The One is written by Kiera Cass. It was published in 2014 by HarperTeen. It is the third and final book in the Selection trilogy. My reviews of the first two books can be found here and here. Cass’s website can be found here.
“The time has come for one winner to be crowned.
When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes jut how much she stands to lose—and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.”
What I Liked:
As in the The Elite, I liked America’s determination to prove that she could come up with bright ideas, and she does do some pretty cool things throughout the book, like when she goes home and has a Queen Voice Moment. I also liked how her relationship with Celeste changed, and the moments with the other girls were very sweet.
As contrived and sappy as I thought the entire romance was, I must admit that I did feel a slight pang when Maxon said the whole “Break my heart” bit.
Oh! And the part where Georgia tells America that she’s the best person to have the crown because America doesn’t want it is great, too.
What I Didn’t Like:
Again, the world. I had a hard time immersing myself simply because everything seemed so flat and poorly-developed. The world just does not seem realistic to me and the castes and the rebels seem contrived to create tension. I just never got the world, and world is a big deal for me when reading fantasy/sci-fi/dystopian books like this one.
Oh, my goodness, “Honduragua.” Just…no.
It’s also horrendously convenient that all of America’s and Maxon’s problems are solved in one fell swoop at the end. Oh, the king is a tyrant and doesn’t want Maxon and America to get married? Bam! He’s gone. Oh, that issue with the castes? Bam! Solved. Oh, America feels guilty about telling Aspen that they’re through? Bam! He was in love with someone else the entire time!
I seriously don’t understand the attraction of these books; the romance isn’t great and neither is anything else…
Recommended Age Range: 14+
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult
“As it’s gotten smaller, it’s gotten worse. I mean, I knew it would, but…it feels like it’s moving away from trying to be the girl that Maxon would pick to making sure the other girls won’t be the one he picks. I don’t know if that makes sense.”
She nodded. “It does. But, hey, this is what you signed up for.”
I chuckled. “Actually, I didn’t. I was sort of…encouraged to put my name in. I didn’t want to be a princess.”
She smiled. “Not wanting the crown means you’re probably the best person to have it.”
I took off one of the beautiful earrings that Maxon had given me, then the other. I placed both in Adam’s hands; and he stood there, dumbstruck, as my beautiful bracelet followed. And then—because, if I was truly going to do this, I wanted to give everything—I reached behind my neck and unclasped my songbird necklace, the one my dad had given me. I hoped he was watching and not hating me for giving his gift away. Once I dropped it into Adam’s hand, I curled his fingers around the treasures, then stepped to the side so that he was standing directly in front of King Clarkson.
I pointed toward the thrones. “Go, faithful subject, and pay your debt to the king.”
Thank goodness that trilogy is over. America had a few good moments, but the rest of The One was contrived, too convenient, and wrapped up too nicely in a neat little bow (I know, usually I complain if an ending is too open-ended!). From the very first book, the world failed to pull me in and failed to feel realistic, and that, I think, is the major drawback of the series.
You can buy this book here: The One (The Selection)