May 8, 2014

Review: The One by Kiera Cass

Title: The One (The Selection #3)
Author: Kiera Cass
Release Date: May 6th, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Page Count: 323
Source: Purchased (and promptly gifted to a friend *hi Marine!*)
First Reaction: I knew better than to read this book. But I read it and I only have myself to blame.
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.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]


There are four girls left: America, Kriss, Elise, and Celeste. Between the political unrest, the drama between the girls, and America's indecision regarding Maxon and Aspen, tension is high in the palace. Let's see how this all ends, shall we?

Let's break this down:

This book starts off pretty much where the last one left off. The girls are still at the palace vying for Maxon's attention. America is still trying to figure out who she really loves. Maxon is evenly dating all of the girls. Aspen is just kind of standing around. The Northern rebels just want the castes to go away, so they're cozying up to Maxon and America. The Southern rebels hang out off screen and seem to just want anarchy. The girls are being catty and insensitive.

I guess the only other thing to say about the plot is that it's lousy with holes. Everyone's just seems to run around in pointless, nonsensical circles and I'm not entirely sure how the plot makes it from point A to point B. Like, we hear a little about the Southern Rebels from the Northern Rebels and then they just show up for the big fight at the end. But what do they really want? What's their end game? What is happening here? The only thing that has any continuity from the other books and throughout this one is the twists regarding the Northern Rebels. Everything else is just a string of events that someone just decided would happen without any real cause or reasoning.

So, lack of plot aside, I'd like to comment on the heavy handed world building. It still makes no sense. There are telephones but no TVs and the TVs were removed... why? And how did the government end up like this? Because one crazy guy decided and used his "power" to make it as he wanted? But why did he want it that way? How is the caste system logical? I'm pretty sure the world tried that once and it absolutely failed.

Oh, and, as for the ending (which is sort of plot and world building wrapped into one)... I'll not lie, I read the last page first (because I needed to know) so I was curious to see how we got to the ending, but I'm still not sure how that ending is possible. I really feel like I skipped a bunch of pages because everyones behavior is so erratic. It's like, in this book, 1 + 1 = 321894, instead of 2 and, as such, I have no idea how any of these characters could have logically ended up where they did.

The writing was also incredibly heavy handed. The best way I've described it is, y'know when you're cramming for a history exam right before you walk into the room and you just spit or words and dates and talk like you would talk to your friends but it's not how you would ever, ever write that essay? That's how this book is written. And it's as terrible as cramming for an exam just before you sit down to take said exam.

The last thing I'll comment on is the characters. America couldn't make a decision to save her life, so good luck with that Queen thing. Maxon used to be the one character who made sense in this series but he stopped doing that at the end of book 2 and is completely all over the place in book 3. Like, he used to be calm and rational and put together but by the end of book 3 he's a hot, dramatic, whim-driven mess. And Aspen... well, I can't actually talk about Aspen without giving away the ending, so I won't. But it's terrible and he makes the least amount of sense of everyone in this book.

All in all, I regret reading this book. The part of me that said "I wonder how we got here..." and convinced me to read all the way through after reading the the last page should be ignored forever and ever. Because I still don't understand how this book logically got there.

The long and short of it?

Plot: Nonsensical and pointless.
World Building: A heavy handed caricature of I don't even know what, please make it go away.
Character Development: A whole bunch of meaningless flip flopping. None of these character feel different from anyone else. I wish I'd never met them.
Prose: More heavy handed awful-ness.
Would I Recommend This Book?: No. Even if you've read this series up to this book, just read the last page and walk away. And if you haven't started this series, just don't. Don't. Do. It.

Have you read this one already or are you taking my warning to heart? Let me know your Selection thoughts in the comments below!