The One by Kiera Cass
The Skinny: 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. – From Goodreads
BFF?: Alright. America. I liked her in The Selection, she got on my nerves in The Elite, and now? I really don’t know. I think I admired her a little for sticking to her guns, for not giving into peer pressure, etc. and really showing who she is and what she believes, consequences be damned! But she’s still so soppy for Maxon. She still gives in to the cat-fight drama of the competition. She still believes she has to compete for this boy’s attention. And yes, I know, I know.. I have felt that way even in my adult life. It just drove me a little nuts because I know America is kind of awesome but don’t like that she falls into this boy trap. However, if you see my “Yearbook Quote” below… I really want to give her a high five for this line because honestly, who hasn’t been there?
Readability: I really wanted to read this one non-stop. It had a slightly darker tone than the other two books in this series, so it really felt like shizz was getting real here.
Crush Level: 4ish
So after The Elite, Aspen was kind of out of the picture for me. He’s not so much out of America’s picture, but for me, clearly she has to end up with Maxon. I will not accept any other option. Although I still found Maxon to be kind of douchy in that he was STILL WITH ALL THE OTHER LADIES! but his love for America was pretty honest. I don’t know… I mean, I guess I could see why America and all the other girls wanted him; he really was quite nice and charming in an awkward preppy kind of way. But (and this is why I have major problems with The Bachelor) he was essentially dating multiple women at the same time! I think this is okay if you are STRICTLY dating… ie dinner and a movie, drinks, going to the park, etc. because in real life you are allowed to go on multiple dates with multiple people so you can check out what is out there. But when you’re macking with multiple girls and having them all fall in love with you? Not cool, dude. Not cool. So anyway… I liked Maxon for who he was, thought he had a relatively good head on his shoulders, liked his politics… but then I’d remember that he was messing around (okay, he wasn’t really) with 4 other girls and all that went out the window.
Maybe it’s my Southern blood, but I love books with rebels in them. There’s something about the intense passion that comes with the decision to rebel. Not all rebellions are good, though, and in The One we get to see two different groups of rebels, both with much different goals and methods for getting what they want. I loved this giant web of who supports what cause and traitors v. allies. It added a completely different level to this story.
Commencement Speech: Despite my hesitation to start this series, I’m actually really glad that I did. I found it a lot different than what I was expecting and really got attached to it. While I still don’t like the whole Bachelor theme going on, I thought it was a very good spin on your standard dystopian society. While the series started out a little frivalous, I really loved how it took a different turn about halfway through The Elite and became this edgy darker story. The romance was so-so at times, but overall I really have no complaints on it. Except my “Maxon is a douche” comment above.
The one also really tore at my heartstrings. There were some really sweet moments between the last girls left as well as some majorly dramatic moments going on at the palace. I won’t go into them, but this one didn’t leave me with the warm fuzzies all the way through. In fact, there was one particular scene towards the end where my jaw literally dropped and I had to reread the scene just to make sure I had read it right. I don’t always support major shockers like this, but it felt totally right for the book.
Overall, good series. It wasn’t quite over the top and managed to march to its own dystopian drummer.
Yearbook Quote: “Maxon, you were the one who said you wanted to stop arguing. So stop giving me reasons to argue with you!”
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