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The One by Kiera Cass (The Selection #3)

one-kiera cass

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.

I stumbled onto The Selection series right around the time The Elite was coming out, or about to come out. I absolutely adored The Selection and The Elite was a great follow-up. So, like Cass’ other readers, I eagerly awaited for the finale to be published in May this year, and that leads us to The One.

The short-short version: Yes, I really liked it but I wasn’t left with the “warm and fuzzies” at the end that I was expecting and that was a major let-down.

The biggest reason why this book was such a let-down was its length. Running at 323 pages (hardcover version), that’s a bit short for a YA novel. In comparison, The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross was 408 pages (same format). The One needed to be either a) longer, or b) have a follow-up book.

The first half of the book is what you’d expect: more drama in the household as Maxon gets closer to each of the girls, inspiring competition, jealously and America to “hedge her bets” by maintaining her secret relationship/friendship with Aspen (swoon). Eventually, Maxon’s got to find out and of course he does, and everything hits the fan. That’s not a spoiler really, you’re expecting that from book 1.

What troubled me about this book was how under-developed the second half of book 3 was. It was too rushed, too much squeezed into a short space and I didn’t get the satisfying conclusion I was waiting a year for. Obviously I don’t know what was going on at the production end of things but maybe with pushed-back release date, or room for a fourth book, Cass would’ve had the creative room to develop the book further — and there were so many places where she could have too!

That’s what broke my heart about The One. The second half of the book needed more room to breathe.

The third book in a series is sometimes called “The War” and with The One, that is no exception. Without naming names here, people die.

Yes, it’s traumatic and sad. But was it necessary?  I’m not so sure.

There were hints in earlier parts of the book series about the backstory behind the characters and I really thought that those points would come back to the foreground in this last book … and it kind of disappoints. I’m sorry but I’m trying to talk about the story without giving out too many spoilers.  Suffice to say, there’s some shockers in there, but I’m not positive that it’s to advance the plot.

So, that’s my big beef with the book. Yes, there’s gorgeous fashions and yes, you won’t be screaming at the book (probably) by the end of it, but for me, this is one of those read-once-and-donate books. It’s not a read-and-reread book. And that makes me really sad. 😦 Do I recommend it? Eh, if you’ve read the other two, sure. Finish the series. If you haven’t started the series? Trilogies are over-rated anyway.

3 stars

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Lauren Miller is a Midwestern born writer with a passion for Jesus, the written word, and dogs. She has two decades of experience in the library field and reviews books for the Historical Novels Review (UK). She likes to spend her free time enjoying period films, discovering new reads, and being surrounded by other people’s pets. Lauren, her husband, and their wily Maine Coon (who isn’t quite a dog) live in Missouri. You can learn more about Lauren’s writing at

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