will happen in the next books...
I'm so anxious to learn everything for everybody!!!
I liked these assholes so much!!!! Especially Nixon....
(He has a lip ring and he is cover with tattoos!!! So S.E.X.Y.!!!)
415 reviews127 followers
October 29, 2013

Ok, where do I start?
This book turned out not I was expecting at all and not in a good way!
I do love when an author tries to think outside the box and gives us a fresh take in what could have been the same old formula.

So Trace won a scholarship for the most exclusive college in the world, the college where the kids from the most influential and powerful people in the world go to aka Eagle Elite College.
So to Trace, a farm girl, to win the scholarship, it was like to win the lottery...

Only to discovered a new world, where the Elects rule the all school and you must follow their biding or suffer the consequences...

Now what did bother me in this story?
Many things actually!

First one, almost half all the book I had this deja vu feeling...there were LOADS of similarities between this story and Korean drama I watches years ago, Boys Before Flowers, that was based on the japanese manga Hana Yori Dango.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

I felt that Elite was like an american version of it, the 4 gorgeous and handsome Elect that rule the college, rang a bell form my old friends F4.
The wining a scholarship, the bullying, to the leader falling in love with the poor girl...and of course rescuing her from all the other students trowing her eggs and so on.

Then why, if i did enjoyed the drama I didn't liked it in this story?
Well, basically because regarding a drama (especially one based in a manga) we have to expect some over the top scenes or story lines or even ridiculous ones. To read it in a new adult story, not so much!


What did bother me, was that this was a college setting, ages 18 to over...and it appeared like some High School for me. And still wearing uniforms, really?

Now, he are introduce to a whole Mafia story line.
Nixon is the ultimate Boss and also the leader of the Elect. So basically he runs the school...Am I to believe that someone that have to run all the business in the familia is wasting time at college to rule the school? I do get it was in his plan to undercover some truths but still...

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

I didn't connected with the characters and I didn't felt most of the romance. Plus the whole revelation I loved you since I was 9 years old, not realistic :( Close friends or someone you would always trust? Sure! But the love of your life,hmmmmm....
The more I think about this story, the more frustrated I get...There were some scenes that I enjoyed but when I expected to get better it didn't.
To sum it up, in my opinion, this story was just all over the place...and it was just infuriating that nearly by the end of the story, trowing a love triangle like that, REALLY? REALLY?

Anyway, this was just not the book for me :(

***egalley kindly provided via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review ***
Profile Image for Wendys Wycked Words.
1,557 reviews3,815 followers
May 2, 2019
I had read some books in this series already, but for some reason, I skipped the first books. I am known to read the books in series assbackwards, so I am not surprised. I figured it was time to fix it though...especially since I have started the new spin-0ff.

I didn't enjoy it as much as the later books in the series I have to say. I think the biggest reason for this is the fact that I really did not like Trace... sorry not sorry.

She was not my type of heroine. The constant crying and the ignorance. I also don't like it when a woman is reduced to nothing but a body. Like they can't think straight anymore because their bodies are so drawn to the anti hero. They keep going on and on about how their bodies are betraying them.... really starting to annoy me.

Thankfully I did like all the other characters in this book, especially Chance, but I have already read his story (which I loved btw).

Now I want to read about Phoenix, he was quite the villain in this one and I want to see if he can redeem himself in my eyes. Since I am not a big Trace fan, I think this shouldn't be hard...also I love me a cruel asshole :P
Profile Image for Snow.
2,213 reviews651 followers
October 9, 2016

3.5 stars!

I ve read Rachel Van Dyken's books a long times ago and i liked them.
A lot.

I needed a bit of a distraction, so honestly this was collecting dust on my Kindle for ages and this might sound stupid but it was actually the first thing i clicked on in the dark while wanted to read a bit in bed.

Fuck it, call it a sign.

A destiny, who cares...*shrugs* lol

The mission was accomplished, i had fun reading this...

It wasn't perfect, in fact i had a feeling i was reading a remake of Twilight saga set in mafia world and i had a blast, while not dwelling too much about the "little things" it did its purpose.

I was entertained.

