Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Book Review: The One

The Selection changed the lives of thirty-five girls forever. And now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen.

America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the competition approaches its end 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.
From the very first page of The Selection, this #1 New York Times bestselling series has captured readers' hearts and swept them away on a captivating journey... Now, in The One, Kiera Cass delivers a satisfying and unforgettable conclusion that will keep readers sighing over this electrifying fairy-tale long after the final page is turned.  Quoted from Goodreads


This was such a pleasant surprise! To be honest, the second book didn't up the stakes enough for me, so I was a little bit worried about this one.  There could have been too much drama, too much stupidity, and one of the most pathetic love triangles ever written.  While this book did have it's stupid moments, it was so much better than it's predecessors, fixing most of the things that drove me nuts and explaining elements we've wondered about through the first two books.

Things I loved.  First, I love that we get more interaction with the rebels. I realize this is the subplot, but since you basically know where the book was heading from about page 50 of The Selection (I mean, you read if for the journey, not the end result)---and note, I'm trying not to include spoilers---this is where most of the mystery and world building comes in, and I love how we got all our questions answered and the world fleshed out a bit more.

Second, I love the friendships America makes.  Even characters that annoyed me are fleshed out and I ended up liking some that drove me absolutely crazy before.  This book could have been girl vs. girl (and of course it is at times), but I love that she actually befriends her competitors and not just her maids.  Sure, there's still conflict, but I thought the whole issue was actually handled really well.

What bothered me?  I'd love to say the book is flawless, but there were still some really stupid moments, but they weren't unrealistically stupid . . . mostly. Plus---and again, I'm not really giving anything big away here---I don't like when the other person in a love triangle finds a different love by the end of the book. Hope? Sure, but not the love of their life after loosing the former love of their life.  It's too easy an ending.

As for the romance, because honestly why else would you read this, I thought it was really cute. There were a lot of insecure moments but a lot of really sweet ones thrown into the mix.  The epilogue was perfect.

All in all, this book is a wonderful conclusion to the series.  Will it win you over if you didn't like the first two? Probably not. However, if you're a fan of the first two, this is an absolutely delightful ending full of everything you've come to love in the first two books and with a lot less of the stuff I personally didn't much care for.  There are some sad moments and some shocking deaths that really didn't get enough page time, but it lends a much needed weight to the series and I actually appreciated that the author went there.

I'm going to give this book a high 3.5 stars.  I honestly was surprised by how much I enjoyed this. Lately I've read a bunch of really disappointing endings to series---either they kill of the main character or fix the big problem in an artificial way or randomly have the main love interest find the love of her life and leave our protagonist after 13 books!---and I'm happy this one worked out so perfectly.  So if you're like me (and really you should all be team *****) than you need to pick this up now.

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