Saturday, April 9, 2016

Book Review: The One by Kiera Cass

From GoodreadsThe 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.

What I Thought

Warning, I JUST finished reading it, and my thoughts are just a bit scattered. I promise to try to sound intelligent.

Let me tell you my experience with reading "The One" 

When I first saw "The Selection" on the shelves at Barnes and Noble, it immediately looked like a book that I would enjoy. But I knew, I knew the final installation of the series wouldn't be out for a long time. So of course I hit goodreads. As overwhelming as that site is sometimes, it's great for information on book synopsis and release dates. When I saw the release date for "The One" being over a year away, I immediately put it on the back burner. The slow torture of waiting for the release date is... well slow torture. And as the release date grew closer, I was seeing and hearing via blogs and twitter more and more about "The One". Even the title sounds all consuming right? Comes along with a dooms day voice that echo's like you're in a tunnel. I finally caved, two weeks before the release date, I read "The Selection" and "The Elite". 

If you haven't noticed already, with the year wait to read an entire series, and the book being blown up everywhere,(the deep echoing dooms day voice) it sort of fell on a pedestal. Am I the only person that does this. Unknowingly and unintentionally get my hopes too high about a book. It happens to me too often. Which means its even easier to be let down. 

Now, I've actually read the first 2 books, and, to be perfectly honest I'm disappointed. The absolute best part about this book, and let me say it first, It was an incredibly easy read. It's like reading a friends diary. And it has just enough, drama, I guess to keep you interested. 

Characters First

America: By the time I read and finished The One I was really disliked America. (and that's the kindest adjective I'll use) It's nothing new to me to dislike a main female character. Many books feel a need to make some sort of "Love Triangle", which can be so much fun, but makes the character look unreliable, flaky, unfaithful, dishonest. All the things that come along with cheating. America, she did tons of good. And I'm so happy for her. But it took her so long to confess her feelings to Maxon. He'd made it perfectly clear how he felt. And she was afraid of being humiliated, embarrassed? Maybe it's just me (or a book I just read Dreams of Gods and Monsters) Love makes you the most vulnerable, opening up to someone else like that. Trusting someone else like that. If she couldn't do those things... And her impulsiveness... Jesus! I kept thinking, "Do this one thing, become Queen, change as much as you'd like" Maybe that was more the plot than her character? I don't know. 

Maxon: Dull! I actually liked Aspen more. I realize in so many books, we end up rooting for the rich popular one. Maxon was sweet, surprisingly insecure. I guess with his father, it shouldn't be a surprise. But he was just begging to be loved. If some random guy in college was begging to be loved like Maxon was, but didn't have all that money, can you imagine all the things girls would say about him. Desperate, Needy, You get the idea. But Aspen was strong. And steady. He never wavered. Maxon needed America, far more than she ever needed him. Hell, the country needed America to be Queen just for some decency in the laws. 

The Supporting Cast: I never got why oh why did Queen Amberly, a completely glorified character, love king Clarkson soooo stinking much if he was such a tyrant. If she loved Maxon and went along for duty, ok, but she seemed perfectly happy being a quiet puppet. Strictly to be used and for show. I do think King Clarkson loved her for her complacency. 
Celeste added the one splash of color to this book. I'm happy she came around. 
Everyone else was so freaking nice and supportive. 

The Plot: I think this story focused far too much attention on inconsequential details, like how pretty the castle was, the dresses, the Women's Room. I thought for sure by book 3 it would have moved on to more important things. While it touched the surface they barely left the castle. There was soooo much more I wanted to see happen. It was a great premise. A great foundation, the world she created. But America went from her small house in the Caroline to the Castle. And that's it. Even Maxon admitted he rarely left, and his mother almost never left. 
There was so much back and forth of emotions in this book. I was happy they seemed to argue just a little bit less, but were acting like children when it came to admitting they loved each other. 
I personally would have loved to see the rebels homes. How the live without the caste, how they interact with each other without the Illeau laws. Maybe even heard something from the southern rebels. We never heard them speak for themselves not once. I've read tons of books where killing/ dying/ war was all they could do to lead a different life. I guess I would have just like to see their "villain" (because next to the King, that's what they were) views first hand instead of handed down to me through another rebel group. 


I was not pleased with the resolution. Kill all opposing parties. Basically, the King gets killed and magically all problems are solved right. In one ambush, Maxon suddenly realizes he can't live without America. So you're telling me, if their had been no rebels he would have happily married Kriss. And then, swoosh, in the same scene the King is killed and all the problems are solved. No one else to oppose Maxon marrying America, or ending the caste, or for that case, working with the northern rebels. Life does not work that way, the main person opposing does NOT suddenly die so all can be well. I wish they would have all learned to work a way around the King. 


All In all, I'd rate it a 3. Even with its down faults it had the one major attribute books should have, that simple something that makes me not want to put it down. I still finished it, eyes rolling and head shaking in a day and a half.  That's the most important aspect to me. Maybe I'm too old. This would probably be great for teenagers. 

Don't just take my opinion, Read it for yourself. 
What did you think of the book?

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