So, will i read the next book?
Well, duh?

Cause you know, i have to see if Edward *cough* pardon me, i mean Nixon will manage to protect/save his Bella, *cough again* shit, i mean Trace from the upcoming doom, the pending war against Sicilian royal vamps, *chokes on cough*, blime me, i mean Sicilian mafia!!! Mafia!!!

*wink wink*

P.s. oh yeah, i forgot about the third party, a very likely love triangle...with that wolf guy Jacob, ooops...i mean Chase. ...the mobsta cousin...and my fave character in this book ;)

Profile Image for Rose.
1,872 reviews1,055 followers
September 1, 2013
How do I write a reaction to Rachel Van Dyken's "Elite"? I guess on one hand, you could say this was trying to be a humorous, thrilling romantic read in the scheme of New Adult, but it rubbed me the wrong way for the utter implausibilities in the storyline. I had a hard time getting through much of it because it seemed like a poorly written version of the YA series "Private" by Kate Brian, or even a poorer version of the anime/manga series Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers). And then it transitioned to something more that I couldn't follow for the utter over the top drama it held.

The story revolves around Trace, a young woman who moved from Wyoming to attend an elite college after winning some kind of draw/contest (don't ask me - it was in the book, it was a weird place to start from). As the new girl (or "Farm Girl" as she's called), she's subjected to so many hazing rituals on the part of the Elite, who pretty much rule every aspect of the school including holding key cards which control how much the heroine has to eat and live off of in the facilities of the school. She gets drawn between the affections of the guys who are supposedly the "king bees" of this institution and are among the privileged few. I had a really hard time believing these students had so much control over the teachers and access to things around this institution. It drove me a little stir crazy as I read through it because I couldn't suspend disbelief at the establishment being what it was.

The heroine gets subjected to not only being drugged and made to think she slept with one of the Elect (and gets called names and petty labels for the insinuation), but also becomes the butt of several sexually harassing gestures and creepy come-ons that made me cringe as I read through the work. And the heroine has some kind of weird association with cows that was repeated over and over in a way that wasn't endearing at all.

And the larger conflict? I had to shake my head at the convoluted associations it made with mob mentalities and murder and just...I couldn't. I just couldn't.

But apart from that, this is pretty much your typical New Adult novel for cliches - uber jerk love interest, heroine who pines for hero despite him being a jerk, female-female hating, slut-shaming, bitch-slamming...wash, rinse, repeat. Argh. And this was one of those books I really hoped would be different.

I can't say I have a handle on Rachel Van Dyken's style of writing yet (Her prose in itself is compulsively readable - I finished this fairly quickly for time, but it contained a lot of grammatical errors for tenses, comma use, among other measures - more than it should've had even for a galley), but it's probably better I stop with this respective series because I had too many issues with it. It was not fun in the least.

Overall score: 0.5/5 stars

Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Forever.
Profile Image for Deborah.
3,352 reviews434 followers
August 20, 2018

I was hooked early on but it all became too much for me.

This has got to be the craziest most OTT book I’ve ever read. It’s totally bizarre with more holes than Swiss cheese.

Nixon being cruel apparently for the sake of it. Tracey crying her way through everything. That girl really needs to buy shares in Kleenex.

Ultimately it came down to children playing at being mafia and it drove me crazy.

Okay maybe I’m being harsh. A lot of people love this book and if you’re one of them we’ll agree to disagree.

351 reviews13 followers
April 17, 2013
“—Nope. You’ve already broken a rule. I’m speaking, New Girl.” Chase smirked. “Geez, Nixon, this one’s going to be hard to break in.”
“They always are,” Nixon replied, lifting my chin with his hand. “But I think I’ll enjoy this one.”


What did I just read.

That book was not what I expected at all.

This book was engaging, terrifying, suspenseful, romantic, utterly depressing and heart-wrenching all at the same time. It feels like my heart got handed to me on a platter… I need the next book NOW. Hopefully "cross fingers" it comes out soon.

