Review: Elite (#1, Eagle Elite) by Rachel Van Dyken - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Review: Elite (#1, Eagle Elite) by Rachel Van Dyken

My Thoughts

Intense. Crazy. Brutal. Sexy. Utterly intriguing. Entirely addicting.
A story racked with so much mystery and drama, eliciting so many questions that I couldn’t put it down for a single second.



eliteWhen I won the annual Eagle Elite College Scholarship lottery, I was thrilled. After all, my grandma had just died and I wanted to take care of my aging grandpa — he couldn’t be a farmer in Wyoming forever. And graduating from Eagle Elite meant opportunity.

But I wasn’t counting on meeting Nixon.

Nor was I counting on the rules of the Elect.

1. Do not touch The Elect.
2. Do not look at The Elect.
3. Do not speak to The Elect.

And worst of all? Don’t discover the secret they hide, because in the end, you may just realize… it’s about you.

My Review

Whoa! Wow! What?! Did not expect that.  This book takes you on one unexpected, but thrilling ride. One that has you questioning what’s going on at every turn of the story, every flip of the page. My emotions were scattered, my foundation constantly shifted, I wasn’t sure what in the heck was going on, but one thing was absolutely clear… I needed to know it all, and so I dove in deeper, furiously flipping pages until truths were revealed and more questions lingered. The story was incredibly additive, pulling me in from the start. This is the first I read from Rachel Van Dyken, and if this is typical, sign me up, I’m ready to expect the unexpected.

Tracey (Trace) Rooks wins a lottery to attend an exclusive school, Eagle Elite. A place for kids of diplomats, celebrities and even children of presidents. This school is supposed to open doors and guarantee your future. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime and it’s a world apart from the farm she’s grown up in. After Trace’s parents died when she was six, she was taken care of by her grandparents, but recently after her grandmother died, she knows she needs to do this for her grandfather. He shouldn’t have to worry about her future. Arriving at Eagle Elite, she is quickly shocked at the viciousness and rudeness of the students. There’s a hierarchy, rules to follow, consequences to bear and privileges must be earned. And the one leading the charge is perhaps the most cruel of all, Nixon. He’s gorgeous and a bully, but everyone does what they’re told and she quickly learns that without his help, she’s getting nowhere… whether she likes it or not.

“Trust is like love. It doesn’t exist. It’s a fairy tale society feed us in order to get us to conform. I don’t expect you to trust me. I expect you to follow the rules. Rules keep you safe.”
“And if I don’t?…”
“Then you will be forcing my hand, and the last thing I want is to hear stories from my sister about how you cry yourself to sleep every damn night just because you couldn’t follow a few simple guidelines.”

What ensues is a dangerous and vicious push and pull between Trace and the Elect… particularly Nixon, as she desperately tries to survive each day in her very unexpected, but very brutal reality. With only Monroe, her roommate, as an ally, she tries to navigate her new reality and decipher the truth that lies behind the mysteries. Slowly she begins to earn respect from some of the Elect, like Chase, while Nixon vacillates between cruelty and kindness. Sometimes, there are moments when it’s just her and him, the facade falters and she sees pain and caring and burden in his eyes. And despite everything that’s happened, she finds herself drawn to him.

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

The dynamic between Trace and Nixon is complicated. He’s hot one moment, cold the next. He’s an enigma, but clearly he holds power over everyone at the school, and even power over her. The more time passes, the more time they spend together, the more his words, both cruel and kind, affect her.

“It was scary when someone’s presence had that much power to alter the way you felt about yourself, because what happens when you lose yourself in that person? Do you disappear, or do you mold into what they view you as?”

When their relationship intensifies, the desire is palpable and I couldn’t help but soften towards Nixon. He promises to always keep her safe at any cost, including his life. It’s clear he cares deeply for Trace but something holds him back. As desire turns into something deeper, shocking truths are revealed and I just couldn’t believe it. It’s crazy. It’s intense. And it all started to make sense.

“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.”

Just as things finally begin to fall into place, it just as quickly falls apart and we are left at the precipice of so much more to happen. I am dying to see how the story evolves in Elect, and you can bet I’m diving into the book this week to see what happens to Nixon, Trace, Chase and the other characters in this story. This is a novel that packs action, intrigue and romance, keeping you captive through every plot twists that unwinds. It’s an exciting book to read and I highly recommend 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. Being with you makes me feel centered and whole, and I’m too screwed up to convince you to want anything different. I’m too selfish to push you into someone else’s arms when I know mine may be the worst ones for you to be in.”


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One Comment:

  1. Jenny Dauksa Schaber said:

    Rachel is awesome! You can never expect what’s gonna happen. I love that and love her writing for that reason – well, one of them. She creates the most complex and realistic characters on top of it. AMAZING! I’m so glad that this is a series! (I almost never say that)


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