Review: ‘The One’ by Kiera Cass

Review: ‘The One’ by Kiera CassThe One by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #3
Genres: Love & Romance, Young Adult
Published by HarperTeen on 2014-05-06
Format: Hardcover
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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!

I know that I have not reviewed the rest of the books in The Selection series on my blog, but having just finished the last book, I felt that I did need to review it. So for those of you who haven’t read the rest of the series, there may be minor SPOILERS.

My feelings about The Selection series waxed and waned. When I first read The Selection, I was over the moon about where the books were headed. After The Elite, I was less sure about things. Now that I’ve finally finished the series with The One, I definitely have some reflections.

It took me a while to really get back into the story when I started reading, but it surely dragged me back in. I wanted action, drama, and definite decisions after two books of mainly waiting, and Kiera Cass absolutely delivered. I was wholly satisfied as rebel activity in Illéa escalated, the relationships between the Elite contestants strained, broke, mended, and changed, and as true feelings became clear and promises made.

In fact, I think that the new relationships between the contestants was one of my favorite parts about the book. Though it seemed impossible to unite four girls competing for the hand of one prince, Kiera Cass does so with credibility and skill. As each contestant opens up and reveals their weaknesses and doubts, they are able to finally connect with one another and confide in each other during the incredibly overwhelming process that is The Selection. I was surprised myself by how much I enjoyed these new friendships, heart-to-hearts, makeovers, group selfie-takings and all.

As for the romance…the romance was beautiful, and it definitely moved this book along if the plot was ever going a bit slowly. I felt that it was very honest and complete with all the missteps and heartfelt moments that any true relationship has — even if it was unusually burdened by the drama of court life and the stress of the Selection process. I really loved it.

That being said, I really need to stress that this series is more of a Romance series than anything else. While the books were based off a sort of Dystopian premise (Illéa being the remade USA and all) and seemed to promise a lot of rebellion and development of problems with the caste system, The Selection series never truly fulfills this promise. Sure, there are rebels that attack the palace and occasionally more, and America does try to fight the caste system, but it always feels like a sub-plot. The world-building is lacking, and every issue never seems fully expressed. The Selection process seems to me to be the main focus, and the caste system and rebels seem more like a tool to reflect back on the characters of America and Maxon rather than a real plot line. Maybe I should have realized this sooner, but this book really drove it home for me. But that by means makes it a bad book; I was still satisfied, and it was a really enjoyable read.

 And while it seems like the ending of this book has been a long time coming and that it would be obvious, be prepared for some major excitement and for things to turn on their head near the end! I’m still reeling a little from everything that transpired within the last 50 pages or so. Such a gripping ending to the series really sealed the deal for me with this book.

Definitely finish this series! But don’t read it just for the politics.


  • Sophia says:

    Yay! I’ve been meaning to read this one, but I really hated The Elite so I’ve been putting it off. I’m glad to see that you liked it! Maybe I will pick it up again…
    Great review! 🙂

    • Thanks! I definitely put off reading it too, but I’m glad I did. While I am a little disappointed that the dystopian theme never really seemed to mature, it was definitely worth finishing the series!

  • To be honest, I’m not sure if I’ll be giving this series a go. It’s just that I’ve been seeing SO many mixed reviews about the previous books in general that it’s scared me quite a bit! All the same, I’m glad the finale worked so well for you. I always find that last books tend to be a bit of a disappointment for some reason, which really sucks because it leaves me feeling so dissatisfied.

    Heck yeah for romance that worked well! While I’m not big of romance taking over most of the plot, especially for sci-fi, dystopian, or fantasy books, I’m happy just as long as the author handles it nicely. It’s good to know that The One didn’t fail in this area. I’m just a bit leery about the lacking world-building. World-building is such an important part of the story for me, because it’s one of the things that help me immerse myself more in the book, so it’s a little disappointing that the world wasn’t as developed as it could’ve been in this series.

    Still, any book that leaves you feeling high from all the action and happenings is a good book, in my opinion! So I’m happy that you loved The One so much. I might even decide on reading the entire series just for a satisfying final book. 😉 Lovely review, Lina!
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    • Aw, thanks! When I first started the series I was definitely excited because I thought it would be a good dystopian, but alas it was not. If that really turns you off, then the series probably isn’t worth starting. I was definitely frustrated along the way because I felt like The Selection took so long and each book only took place over a short-ish period of time. But it did wrap up nicely, and I did like the romance. It’s a toss up. But to me starting the series means you definitely have to finish it!

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