This book follows the story of a girl who wins a competition and gains acceptance in one of the country's most prestigious schools… this sounds familiar to all you YA followers right ? Think this book will be like Gossip Girl ? Hell no. In this book it is not the girls who rule the school, but the boys, and let me tell you the boys can be just as vicious and cruel as the girls. Here the school is led by a group called the "Elect", and the one who rules them all is a dark haired, tall, utterly gorgeous, wonderful and cruel male specimen called Nixon.

Here the rules are clear:

1. Do not touch The Elect.

2. Do not look at The Elect.

3. Do not speak to The Elect.

But of course, what good story would this be if the girl followed all these rules and became a nobody. No of course Trace rebelled against the rules and got everyone, including Nixon, to notice her… popularity is not always a good thing. Nixon rules the school, yet Trace can not seem to figure out why. But somethings are best kept secret and in amidst a coming of age story, something dangerous is lurking in the shadows, in this case the dark secret Nixon is holding may be the key in unravelling it all.

Nixon smelled like hot guy. Seriously, they should bottle him up and put him in stores. He’d make millions, not that he needed it.

Now I will tell you right now, this book really did truly surprise me. In a good way. I was expecting a typical new adult drama, but was given something entirely different and shockingly quite sinister. The secret he holds should have been expected and it made sense with a lot of the signs pointing to it, but even when it was revealed I still had my "Oh no he didn't just say that" face on. I mean let me say Dyken is very clever in the whole "you think you know what the secret is, but you really don't" game.

The were my initial thoughts:
"What the."
"No Way"
"But he… But that"
"Oh yeah, that makes sense."
"Knew it."
"Saw that coming a mile away. " :)

Nixon’s smile was sad. “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.”

I won't lie the secret made me even more excited to read the book. What can I say I love dangerous, possessive, crazy lead males.
Her naivety at points made me want to scream at her I won't lie, but I loved Trace's guts. And did I mention Chase another seriously attractive, funny lead male… wish my uni was crowded with boys as hot as these. (maybe not characteristically, but in looks only)

Skittles?” I repeated.
“He wants you to taste the rainbow.” Nixon groaned. “It's one of his lines, and then he puts the skittles in his mouth and kisses you. It’s a very tired line that he can’t seem to let go of, huh, Chase?”
“Bastard,” Chase joked and went about putting our snacks together.

Nixon didn’t kiss as if it was something to pass the time. He kissed as if there was nothing in the world he’d rather be doing. He kissed like I was his oxygen, and I knew in that moment there was no way I was ever letting him go for the second time.

DEFINITE RECOMMEND to those who love dangerous, action, thriller, suspenseful, romantic type novels. Not for those who want "realistic" type drama. But who really wants that kind of drama half the time anyway. (Word.) 4.5/5!!
Profile Image for *.Amaia.* BlackMagicRose.
314 reviews72 followers
July 18, 2013

**ARC courtesy of Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

3,5 find-out-who-you-really-are STARS!!


If you have read the synopsis of this book you already know how cryptic this story is... and well, you won't really find out what's really going on completely until almost the end of the book.


Because this is only the first book of the series Eagle Elite and it's all about solving the mystery while you read :)

So I'm not gonna go into too much detail and describe the plot, just introduce the story.


Those are the rules Trace needs to follow if she wants to survive and graduate in one of the most elitist schools in Chicago. She was raised in a farm and thanks to a lottery she has a opportunity to change her future. But who is the Elect?

Nixon, a handsome mysterious boy, threatens to make Trace's life hell if she doesn't follow those rules and treats him like the "king" the rest of the students consider him. But he claims that what he actually means is to protect her...


Trace has to suffer really horrible things while she tries to adapt... but what neither she or Nixon expect is what fate has in store for them.
Unexpected secrets will be revealed and romance will be present.



I really enjoyed reading this book, it was an easy read and it kept me hooked at all times. Characters were good and though both those and the story were a total mystery, I really liked how little by little I got to discover what was going on. I also like the fact that this is a series and many questions are still to be answered in the next books.
The "secret" was a surprise, I didn't really expect anything like that when I started reading the book, but everything was pretty well linked. Still, I found some of the happenings a little bit surreal... probably because I'm not used to reading books with that topic and don't enjoy them as much as a regular YA.

