Written by Kiera Cass
Published May, 2014 by HarperTeen
Genres: Dystopian, Romance
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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 just how much she stands to lose--and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants.
I didn’t enjoy the final instalment in Kiera Cass’s ‘The Selection’ series, The One. I have never been a ridiculous fan of these books, but I have stuck with them in the hopes that it would improve. Three books in, I expected Kiera Cass to amp up her game… but it just never happened. Looking back on all three novels, I just couldn’t see the growth of her characters or relationships.Warning: Spoilers within the full review.
I was fed up and tired of the back-and-forth love story between America and Maxon. Despite three books, I felt that their relationship never really developed beyond the tedious ‘he loves me’ and ‘he loves me not’. Just when I thought the couple was breaking new ground, we were back where we started from.
As for America’s relationship with Aspen, the same old problems presented themselves in The One. Despite Aspen’s eagerness to tell America ‘something’ (I could guess what it was, too) Kiera Cass managed to drag it out right until the end of the book so that the whole Aspen/America dilemma remained a heavy problem in her relationship with Maxon.
Things were shaking up in Illea’, and I felt that it could have played a bigger role in this final book if only Kiera Cass took a step back from recycling the same romance dramas from the first two books. I feel that each book should be a step up from the last in the way of world and character development, and ‘The Selection’ series never did that for me.
We get to see a new side of some of the characters (well, only one really – Celeste) and while this did add a new element to the story, it was too little too late.
As for the numerous roadblocks in America and Maxon’s relationship, they were all bulldozed out of the way right near the end ever-so conveniently. Instead of the duo being able to change their respective situations and grow (Maxon growing a backbone and America being honest) all it took was a group of rebels to fire off a few shots and the couple got their Happily Ever After practically in the next chapter.
The King’s unwarranted aversion to America played a huge role in this series and I would have appreciated this obstacle to be overcome by America herself, or even Maxon. The same goes for change in the world of Illea. It felt like Kiera Cass merely took the easy way out in that regard. And for it all to happen suddenly at the end after a rather slow moving book? It felt jarring and as if it didn’t fit.
I am also confused as to what happened to America’s maid, Anne. It mentions her only briefly and I wasn’t sure if she’d been killed or simply had fled the palace in the midst of the rebel attack. Despite her story having a little bit of build-up in The One, it felt unusual to just have her forgotten. The same goes for the death of Celeste. I didn’t feel that America didn’t feel this loss enough, only mentioning her once before the end. I mean, America saw her killed.
All in all, everything seemed to fall in to place a little too conveniently for my liking and I would have liked the main characters to have a bit more to do with how things ended. I had been hoping for a lot more as this was the finale and the other two books were just ‘so-so’. It’s safe to say that The One is my least favourite in the trilogy.
Recommended to: If you’ve stuck with ‘The Selection’ series this far, you may as well finish it. I can see how this book would appeal to fans of the America/Maxon relationship, but as I never fully got behind it or any of the characters, it was a disappointment for me.