The One by Kiera Cass
Prince Maxon's selection is now down to four girls and he must decide whom he wants to marry. America fights for her love for Maxon while the King is against her being the next Queen of Illea. Meanwhile, the southern rebels continue to become more and more violent in their cause against the caste system.
America- the main character and Maxon's favorite in the competition. She's been a front runner from the beginning but her recent actions and words against the government and the social system have caused some trouble.
Maxon- the Crown Prince of Illea. He is trying to find his future wife via the traditional Selection. He very much likes America but her recent actions have made him question things and look for another potential wife.
Aspen- America's ex-boyfriend who broke up with her prior to the Selection only to later enroll in Guard and find himself posted in the Castle where he sees America regularly.
I was not a big fan of the ending. It did end with a bit of a bang, which was to be expected, but it all just happened so fast. The ending was quick and I really wanted it to be stretched out a bit more. I wanted more to be happening and, well, I guess I wanted a bigger bang than what we were given. Plus, there was the whole issue with things feeling incomplete. (I shall elaborate below)
The Overall Opinion
If you've heard of The Selection, you've probably heard it being described as "The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor." If you haven't heard that before, you should know that it is a pretty good description for the series, at least as far as generalities go. I've been following this series since book 1 and had been eagerly anticipating The One since I finished The Elite last year. Partially because I enjoy the series and partially because I was left unsatisfied by The Elite, which seemed to be filled with fluff and not enough stuff. I figured The One had to have lots of action because there was so much that needed to be explained and resolved and this was the last book in the series. This turned out to be partly true. There was a lot of action, so I'll give it that. Right from the beginning things seemed to be moving forward which gave me high hopes but, unfortunately, it did not end with the story being fully resolved. I wanted a sense of completion which I did not get. There is still a lot about the rebels that we don't know. The rebel situation has yet to be fixed. There is the letter that America gets from her dad which seemed like it could lead to some explanation but it did not, it only created more questions which have not been answered. By the end, the whole book just felt very...hasty? Yup, that's the word I'm going to go with. Hasty.
The characters, also, felt quite underdeveloped. I didn't really feel like they had grown since The Elite (book 2) or maybe even since The Selection (book 1). They felt more one dimensional than ever before. I just had to trust that they were maturing in the ways the book said they were and that they had made the progress the story claimed they did because I wasn't feeling any of these changes.
I found out that there are going to be two more books in the series which means The One is no longer the final book. This could explain the loose ends. Kiera Cass might have been planning these two books already and so she left the loose ends in there so that they can be carried into the remaining books. I'm not sure. I also don't know how I feel about the fact that this series is getting extended into two more books. I was pretty satisfied with the idea of it being a trilogy.
Despite the fact that I have all these complaints about it, I still gave the book four stars and here's why. Usually, I rate a book right after I finish reading it, so the rating is my initial feeling soon after completion. I might think differently after a day or two or more, once I've had a chance to let it sit and process, but I still keep the initial rating because that is how I genuinely felt immediately after. In other words, it's what I thought before I started over thinking. So, after finishing The One, I was feeling pretty satisfied with the book and would have probably given in five stars if the loose ends were not there and if the conclusion was a bit bigger. I was satisfied with the conclusion to the selection (who Maxon ended up picking), even though it was predictable right from the start, I was still happy to see it happen. I liked that Maxon and America's relationship went through struggles and wasn't perfect (even though I later decided that it could have been more developed than it was). I also liked the resolution between America and Aspen. As much as Aspen annoyed me throughout the series, I am now kind of glad that he was in there to begin with. He added a dimension to the story that you don't see very often.
Overall, as a fan of the series, I enjoyed The One, though I did feel like there could have been more depth to the story. I was expecting more closure but I guess I'll just have to wait for book 4, The Heir, followed by the yet unnamed book 5 in order to get complete satisfaction.