Anyways, I'm sure the story will get a lot better in the next book, I expect a lot more romance, angst and steamy moments ;) especially now that I think :P
Profile Image for Susana.
988 reviews243 followers
September 9, 2014
Arc provided by Netgalley

DNF at 5%

Yes, 5%..because with only five percent read, there was:
_Clumsy narration, if Trace is such a genius i was expecting something more fluent than this:

The buildings were huge. Everything was built in old stone and brick. I mean, I’d seen pictures, but they did not even come close to reality. The dorms looked like ritzy hotels.

_Overabuse of cheesiness....

I gave grandpa a watery smile as he reached across the console and grasped my hand within his large worn one. He’d sacrificed everything for me, so I was going to do this for him, for grandma. It may sound silly but being an only child I felt this immense need to take care of him now that grandma was gone, and the only way I could see myself doing that was getting a good job and making him proud. I wasn’t sure about his retirement, or about anything, and I wanted to be. I wanted to take care of him, like he took care of me.
He was my rock, and now it was my turn to be his.
Grandpa winked and squeezed my hand again. He was always so perceptive. I could tell he knew I was thinking about grandma

Also, the same old patterns when new girl(or boy) enters a college have become tiresome:
Disdain thrown in by the girls..
Provocation done by the boys...

BUT....what i can't force myself to read is sexual harassment situations.

It is said that Trace was home schooled...therefore she is seen as this innocent, poor little girl who can't defend herself against this f****k!

They only met, and he's doing and saying this??

“No,” Nixon answered for Chase. This time his touch was smooth as he caressed my arm. I tried to jerk away. His face lit up with a smile, and honestly, it was like staring at a fallen angel. Nixon was gorgeous. He was an ass, but he was a gorgeous ass. “You feel this?”
His hand continued moving up my arm until he reached my shoulder, and then his hand moved to my neck and his thumb grazed my trembling lips. “Memorize it now, because as of this moment, you
can’t touch us. We are untouchable. If you as much as sneeze in our direction, if you as much breathe the same air in my atmosphere, I will make your life hell. This touch, what you feel against your skin, will be the only time you feel another human being as powerful as me near you. So like I said, feel it, remember it, and maybe one day, your brain will do you the supreme favor of forgetting what it felt like to have someone like me touching you. Then, and only then, will
you be able to be happy with some mediocre boyfriend and pathetic life.”

I'm afraid my brain refuses to read this!

Profile Image for Grey.
448 reviews42 followers
September 30, 2018
OMG, seriously? What have I been doing with my life?!?! Tessa!!! WHY?!?! I know, I'm abusing all of the punctuation today. How on Earth do you put up with me? Why am I still allowed in the club? I'm allowed to be a card-toting member of the jerk-lovers fangirls and I hadn't read this book until today...it's a mystery to me too, goodreads, it's a mystery to me too.

Alright, I'm going to make this short and sweet. Playlist-check. Over-the-top drama, double-check. A swoony, alpha jerk... gah, he's such a bully... girls, I loved it!!! Check, check, checkity, check! And a cliffy... damn damn damn! Just scrape me up, I'm so done!

I was expecting a little hotter... a little more violent, but I have a feeling we'll get there...the set-up suggests that it's coming. Nixon, Trace and Chase await... oh yeah, Chase is waiting too... *cough* um, if you haven't read this, what are *you* waiting for? 4.5 *gimme my bully* stars!
Profile Image for Steffi De Ceuster  ♥.
1,236 reviews118 followers
March 27, 2016

I loved it!!
I read some of the reviews and they weren't all good.
But I wanted to give it a try and wow it was a real page turner!
I found the talks between Nixon and Trace not as horrible as some people said.
I like the fact that she did talk back and didn't give up.

Profile Image for Bj.
1,217 reviews262 followers
December 26, 2014
5 "I'll Do Anything To Protect You--Even Make You Think I'm the Devil" Stars!

