Thursday, October 15, 2015

All Things Halloween Review - The One

The One (The Selection, # 3)

By: Kiera Cass

Published: May 6th 2014 by HarperTeen

323 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Fantasy

Source: Borrowed from the library

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

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Goodreads description--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.

Ah! America has finally settled in on her guy! SHEESH that took long enough. But it is a relief to have the love triangle over. Of course, there are residual effects from the fact that there was a love triangle to begin with. But I won’t get into that right now.

Understandably, the closer we get to the end of the competition the more pressure each of the girls feel. There are 4 remaining: America, Chris, Celeste, and Elise. America has been Maxon’s favorite from the start, but over time he seems to have developed a special connection to Chris as well. Celeste is already a celebrity in her own right, but she just doesn’t seem to be in the competition for the right reasons. Plus she’s been horrible to the girls in the past. Elise seems more concerned with disappointing her family than anything else. Even though things got tense at times, these girls ended up developing a rather deep bond. And I could appreciate them coming together as friends regardless of the competition at hand. I know, personally, that would be really difficult for me.

Even though America realizes what (and who) she wants, there’s still the factor of what Maxon wants. America is unconsciously scarred by Aspen’s rejection from the past and has difficulty giving herself to Maxon completely without his word that she is the only one he wants. And at the same time, America has hurt Maxon time and time again and so choosing her and eliminating the remaining girls is a safety net that he hasn’t been ready to get rid of yet. What if American again doesn’t choose him? Then there’s no one left for him to fall back on. These two can be pretty dramatic at times. They both seem to overreact to the other which caused a few eye rolls, but overall I wasn’t too annoyed.

As I predicted, the rebels did take on more of a role in this book. The northern rebels in particular. Yet, I can’t really say that the book was completely focused on the political aspects of appeasing the rebels or the country or any of that. Of course, the king makes political move after political move trying to get America to back down from the stubborn positions that she’s taken and back out of the competition. He doesn’t make life in the Selection easy for her at all. But for him, the future of the kingdom he’s been a part of building is at stake. There are political motives in the background and changes that the citizens, rebels, etc want made that play a part in the whole story.

My biggest frustration revolves around the 85% mark. We knew this “conflict” was coming. It had to at some point. But how it was all handled was blown out of proportion in the moment and then too easily patched up considering the magnitude of the overreaction. It was one of those easy misunderstandings that could have been fixed or prevented, but instead the author used it as a plot device to cause tension and conflict necessary for the characters to overcome. I feel like this could have been handled so much better—especially with the quick work it took to fix.

The One wasn’t without its flaws. I did enjoy the entire thought process behind The Selection series. It was an interesting concept. Even though America has a tendency to be dramatic, I still did see her as being the best candidate. Not only because Maxon really picked her out from the beginning as his favorite, but because she had the best qualities needed to become queen. She could empathize with the citizens, elicit change, and keep a calm head during a tragedy (although lose that calm head in an argument). Maxon wasn’t the stuck up prince that America feared he would be. And all of the dynamics worked together to make an interesting story. The One gets 4 Stars. Have you read The One? What did you think? Let me know!

This review is part of my All Things Halloween event--a month of paranormal, supernatural, mystery/thriller, etc reviews and books. Even though this specific book does not fit the paranormal/supernatural/mystery/thriller genres of my typical All Things Halloween posts, I could thing of nothing more I would have loved to dress up as for Halloween when I was growing up than a princess. So that's why this book ended up in the mix this month.

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