The One is the third book in The Selection series by Kiera Cass, following The Selection and The Elite. While I really enjoy Cass’s writing style in that it’s incredibly easy to read and become immersed in, I’ll admit I was shocked and rather disappointed with the ending. I don’t want to give anything away, but I wasn’t sold on the outcome or the message of the “love story” therein. However, I truly had fun reading the trilogy and becoming part of the fandom, and fully intend to read the “next generation” installment of the series, The Heir, due out in 2015.
In The One, we follow America Singer’s continued journey in the royal palace as a member of The Elite – a selection of four potential princesses – competing to wed Maxon, the prince of a dystopian futuristic version of the United States. America’s secret love triangle between Maxon and her first hometown love, Aspen (now a palace guard), comes to a close as she decides pretty early on who she really loves. That part felt forced to me. We are told, rather than shown, why she picks who she does. For that reason, her decision wasn’t believable to me. Neither of the men *did* anything per se to sway her; she simply had a change of heart/mind and we’re expected just to go with it. Then, even once she makes the decision, she holds out for far too long before telling either guy the truth. So heartbreaking!
The political intrigue with the rebels was fun. I also appreciated the transformation of one of my least favorite characters into my favorite character by the end of the novel. I felt so many other characters could’ve stood to be developed further, but fell a little short. A few plot twists took me by surprise and impressed me. While America’s romantic choice felt unnatural to me, I can live with it and read future books. At any rate, regardless of my personal tastes in men, I still recommend this series to girls everywhere looking for entertaining, quick and immersing reads. I commend Cass on completing her trilogy and look forward to the next story.