Review: "The One" by Kiera Cass (The Selection #3)

Aspettavo questo libro da molto più di un anno, un po’ come tutti i fan di questa saga e finalmente è arrivato. “The One” è il capitolo conclusivo della saga di Kiera Cass iniziata con “The Selection”, e seguita poi da “The Elite”. Uscito il 6 Maggio in America, sarà ben presto pubblicato anche in Italia, si vocifera subito dopo l’estate, da Sperling & Kupfer. La serie include anche due short stories: “The Prince” (tradotto in italiano) e “The Guard” (di cui non si hanno notizie per un’eventuale traduzione).
Altre mie recensioni sulla serie: The Selection Stories: The Prince & The Guard (The Selection #0.5, #2.5)
ATTENZIONE: Essendo questo l’ultimo libro della saga questa recensione contiene numerosi spoilers anche sul finale.

I have been waiting for this book much more than a year, like all the fans of this saga and it finally arrived. “The One” is the final chapter in Kiera Cass’s series, began with “The Selection” and followed by “The Elite”. Released on May 6th in America, it will be published soon in Italy – it is rumored immediately after the summer – by Sperling & Kupfer. The series also includes two short stories: “The Prince” (translated into Italian) and “The Guard” (of which there is no news for a possible translation).
My other reviews on the series: The Selection Stories: The Prince & The Guard (The Selection #0.5, #2.5)
NB: As this is the last book in the series, this review may contain many spoilers, especially about the end.

Title: The One
(The Selection #3)
Author: Kiera Cass
Language: English
Genre: YA, Dystopia, Romance.

The highly anticipated conclusion to Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series, The One will captivate readers who love dystopian YA fiction and fairy tales. The One is the perfect finale for fans who have followed America’s whirlwind romance since it began–and a swoon-worthy read for teens who have devoured Veronica Roth’s Divergent, Ally Condie’s Matched, or Lauren Oliver’s Delirium.

The Selection changed America Singer’s life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she entered the competition to become the next princess of Illéa, America has struggled with her feelings for her first love, Aspen–and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she’s made her choice … and she’s prepared to fight for the future she wants.

Find out who America will choose in The One, the enchanting, beautifully romantic third book in the Selection series!

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There would be so many things to say about this series and probably this review of the last book might not be enough. My reading of “The Selection” goes back to a long time ago, long before I had a blog, and it was immediately able to hit me. The story was very unique and innovative at the same time respect to the YA dystopian literature published until then. In reality it is more a mixture of a fairy tale and a dystopia, but the romance is still very much present. The element of the TV program, then, have always remembered me Hunger Games (and perhaps it maybe took inspiration from there). Putting aside these considerations, I well remember I was disappointed by the second book in the saga, “The Elite”, perhaps the slowest of the saga (and this reminds me that sooner or later I’ll write a post on why the second in the trilogy is always the “weaker”). So all things considered fond of the story of America Singer and also boost by the incredible curiosity about her choice, I was there counting the days that separated me from the release of this novel in America.

The novel flows quickly, like all others in the series, and especially for those who had read the chapters in the weeks before the publication (ten chapters were released as the release neared) the reading was decidedly short. Putting aside the criticism of the overall length, “The One” has kept the expectations I had: a conclusion of the saga and an America more decisive about what she really wants. This is probably the lowest perspectives I’ve ever had, but the saga, since the second novel, is not envisaged a total upheaval of style and plot, and because until then I was enjoying it, would be futile to expect something different. “The Selection” rotated around America’s love stories while “The One” has put a final point, leaving all in the classic happy ending, typical of fairy tales. It does not matter from a certain point of view that the world building, which I love so much, has not had a more prominent role in the entire series and appeared rapidly only in this third book. Because the true protagonists are and remain the people and not the places.