Wow, this book was amazing! What a twisted journey! I loved that you would never be able to figure out what this story is about from the first few pages or book blurb. For me the more suspenseful and convoluted the story, the better! So please don't be quick to make judgments. That's the point. This story is told from the heroine's POV, who is in the dark about who she really is and what she is really doing at Eagle Elite College. The beauty and creativeness of this book is how the story unfolds, and Rachel Van Dyken is a master, slowly revealing little clues along the way. In fact, even at the end of this book, you get the sense that there are still secrets that have yet to be unraveled, including who the heroine's true love match is. Yes, that's right, this series sports one of my favorite romance tropes: a love triangle! I can't wait to read book 2, Elect to see how this new adult gem continues to evolve!

Trace Rooks lost her parents at a young age. Raised by her grandparents, who move to a farm in Wyoming to raise her, she has led a fairly wholesome life. Then she fulfills her grandmother's dying wish, when she wins and accepts the annual Eagle Elite College Scholarship to attend the prestigious university. Attending Elite, is usually an opportunity that is reserved for the extremely wealthy and future leaders of the country, so Trace believes it's a once in a lifetime opportunity for someone like her.

As soon as she arrives, however, she realizes just what a different world Elite is. Almost immediately she meets mean students who make it their mission to make her question whether she belongs. Perhaps the worst of the them all is Nixon Abandonato, the class president. Everyone seems to cower at his command, even his ever present companion, and fellow Elect member, Chase, who seems to alternate between following Nixon's lead with his taunts and then challenging Nixon by showing genuine interest and concern for Trace.

It doesn't take long for Nixon, however, to begin showing his own interest to Trace; and as his attention seems to alternate between protecting her and then acting like the devil; Trace realizes that she can't deny the inexplainable attraction that she too has to Nixon. It's not logical, but it is undeniable, and she is helpless to resist Nixon.

But the Elect is hiding secrets, and their number one priority is protecting Trace, even if they have to hurt her in the process. Can there possibly be a HEA in the cards for Trace? Moreover, when the truths begin to be told, danger becomes even more omnipresent. Will Trace even manage to stay safe?

All in all, this was a an amazing start to a promising new adult suspense-filled series, which also has a bit of a young adult feel. In that regard, please note that while there is tons of romantic tension, including the beginnings of a love triangle, this read is fairly tame from a love scenes perspective. The action and guessing as to where this series is going, however, both from a romantic and suspense perspective, will keep you joyfully entertained and clamoring for more!

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Son.
77 reviews
April 16, 2013
HOLY HELL GUYS!! Rachel has done it again!!

I literally bought this book minutes after it went live on Amazon, i jumped up and seriously did a little happy dance (okay okay a major big happy dance!) I had been waiting and waiting for this and after all the little snippets Miss van Dyken had been posting for us lately i was dying to read it all together!

Well she definitely did not let us down (as if she could).

Without giving away too much i was at first like wow! that was so cruel, so nasty, what is she doing? but as the story progressed you could see that it all needed to be there.

I loved every single character in this book..even the baddie cause if you don't love to hate the baddie in a book well then the author just hasn't done their job!
Trace- really liked her, gullible, sweet, naive,emotional,wise---real.
Monroe- everyone needs a friend like her!
Tex- too cute..definitely sweetheart material there
Phoenix-what can i say!
Chase-How how i love thee right from the beginning!
Nixon- Nixon,Nixon,Nixon-Poor guy, i can see why a lot of readers are not gonna like him but deep down if you really look beneath the surface you will see the true Nixon..this guy has got a lot of responsibility and sometimes you have to be a dick to save the ones you love!

This is something different for Rachel but damn this girl is versatile..i think she could write anything and conquer any genre. Most definitely one of my favorite authors i seriously think i have a girl crush on her! lol

A very solid 5 stars just because goodreads wont let me go over that!

This book needs to be read by everyone! Well done Rachel, Well done!
Profile Image for Aliaksandra.
75 reviews27 followers
February 8, 2016
Bye-bye, bitch (After 71%)!

Review in russian: http://www.livelib.ru/review/523838


Guys...I really-really wanted to finish this book, but it would be a complete waste of my time.


First of all, i started this thing because of the quote:
1. Do not touch The Elect.
2. Do not look at The Elect.
3. Do not speak to The Elect.

