Author: Kiera Cass
Published by: HarperTeen (2014)
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆
SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS
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.
The third addition in the Selection series, I was more disappointed in this one than in any other book in the series. Note: It being that this is the last book in the series (well, in America’s selection anyway), this review is going to touch on more broad aspects throughout the whole series, rather than just aspects in The One. Now that I’ve finished the 3 books I have a better viewpoint and idea on how I feel about the series as a whole.
Overall: First of all, I am extremely irritated by the series having finished it. The series is just so drawn out—it’s a one book story drawn out painfully long into 3 books totaling 900+ pages. A 200, maybe 300, page story drawn out into 900+ pages (in my opinion). My number one pet peeve in books is books that are drawn out, and this series is the epitome of drawn out books. Why I actually finished three books in the series I’ll never know, but I’m guessing it had something to do with the fact I hadn’t read a book in forever and was very desperate. If I’m reading a drawn out popular trilogy about a love triangle then I’m extremely desperate indeed. The only other way would be if the series was Christian, wholesome, and actually an amazing work of literature, none of whichThe Selection, the Elite or The One qualified for.
Negatives: Going away from my complaints about the series as a whole and focusing on Book 3, I first have to say that this book surprised me by taking a turn in the romantic relationships and I can no longer say that it is wholesome. Granted, it’s still a ton better than most YA, but the level of amazing cleanliness has disappeared and even though it’s still relatively okay, I can no longer knowingly recommend this book because of the few questionable scenes.
Plotline: As well, I found myself disappointed in The One’s plot as well. It’s drawn out. I know I’ve said that already but there really is nothing else to say about this book. This book is the epitome of filler chapters. It was too long. Way too long. The characters are still just as forced and unnatural, and their reactions to things seem totally unrealistic. Plot twists weren’t ones that took my breath away; even though they were shocking in material, they were dull in presentation. As well, it was cliche, and I’ll dive into that now.
Characters: Returning to my broader outlook, in finishing this series, cliches I didn’t see before have risen to the surface, also dropping my appreciation level lower. What I thought was a “different” dystopian has turned out to be, essentially, just like every other stereotype. The character who I once thought was “different” has proven herself to be identical to the main character YA stereotypes. Which is disappointing, considering in my review of Book #1, I called her “humble and concerned more about others than herself. She is careful to stay true to one love and not dash around all the time.” Though this seems good its own way, it is ruined by the reality that all of it vanishes in the second novel and has completely changed course by the third. America’s heart is all over the place, and what I thought was good character of humility and morality is actually just something called a YA Main Character Stereotype.
I should have expected this, but somehow, I didn’t see it until the end. To prove my point, I’m going to grab a description I used in another review to describe the stereotypical character in that book:
“She’s strong and determined, but of course has her fears—that she hides—that set her back. She’s part of the lowly county. She doesn’t think much about higher counties; she just keeps her head down, lives her life, and tries not to get noticed. She thinks of herself as lowly and ugly. She’s stubborn and willfull, but thinks she knows right from wrong….Often she sneaks off to be in private because the world becomes too much.”
Sound familiar? I wrote this to describe the main character in Maria V. Synder’s Inside Out and also to emphasize how every character is the same. Almost all of this applies to America, proving my point exactly.
Apart from the stereotype and the intense length and the forced characters and drawn out plot and a bit inappropriate scenes…I did finish this book, maybe out of desperation for something to read, but I finished it all the same. So while maybe this is the perfect example of YA stereotype, it did capture me long enough for me to finish three books, which is huge considering I usually don’t make it to chapter 5 in books like these; in that aspect, then, Kiera Cass does have some advantage over the other cliches, but still not much.
I’m not sure how to exactly how to rate The One, because I did enjoy it while I was reading it, even if it did have an awful aftertaste as I realized all that I said above. But regardless, it did keep me captivated for a few days. On the same note, I think I’ve read enough sappy romance in just these three books to last a lifetime. 2.5 stars.