Book Review: The One (Selection # 3)

TheOneBook Review # 10: The One (Selection # 3) by Kiera Cass
Copy: Trade paperback
Number of Pages: 323
Date Published: January 1, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: Image and video hosting by TinyPicImage and video hosting by TinyPicImage and video hosting by TinyPic

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.

After weeks of raving about the first two installments of the Selection series accompanied by the occasional urge to add this last book to my DNF pile, I’m glad to announce that my conscience has prevailed. So without further ado, here’s my take on the last book of the Selection series.

Where we left off: In the second book (The Elite), I mentioned my frustration over loop holes, uninteresting events, and indecisiveness from majority of the characters. We saw America being swayed by either Maxon or Aspen’s actions and being unable to decide where she really wants to be. This time, It pleases me to say that The One opens with America being a lot less indecisive and a little more firm and certain about her feelings.

What’s new: We have new characters, all of whom play an essential role in ironing out royal predicaments – insert rebels, cruelty, injustice, etc. We also have abrupt (whether good or bad, we’ll talk about later) developments among our main characters.

What I liked about the last book: 

  • I think Cass made considerable changes in her writing and these I think were quite fitting, at least during the beginning and intermediate sections of the book. The whiny dialogue is gone and what replaces it is a more serious take on both current and recurring struggles.
  • Finally, there appears to be more caution and thought involved in America’s decisions. There are also reflections as well as honest indications of fear, hopelessness, and love. Only in this last book did I see concrete illustrations of her bravery as well as her genuine desire for change. Aside from America, I also enjoyed the transformation of the two male leads especially Aspen. Yes, even I’m surprised that despite my previous resentment, here I am finally appreciating Aspen and his green eyes.
  • A more decent exploration of events: The spotlight did not leave the triangle (Aspen-America-Maxon) but I’m glad it at least attempted to leave no stone unturned. It delved into the rebels’ situations, the effect of the Selection on the people, and the relationship between the rest of the characters.

What I didn’t like about this book: 

Truthfully, I thought the first half of the book was good. It was engaging enough. There were also more significant events worth pondering about. However, the change came suddenly as I went past 200 pages and to be honest, I thought the build-up was not enough. Before I knew it, I was dreading the possibility of a disappointing conclusion.

Sure enough, events and transitions lacked smoothness, causing a supposedly good turn of events to look too sudden and unbelievable. I also think there are more convincing resolutions other than what was presented which in my opinion seemed too irresolute and anticlimactic. The ending between the main characters were satisfying but the ending fell flat for the other characters and their surrounding circumstances.

The Verdict: 

The Selection series was a modest read. This last book was able to establish a clearer picture of everything that the series told so far. There are more good points than bad this time around and I think that alone gives me enough reason to give the entire series an average rating.

So while I do not hum with the praising crowd on this one, I still think there’s a lot to like about in the Selection series  especially for romance fans. Though not completely mesmerizing, it has its own elements that make it a page-turner for young adult readers. Charming interactions and feel-good lines in addition to handsome guys, high-spirited ladies, castle tours, and of course a taste of royal living make the entire Selection series a decent romance read.

Favorite Quotes from The One (Selection # 3):

You are not the world, but you are everything that makes the world good. Without you, my life would still exist, but that’s all it would manage to do.

He sighed contentedly. “How are you feeling, my dear?”
“I feel like punching you for calling me ‘my dear’ mostly.” I poked his bare stomach.
Smiling, he crawled to sit over me. “Fine then. My darling? My pet? My love?”
“Any of those would work, so long as you’ve reserved it solely for me,” I said, my hands mindlessly wandering his chest, his arms. “What am I supposed to call you?”
“Your Royal Husbandness. It’s required by law, I’m afraid.”

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