Monday, July 24, 2017

Review: The One by Kiera Cass


Title: The One
Series: The Selection #3
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Format: E-Book

Page Count: 323

Rating: 

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. (taken from goodreads.com)


“Bravery hides in amazing places."

Somebody should give this cover designer an award. Somehow, despite my extreme dislike for this series, I've continued to read these books. I blame the gorgeous dresses.

So, I started this third and final installment in the series against my better judgment. I had already given the first two book poor reviews and therefore had pretty low expectations. However, I just couldn't give up hope that the series would somehow turn itself around and become less terrible. I suddenly understood why people continue to read the last books in series they don't even like: you have this compulsion to see the story through to the end, even if you hate the main character and roll your eyes every two seconds. 

If you guys have ever watched the show The Bachelor, then you know exactly what it's like to read this series. You're constantly plagued by a sense of embarrassment as you trudge through a story that is clearly a guilty pleasure without much actual merit... and yet you keep watching. You ask yourself why, and you merely shrug as you go back to complaining about the sexism of the whole thing and the absolute absurdity of dating multiple girls at the same time while "falling in love" with several of them. Maxon and America's relationship is weak at best, and I scoffed at the forced competition between several girls for the hand of one guy. I mean, it's been going on for three books... Can we be done already?

If the second book was all LOVE TRIANGLE 24/7, then this second book is the complete opposite. Aspen? Aspen who? Oh, the guy America was going to marry and claimed to have loved passionately for two full years? Right, well, now there's a prince in the picture, and America has all but forgotten about her first love. I was stunned by how over Aspen she seemed to be after six hundred previous pages of "Woe is me, how shall I choose between these two strapping young men?" It's as though Cass made her choice between the two love interests and simply decided to turn up the romance between America and Maxon while quietly shoving Aspen into the background. It was very poorly done, if you ask me.

America isn't the only character to randomly change her opinions. Celeste, who is painted as the cruel Regina George of this series, suddenly does a personality 180 and becomes relatable. I came this close to setting the book down after America somehow befriends her and earns her admiration. It didn't help that I already didn't care about what was happening with the whole rebel danger thing.

I did like how the relationships between the four remaining girls evolved, but it felt a little too late. I wanted strong relationships like these in book one, and it just took Cass too long to get these girls where they needed to be if you ask me. And I will admit, the romance between America and Maxon is much better in this one. A little over the top at points, but much better.

Despite all of my critiques, The One probably impressed me more than The Selection or The Elite. You could say that I didn't hate this one. At least Cass throws in a bit more political drama, and America didn't make me quite as miserable. I think maybe the fact that Cass did away with the love triangle really helped, even if she did it badly. America actually started to focus on the big picture instead of wondering which boy she wanted to kiss.

Still, this series was an overall flop for me. I've heard that it will be made into a movie in the near future, and part of me wonders if I'll enjoy that more. I won't have to hear America's stupid inner monologues as much, and I'll probably fall in love with the costumes.