I was like: “Okay. That sounds...weird...but why not?”

 photo aint-even-mad_zpsgaof1dz4.gif

And then...

I half-expected to be eaten myself in that place, and they don’t serve meat. NO MEAT, Nixon!


 photo ener_zpszvyiiufe.gif

Don’t let the cows out and keep milking the goats.
I crumpled into his chest and sobbed. “I miss cows!”
Right, he’s hungry. He wasn’t the one going on a no-cow diet for the past week.
Has something happened? Are the cows out?


 photo giphy_zpscfdwp947.gif

“And this…” He pointed behind us. “Is our picnic under the stars.”
“With the cows,” I added, still stunned.
“With the cows. Though I’ve heard a few goats live out here too. Don’t want to leave out any farm creatures and take a chance on offending them.”


 photo fern-fight_zpsh1zqarql.gif

“Oh my gosh, oh my gosh! I’m going to die a virgin!”
“What?” Nixon shouted.
“A virgin,” I repeated as I greedily tried to suck more air into my lungs. “I’m going to die a virgin! I’m going to die without ever going overseas! I’ve never even been nak*d in front of a man before! Oh my gosh! ”

So yeah…I hope you get my point here!
Profile Image for The Hopeless Romantics Book Blog.
737 reviews203 followers
September 1, 2015
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheHopelessR...
TSU: http://www.tsu.co/HopelessRomantics
Blog: http://thehopelessromanticsbookblog.b...

I know I'm a little late to the party with this book. It had been on my kindle for a while and I finally got the chance to read it this weekend and now that I've finished it, I'm thinking why the hell did I leave it so long? From the moment I began reading this story I was hooked.
" Everything you've ever known..........is about to change."

Tracey had won a place at an exclusive private school so the story began just as she was starting the move that would change her life, hopefully for the better. I instantly liked Tracey and I quickly became invested in her story. Following the death of her parents, Tracey had been living with her grandparents on their farm. She had been living a simple and sheltered life and was brought up to be kind, caring and loving. Tracey really didn't have a bad bone in her body. Moving to the prestigious boarding school, she had high hopes for her future. Unfortunately, she very quickly discovered that the school was not at all what she had imagined it to be.
When I'd entered the lottery to go to this school, all I could think about was how I would be practically set for life. Now it seemed like I'd stepped into an action movie where the star had more power than the president of the United States.

Because I hardly ever read the synopsis of a book, I had no idea what I was in for so the minute things began to happen, my brain was working overtime trying to make sense of what I was reading. I was just as confused as Tracey so it was easy for me to put myself in her shoes and understand how she was feeling. As soon as Tracey met Nixon, things started to get weird and it continued that way until Tracey finally found out what was going on. Tracey showed a lot of courage during her first days at the school. I think I would have run away as soon as I got the chance! LOL.
"Know that you make your own choices. You create your own destiny. And baby, I have the keys so either play by my rules, or don't. The choice is yours."

Nixon was extremely good looking, but with his good looks also came a very confusing personality. One minute he was being an arse, treating Tracey so cruelly and the next minute he was being so caring and thoughtful towards her and promising to protect her no matter what. I didn't get why Nixon was acting the way he was with someone that he had only just met. I was completely baffled by his actions and Tracey was too. There was obviously some kind of connection between them and I couldn't put my kindle down until I had found out what it was.
"At least I can say I'd freaking bleed for you, if that's what it takes."
"To keep you safe."
"So you'd die for me?"
"Don't you get it? I'd give my life for yours."

"Elite" was a fantastic start to a series. My only regret is that it took me so long to read it, but I will look on the bright side because I have a whole lot of books to catch up with now, which is what I am going to do as soon as I finish this review. "Elect" is already on my kindle waiting for me. If you looking for a new series to start that is full of suspense, intrigue and romance, I highly recommend giving this series a try. I am certain that you won't regret it.
"I need you like I need my heart to pump blood through my body, like I need air to breathe, like we need gravity. Hell, Trace you are my gravity."

"Elite (Eagle Elite #1)" gets ❤️❤️❤️❤️.5 from me!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,949 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.