Published: May 7th 2014 by HarperTeen
Format: Paperback, 272 pages
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For the four girls who remain at the palace, the friendships they’ve formed, rivalries they’ve struggled with and dangers they’ve faced have bound them to each other for the rest of their lives.
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 realises just how much she stands to lose – and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.
Tears, angst, guns, blood, an engagement (yes that’s a wedding dress on the cover!). Sounds awesome? That’s The One, wrapped up in a few words for you.
It’s over, and now we know who America gets with. The journey hasn’t been easy, with the books focussing on the relationships between America and the rest of the cast and not the thing I was most interested in, which was the dystopian society and the rebellion. The One is more of the same, with America forming meaningful ties with the other three girls who are left in the game to become Prince Maxon’s bride. I loved this because I was quite tired of seeing the girls bicker and succumb to petty emotions, and I feel like they all really grew up in this book.
I had a paragraph here about how whiny and irrational America is, but I think I’ve said it all in the other reviews and there’s no reason to rehash it. She makes silly decisions, has a very weird thought-process, and still hasn’t mastered the art of considering the consequences of her ill-conceived decisions.
My favourite character from the series has been Queen Amberley. She gives America some amazing advice in this book and shows a lot of courage and strength of character. I’m quite excited about reading the just-announced prequel novella about Amerbely’s time at her own Selection, titled The Queen. She’s the one character I really want to know more about.
I’m surprised to find that I don’t mind the way the world-building and the politics of the series have played out. It’s not grand or sweeping, and everything certainly falls into place much too easily, but these books never set out to be grand or sweeping. One of the things I loved is that the author doesn’t pretend that all the things that are wrong in the world can be solved instantaneously. There’s definitely a sense of these three books being only one story in the tapestry of the characters’ lives. Plot-wise things really picked up in the last third or quarter of the novel where I found that suddenly I couldn’t put it down! I’m sort of wishing the rest of the series had been written like that too.
While I am not unhappy with the way the love triangle has been resolved, I think everything was very convenient and almost clinical: none of the characters displayed the kind of passion I would have thought they would considering all the relationship drama that has gone on before. The most frustrating thing, for me, is how the relationship tension is created between America and Prince Maxon. It’s pretty clear where their story is going from the very first chapter, but it takes so very long to get there because of their fears. Neither is willing to compromise or understand the other’s place, and I just got sick of both of them.View Spoiler »And forgive me, but every time Aspen came ‘on-screen’ I just wanted to push him the hell away. He’s really a very boring character and I don’t think he added anything to the plot. The story would have basically been the same without him. « Hide Spoiler
The One is an admirable conclusion to The Selection series that I liked, and is not to be missed by those who, like me, have become enthralled in Aspen, America, and Maxon’s story. A lot of the things I didn’t like about this series have more to do with my own personal tastes and not shortcomings of the books themselves, and if you are interested in reading a story that is 80% romantic tension and 20% dystopian then I think these are totally the books for you!