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Review: The One by Kiera Cass

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The One
by Kiera Cass

Series: The Selection #3
Genre: YA Dystopian
Paperback: 323 Pages
Publication: May 6, 2014
by Harper Teen


The Selection changed the lives of thirty-five girls forever. And now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen.

America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the competition approaches its end and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants.

◆ A copy was provided by Harper Collins for review ◆

While America resolved in The Elite to choose Maxon, her heart is still on the line in The One. It's difficult for her to dedicate herself completely to Maxon when he's still seeing other girls. At the same time, her indecisiveness causes Maxon to remain unsure of himself. This feeds a vicious cycle where both of them are afraid to commit solely to each other, causing a lot of potentially avoidable grief. Looking back on the book with all the pieces together, I can see why they keep holding back. The entire time I was reading, however, I wanted to knock some sense into them.

I was disappointed in how the series never fully explored the politics and structure of America's world. There was so much potential for world building and crafting political intrigue; however, much of the politics that does emerge is done blatantly and does not leave much room for subterfuge. And for the most part, the rebel groups remain out of the big picture, only coming up here and there. Again, there was a lot of potential for development here, but they serve merely to add another threat to the peace of the kingdom (in addition to growing unrest among the caste groups) and to push for change in the system. The character development is also not very well done. Except for a select few main characters, the characters remain static for the most part, and I never really felt like I got to know many of them.

My favorite characters have always been America and Maxon. America is a sweet, gutsy girl, and while she makes a lot of bad decisions I can't not like her. Some of her actions are quite drastic, but she sticks by her morals and seeks to make change for a better society. She's also obstinately loyal and really close to her family. I always love a book with a close, supportive family. I love her relationship with Maxon. There's a good mix of friendship, supportiveness, and swoony romance. Essentially a mix of everything I hope to see in a romance. They have their ups and downs, but they work through them. Surprisingly, I even found myself liking Aspen more in this book. His character came out a little more though it still remains relatively static.

The highlight for this series has always been the romance. It's kind of hard for it not to play a large role when you have a bunch of girls vying for a prince's hand. Because of this, it's easier to be forgiving of how little world building and politics we really get to see in the story. Several of the romance scenes really touched my heart and had me silently giggling over the sweetness—and maybe wishing my boyfriend was here with me. The ending was all I wanted. While a lot of things have happened over the course of the novel, this [thing I'm not going to give away] was totally happening. And I am so, so happy for the happily paired off couples. I was also delighted to see the girls grow a little closer together, though the fight for the prince has caused a lot of tension among them.

The One is a beautiful conclusion to an overall enjoyable series. I recommend it for those who love a good romantic story. If you're looking for politics and intrigue though, I'd pass over this one.

Additional Information
  1. The Selection
  2. The Elite
  3. The One

  • Death, shooting
  • Makeout scenes
  • Almost sex scene

8 comments on "Review: The One by Kiera Cass"
  1. LOL. Yeah, I'm thinking anyone looking for politics and intrigue should definitely give this book a pass. I read and really liked The Selection, which was weird b/c I HATE The Bachelor/Bachelorette, but maybe I was just in the right mood at the time. I definitely need to finish the series, and hopefully I'll be able to do that soon. I'm glad you liked it too (despite the lack of depth ;) ).

    1. Yeah, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed The Selection. I hope that you enjoy the rest of the series! :)

  2. I wish we had some more world building in the series too!

    1. Yeah, it was such a fascinating world and had so much potential for exploration!

  3. I actually really loved the series!!

    I didn't expect it to be a full blown dystopian more like a romantic dystopian and I actually enjoyed the characters and how they developed!!

    Lovely review :)

    1. I agree. The synopsis makes it clear that we should expect more romance! Reading it though, it's apparent that there's a lot of potential to add more world building that never came.

  4. I think if you're okay with less intrigue but a lot of romance and friendship, it can really hook you.

    The character development was great!!

    Lovely review :)

    1. The friendship and romance was definitely a lot of fun to read in this book! Though for me the character development was actually lacking. It felt like there were a lot of great snapshots in this book, but the overarching plot fell flat.


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