“Siamo rimasti in tre, tre somari e tre briganti, sulla strada longa longa di Girgenti” so Modugno sings in the musical comedy “Rinaldo in the field” and the Elite’s girls could sing this. Of course, they are no longer three, but four, and yet they are still in the place where Maxon left them: the road is long and the competition is tight in view of the announcement that could upset the life of everyone. We meet again the challengers to the throne as queen: Elise, Celeste, Kriss and the narrator and protagonist of all, America. Their lives, since the early chapters, depends no more over the prince’s judgment, but on that of the whole people, in particular of the rebels. The “rebels problem” becomes the central theme of this third novel, much more than it had been in the others. The attacks, first sporadics, become more and more intrusive, until they hit the building several times and lead to an encounter with these mysterious individuals who want to take control over Illéa.
Speaking about the protagonist, America. We had left her struggling with her own feelings, divided in half between her first love, now a palace guard, Aspen, and the one who will be the “prize” of the Selection, the Prince Maxon. I admit I shamelessly rooted for the second boy throughout the series, but Aspen had made ​​inroads into my heart with the short story dedicated to him. In fact what was indecision, that had put against fans of the saga (cheering for a couple or another), in this book becomes a real choice, although “declared” only in the last pages. Kiera Cass wanted rightly to leave doubt until the very end, putting clues here and there confessions about America’s choice, like a very sweet phone call between her and her father:

“I really like him, Dad.”
“Why exactly?”
I thought for a minute. “I’m not really sure. But part of it is that he makes me feel like me, I think.”
“Did you ever feel like not you?” Dad joked.
“No, it’s like … I’ve always been aware of my number. Even when I came to the palace, I obsessed about it for a while. Was I a Five or a Three? Did I want to be a One? But now I’m not conscious of it at all. And I think it’s because of him.“
“He screws up a lot, don’t get me wrong.” Dad chuckled. “But when I’m with him I feel like I’m America. I’m not a caste or a project. I don’t even think of him as elevated, really. He’s just him, and I’m just me.”
Dad was quiet for a moment. “That sounds really nice, kitten.”

And while America seems more convinced about the real reasons why Maxon is the right person for her – but always looking for confirmation on his part – he seems more alert, perhaps giving too much "space” to her formidable Selection competitor Kriss. There will be alternate moments in which both deny their feelings and eventually everything will be questioned when it will come out the relationship between America and Aspen. The role of Aspen in this novel is almost marginal, so that only appears after half the book and always in the background. However one of the most beautiful scenes is just the final one between America and the guard, which is outside the role until then played by Aspen in girl’s life.

“I’m just realizing, Mer, that no matter what happens … there will always be a string tying you to me. I’ll never not worry about you. I’ll never not care about what you do. You’ll always be something to me.”
I took my hand and laced it through his arm, resting my head on his shoulder. “I know what you mean.”

To the ups and downs in the love’s field are added moments of union and friendship between America and other characters who had played an antagonistic role. As well remembered by the queen:

“But know this: as much tension as you feel with one another now, you will ache every time one of you leaves. No one will ever understand this experience like the other girls who have been through it, the Elite especially. You may fight, but that’s what sisters do. These girls,” she said, pointing to each of us, “will be the ones you call nearly every day for the first year, terrified of making a mistake and needing their support. When you have parties, these are the names you’ll put at the top of your guest lists, just under the names of your family members. Because that’s what you are now. You’ll never lose these relationships.”
We looked at one another. If I was the princess and something was happening where I needed a rational perspective, I’d call Elise first. If I was fighting with Maxon, Kriss would remind me of every good thing about him. And Celeste … well, I wasn’t so sure, but if anyone was ever going to tell me to toughen up about something, it would be her.
“So take your time,” she advised. “Adjust to where you are. And let it go. You don’t choose him; he chooses you. There’s no point in hating the others for that.”

After attacks and discussions between them, the girls remained in the Elite begin to make friends with each other, revealing sides of their character never seen before. Celeste is the real discovery of the novel, with its fragile, but determined personality. She will tighten a friendship with America and it will be a shame to see her true nature only in the end. The other side of the coin is Kriss, for me a disappointment, though Kiera Cass has tried to save her character.

The final part of the book is a crescendo of twists and turns, in which are given answers to the most important questions, and in which there is the final choice. I admit that, after seeing the book cover, I was almost convinced that the dress was not a wedding dress as it looked. I told myself that probably Kiera Cass wanted to take us all around and it would not have ended up that way. And until the last twenty pages I could well be right, but the happy ending was so requested by readers, that in effect would not put it out of tune. Obviously there’s the wedding, but not before an attempt on the life of many people. America is the One and only for Maxon and everyone noticed it, especially Aspen, who has also found a way to move forward. So it all ends with the marriage of the new king and the death of some characters, as well as the wounding of others.

– END –

In conclusion, “The One” is a good novel that, despite the flaws in the other books in the series, is the right conclusion of America Singer’s story: it answers to the questions that we had seats up to that time and it finally reveals her choice between the guard Aspen and Prince Maxon.


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In italiano



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