Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #3
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
I will never consider Kiera Cass's writing to be masterful, and The Selection will never become classic literature, but darn it all if I still don't enjoy these novels as a guilty pleasure. The One is no exception to the rule either. Picking up a little while after where The Elite leaves off, America is now determined to win the Selection at all costs, even if it means dressing like a slut and trying to seduce our poor Prince Maxon. Prince Maxon, on his part, holds firm, and it becomes a bit of a game of cat and mouse as both of them wait for the other one to confess their true feelings first. Then Aspen has to be tossed into the mix every once in a while still as well, just to keep readers on their toes, but if anyone is still rooting for Aspen at this point, then I have just one question for you - seriously? Come on. For reals.
For Cass's part, she at least attempts to develop the dystopian society in The One, as the northern and southern rebels definitely start to play a bigger role in the plot, though after all is said in done I would suggest that perhaps Cass just stick with the romance side of things from this point on, as the dystopian subplot still falls pretty much flat on its butt when its all said and done. Throughout the series, the dystopian society aspect of the plot has always been weak, and even with the attempt for development here she didn't do herself many favors. Perhaps it was a simple case of too little, too late, but the dystopian aspects of the novel felt focused and highly coincidental as Cass weaved them into the plot during The One.
Dystopian society aside, we all know full well that the romance side of this novel is what people are looking for, and God help me for some reason I already enjoyed it here. Perhaps it's because everyone secretly wants to be a princess or prince (yes, even America as she now realizes), so perhaps it's because Prince Maxon is so charmingly naive, but I can't help but immerse myself in this guilty pleasure. Sure, the writing holds little to no substance and the narrative is lackluster and rather juvenile, but gosh darn it, Cass makes it work. I found myself so engrossed into rooting for America and Maxon, that even all the contest back and forth of break up/no, I want you/no, let's forget it and fighting and the lack of substance in the material couldn't phase me.
The One still has heart, which is proven by America's father, who has been one of my favorite characters from the beginning. And even Celeste is given a reprieve, though it seemed to happen very quickly and I found it a little hard to believe. Cass wraps up the series nicely, yet at the same time she leaves herself space to extend this trilogy with another novel is she so chooses to milk out the franchise for more moola (or another three to ten novels in a Cassandra Clare style as well). While I ponder more Prince Maxon in my life, I have to say I'm ready for this trilogy to end at three. Much easier to hide my embarrassment at my obsession as I plow through the series again.