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Book Review: The One by Kiera Cass

The OneTitle: The One

Author: Kiera Cass

Series: The Selection #3

Genre: Teen Dystopian

Rating: 3/5 stars

The Overview: 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. From the very first page of The Selection, this #1 New York Times bestselling series has captured readers’ hearts and swept them away on a captivating journey… Now, in The One, Kiera Cass delivers a satisfying and unforgettable conclusion that will keep readers sighing over this electrifying fairy-tale long after the final page is turned.

The One 2

The Review:

Even though The One was the book I was most looking forward to reading in 2014, I stalled on picking it up for almost 2 weeks after the release date. You see, I was terrified it wasn’t going to live up to my high expectations, and was also concerned I’d forgotten elements from the first two books. Luckily, I’d saved reading The Selection Stories (novellas) until right before this one came out. Not only did they remind me about what was happening in the story, but got me all fired up about this series and how much I loved the characters and writing style. It also so happens that my Escape Reality Book Club voted The Selection as May’s Book-of-the-Month, and I knew I had to kick myself into gear to read The One before our next book club meeting – the chance that someone could accidentally give me spoilers of this much-anticipated book was too horrifying to consider! Needless to say, I finally got brave enough and picked up The One… And was completely enthralled from the first page!

Oh my gosh, this story pulled at my heartstrings in every which-way possible. There were just so many places where my heart ached for these characters, and I was so invested I couldn’t put it down. There are very few books that can make me truly lose myself. I’m almost always conscious of how far I am and how many more pages I have to go. With every book in the series, I lost track of all time and place. I fully intended on pacing myself through this book, savoring it, but ended up devouring it in half a day (so much for that plan!). Because these are among the few books that can affect me so profoundly, they will always be among my favorites… even though this final book didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

This series definitely has a few issues with the broader conflicts – the entire segments revolving around the rebels requires a “just go with it” mindset and weren’t nearly as well-imagined as they could have been. I know that’s bothered a lot of people, but it never bugged me too much because the narrower, interpersonal conflicts were so well done – I’d go so far as to say they’re among the most interesting of any series I’ve ever read. So even though this series lacks that rich world building usually present in dystopian novels, it more than makes up for it through engaging writing, fun characters, and fantastic internal conflicts.

I do have to say that as much as I was anticipating the ending, I didn’t totally enjoy it. Without delving into any spoilers, I feel like the story lacks a little conflict resolution and there were a few key points that I thought could’ve been done differently. After finishing it, I sat there for a good long while thinking about the a few simple changes the author could have made that would have significantly changed how I felt about the ending. Since I’m sure Cass isn’t planning on rewriting it just to satisfy me, I decided I’m just going to pretend it ended the way I thought it should and leave it at that.

So, even though The One didn’t totally live up to my expectations (sigh), this series is still one of the most engaging stories I’ve ever read and I will always hold the first book on a pedestal. While I didn’t enjoy the rest of the series nearly as much as I enjoyed The Selection, I’m still incredibly glad I read them and will probably delve into them again in a few years.

I hope you have enjoyed this last week’s tribute to The Selection series! :)

Other books you might like:

by Niki Hawkes

6 comments on “Book Review: The One by Kiera Cass

    • I thoroughly enjoyed it and gave it a really high review – and then read some reviews from some other bloggers whom I follow religiously and let’s just say they were less than impressed. They pointed out that the character was irrational at times found the world building lacked a bit of imagination an feasibility… All things that I agree with in hindsight but didn’t bother me while I was reading it. I would say don’t go in it with incredibly high expectations and you’ll probably enjoy it. :-)

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  1. Great review! I didn’t even know this book was out yet, so thanks for that! I really enjoyed the first two books as well and am pretty eager to read The One. And I agree that while the external conflicts of the series might be vague to the reader I think it’s important to note that the story, being told from a sixteen year old’s perspective might not be the most informative. Like, how much did any of us know about our government when we were teenagers? Most of us cared more about boys and clothes anyway, so the vagueness kind of adds more authenticity to the character development. Anyway, thanks for the review.

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    • hahaha – that’s a perfect way to sum up why it works! I definitely wasn’t interested in anything outside of my bubble when I was that age. Well put! I think if you liked the first two you are really going to like this one. :-)

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  2. Congratulations on finishing this series! I’ve seen a lot of hype around The One, I’m sorry it didn’t quite meet all your expectations but it’s always great when a favourite series is resolved. :)
    When these books were originally released I had no interest in them whatsoever but with all the hype lately I’m quite eager to try them.

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    • Thank you! I will admit that the year long wait and my high expectations probably added to my slight disappointment a bit, but I still think it was a good book. I think for sure you’ll at least love the first one!

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