The One by Kiera Cass
May 6, 2014
The Selection changed America Singer's life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she entered the competition to become the next princess of Illéa, America has struggled with her feelings for her first love, Aspen—and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she's made her choice . . . and she's prepared to fight for the future she wants.
Find out who America will choose in The One, the enchanting, beautifully romantic third book in the Selection series!
There are some books that have deep meaning and emotional impact. Then there are other books that serve as pure entertainment. The One is definitely the latter.
With The One Kiera Cass has completes a trilogy that is considered a mash-up of The Bachelor and The Hunger Games. The trilogy revolves mainly around one young America Singer, chosen to be brought to the palace to compete in a competition for the Prince's hand in marriage. She leaves behind her former lover, Aspen, and finds herself actually falling for the young Prince. The question of who America ends up with is answered in this final installment, and I am overall happy with the way things turned out.
This world, set in the distant future, has fallen back into a monarchy and a very rigid "caste" system that segregates families into a line of work. For example, America's family is part of the fifth caste that makes up the artistic contribution to society.
To be honest, I had a hard time believing that this system could be in place for so many years without rebellion. To be fair, there are rebels attacking the palace, but I never got a sense that they were a real threat. There were two groups of rebels--Southern and Northern--both with different objectives. I did not find the rebellion to be as big of a threat, and I felt as if there should have been more objection and protests for change.
It is the lack of world building that makes this series seem diluted and watered down. This series is obviously more focused on the romantic aspect, rather than dystopian. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it makes the series feel superficial.
Of course, I have to admit that these books are addicting. They are easy to read, and I actually find America to be a strong protagonist. Sure, she makes stupid mistakes, but I feel as if her actions in The One were more calculated and more mature. She wasn't as rash or reckless as in The Elite. She proved herself as a worthy candidate for Prince Maxon's hand. I also appreciated that the remaining girls got to actually bond. Cat-fights aren't as common in this book, and instead, we see friendships begin to blossom and we get a better idea of what the other girls are like. This was probably my favorite part of the book.
If you haven't read the first book, I do suggest to you give it a chance. Keep in mind, though, that is a far cry from typical dystopians. It reads more like a contemporary romance, but it's what makes the book unique. And addictive. I can see why so many have fallen in love with this series, even if I am not head-over-heels in love with it. The issues previously mentioned became glaringly obvious once I closed the book, but I can still appreciate The One (and The Selection trilogy as a whole) for entertaining me.