May 15, 2014

Review: The One by Kiera Cass

Title: The One
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publishing Date: May 6, 2014
Pages/Format: 323, Hardcover

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.

Book in One Word: ONEderful!

Fair warning: If you haven't read The Selection or The Elite you're going to want to go away (or scroll all the way down to the bottom, if you want to see my rating) because you will be spoiled. If you haven't read The One you should be okay, but be wary: I'm going to mark spoilers, but this review will be a gushing one, and it's hard to not just say everything that happened. But I'll try to mark them all!

Okay, so where I do start with this book? You know, when I first read The Selection I didn't love it right away, but over time it grew on me. Then I read The Elite, and JEEZ, it was fantastic and a whirlwind and MY GOSH. The One was kind of like that. Like, MY GOSH. As with The Elite, I read it one sitting, because I just had to DEVOUR this book. (And also I was trying to avoid spoilers.) This book made me smile and cringe and swear and kick my feet and fill me with butterflies and make me want to cry and throw the book and just GOSH. So, so good, and a wonderful end to this wonderful series.

The One picks up pretty much right where The Elite left off: America gets to stay in the castle and keep fighting for the chance to be with Maxon, along with Kriss (hate her), Celeste (bitch), and Elise (don't care about her). As well, America is still trying to figure out who she wants to be with: Prince Maxon (obvi), or her former love Aspen (ew). And on top of all that, there are rebels constantly attacking the castle and Illea, and America isn't sure if she wants to be a princess and, eventually, the queen. It's this big, messy, frustrating web, and I like it.

Now don't get me wrong: I loved this book. But I did have a few small issues with it. And really, one is just because of personal preference, while the other is something that drives me crazy: overusage of the word "suddenly." It was okay at first, but then there was a section in the book where it was used a lot and I just AH. Things I Cannot Stand: Too many uses of "suddenly." Seriously, people. Watch how you use the word. The other thing that bothered me didn't even really bother me (and this could be slightly spoilery, so use caution): the end. There's been all this buildup through three books plus some novellas to see how the Selection is going to end, and we get what is, in my opinion at least, a satisfactory ending...but in only lasts a few pages. And come on, I want to see it ALL, and while I'm still pleased and pretty okay with the ending, it would've been nice to see mooore. (End spoiler.)

Let's talk about the characters, because this book has a big cast of them. At this point in the series you should prooobably know who America, our protagonist, is. I've seen some reviews that complain about her, but I really don't mind. I'm totally okay with reading from her POV, and I don't mind her as a character. But good gosh, woman, MAKE A DECISION. (And also, possible spoiler? You have GOT to tell Maxon about the whole Aspen thing. I've been WAITING for that shit to hit the fan--come on, you just KNOW it's going to. End spoiler.) Here's the deal: I don't dislike Aspen. But boy, ew, go away or die or something because America and Maxon are meant to be. Seriously. He is THROWING OF THEIR GROOVE. Maxon is just so swoony and lovely and I LOVE HIM. And I'd love him even if he wasn't a prince. But my biggest thing going into this book--heck, since it became a possibility in The Selection--was not that there be a wedding, or that Aspen wouldn't be with America. No, it's that America and Maxon would end up together. America could've chosen neither guy, and I get that, but this is fiction and I like things to go my way and I have a ship that needs to set sail full speed ahead. So. There's that.

There are two other mainish characters in the Elite, Celeste and Kriss. (Sorry, Elise, you're kind of just there and I don't feel the need to talk about you.) I REALLY started to hate Kriss in The Elite, for she became America's biggest threat in the Selection; there's a possibility that Maxon could pick Kriss over America. (Barf.) When people get in the way of my ships, I want them to die, so in this book I really wanted something to happen Kriss. (I'm a horrible person, I know.) And then there's Celeste, who's been a mega-bitch since book one. I went into The One fully prepared and thinking that, at some point, I would have this status update (or something like that) on Goodreads: "Celeste is the biggest bitch in any book I've ever read." But I never had to post that. And I didn't even hate Celeste most in this book (though that will probably always be Kriss), if at ALL: I really hated Kriss (OBVI) and King Clarkson (asshole). I actually kind of liked Celeste, which is so totally weird. And I can't expand on that without spoiling the book, otherwise I totally would.

The One is such a fantastic ending to a fantastic series that does not disappoint, and I'm pretty sure I could go on talking about it forever. (And thank GOSH the CW didn't pick this up for a show, with either script--especially the shitty second one--because they would've BUTCHERED it.) This book had EVERYTHING: swoons, romance, frustrations, fun, humor, thrills, adventure, suspense, panic, and things I can't mention because they'd spoil the book! Also, even better, The One filled me with smiles and screams and swear words and butterflies and had me kicking my legs and FREAKING OUT and stressing out and making me want to throw the damn book. You'd think this would be a relatively happy, safe book, but at one point I was, like, screaming, "WHAT KIND OF BOOK IS THIS?" I just COULD NOT and CANNOT with this book but I also want to marry it. I love the feels this book, this series, gives me. SERIOUSLY. And so many things happen that I DID NOT EXPECT. (Spoilers: Certain people freaking DYING! What Maxon said to America! Aspen's relationship! End spoilers.)

(This may or may not be a spoiler, depends on how you feel about those things.) But in the end? I'm a very happy reader.

Bonus: I bought the Barnes & Noble Special Edition of The One with a bonus scene, thinking it'd be something certain, but really I just kept yelling "fuck you" at the thing because I had waited TWO DAYS after the release date for my preorder to come because I just HAD to have the bonus scene and it was disappointing and I didn't really care and WHY WAS THE BONUS SCENE? (Major spoiler: If you want to know what the scene is, it's about Aspen and Lucy, when they're on the plane, and a bit in the palace, when they return to the castle after America's little "vacation.")

Did I like it? YES!
Did I love it? Um, YES!
Would I reread it? Heck yes!
Would I purchase it? Obviously I already own this.
Who would I recommend it to? Everybody, especially people who like fun stories, romances to root for, and books that will have you FREAKING OUT.

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