The One by Kiera Cass | Review and Look Back!

Once upon a time…

I read The Selection Selection. Then I read The Elite Elite.

I was thrilled to discover a novella – The Prince Prince released between the two books and then a special book containing that story, another novella and a ton of extras between the release of The Elite and The One. I could barely contain my excitement and I was quite put out with the local bookstores when I found out that most of them didn’t even stock copies of The Selection Stories The Selection Stories but I finally managed to get my hands on one and then I read through the series again!

Unfortunately, I had also recently read a young adult series (don’t ask – truly… you don’t want to know) that was written by another author I respected and admired – only to discover that the series itself was not at all what I was expecting – It just goes to show that I should listen to my son when it comes to books to read or not read!

That experience sent me into a funk where I suppose you could say I temporarily lost my love of reading. Even books that had previously been favorites – seemed terrible to me. It was a rough time and it was exceedingly difficult to write positive reviews for books that I knew were just being affected by my funk.

It took quite a bit of time but I finally found my way through and began to enjoy reading again. I’ve since gone back to read many of the books I did not enjoy during that period of time and they were indeed as wonderful as I suspected – the second time through anyway.

I’d love to say that I rushed out to get a copy of The One at that point but I wasn’t sure of it. After all there were so many things that I wasn’t sure of. Was it only the other series that put me in my funk? Could it possibly be my new-found obsession with Inspirational fiction that turned me off the Selection series?

So I waited… and waited… and waited.

imageI didn’t even know the series had been expanded into 5 books with even more novellas and extras slotted for a second installment of The Selection Stories. Imagine my surprise and elation to discover that happy news just a few nights ago when I snagged the kindle version of The One and started feverishly reading!

I was sucked back into a world I had desperately missed… I just hadn’t realized it.

I enjoyed, tremendously, sinking back into America’s world. It was like wrapping a warm, fuzzy blanket around me – reading about my favorite characters, rooting for the ones I wanted to win –  I say ones because I was not just rooting for America. When I followed the series before, a lot of people were rooting for America to LOSE the selection and choose Aspen. I was not. I was rooting for Maxon all along!

Along the way I’ve rooted for others to go or stay and I have to say, after reading to the end of The One, I’m a little surprised to say I miss a certain character. I didn’t think I would. In fact, at one point, I actually found myself hoping this person would be one of the casualties of a rebel attack (and for those of you who have read The One, I may not be talking about the person you would immediately think of) but I was truly saddened when they weren’t there anymore. It was quite a shock, let me tell you.

Technically speaking, I could be a lot more open in this review because there are spoilers out there everywhere! Even Kiera Cass herself has filled her blog with spoilers because of the next book that’s coming this May. You kinda have to know where the story went because The Heir is the next step and entirely due to what happened in The One. But I’m not one who puts spoilers out there – even when I really want to, because I have had more than one book ruined for me by spoilers and I feel it’s only fair to allow someone the chance to read a book on their own terms. If you want to seek out spoilers, there are plenty out there and they’re not hard to find but you won’t find any here.


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Now… about the book:

Some of the complaints I’ve heard over the last three years –

  • Kiera Cass doesn’t do enough world building – Well, in case you haven’t actually read the series, let me tell you right now that America is supposed to feel isolated. She has been sheltered and protected her entire life, even from the worst her caste has been exposed to. Since she was part of a lower caste, she didn’t exactly get to do a lot of traveling. Add to that, she barely leaves the castle once she is chosen for the selection and it all makes perfect sense. And I must say that Kiera does a spectacular job of building the world America is in!
  • Is yet another love triangle really necessary – Well we may find them annoying but they are a necessary evil sometimes. In this case, it wasn’t just a tool to push America into Prince Maxon’s arms… it was the push she needed to enter, it was the catalyst for her to be chosen, and it was the impetus that kept her there when she really didn’t want to be.
  • Kiera’s main character is ridiculously immature – Yes, America is immature but there are many good reasons for that and they unfold little by little throughout the entire series. It’s not just a ploy Kiera uses… although it does make for some very interesting mishaps.

To say I am happy with the series would be a tremendous understatement. This is definitely one of my absolute favorite book series! It’s one that I will happily read over and over and over again, and then pass on to my daughter when she’s old enough.

It’s just an all-around great series!

A lot of people have also complained about the series being extended. I have to say that I feel sorry for those people. No, this genre isn’t for everyone but to those of us who love it – this is GREAT news! I for one, can hardly wait and I’m kinda glad I just found out about it. Having to wait nearly a year after rediscovering how much I LOVE this series would have been torture!

I would also like to say how truly grateful I am that Kiera has given us so many novellas with extra, behind-the-scenes info! There is so much more that makes perfect sense when we read them. It doesn’t just give us more of the story to be excited about, it gives us vital bits of back-story that bring a lot of the story into a better focus for us.

Authors sometimes forget in their quest to make a quick-paced book, that we are not in their head. There may be things about the characters or the history that is left out in the interest of pacing or flow but it isn’t always easy for the reader to fully understand the characters without this information or history. Novellas are an excellent place for that! You can add short scenes that really have no place in the main book, but that are essential for understanding the characters or the world around them.


All in all, a fantastic series and one I’m tickled to discover will continue… for at least two more books!


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More about The One from HarperTeen:

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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