Title: 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.
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! :)
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