'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Review: The One (The Selection #3)

The end of the Selection process is near and America is one of the final girls remaining to compete for the prize of marriage to Prince Maxon.

As the finale approaches, tensions increase between the remaining girls. Civil unrest also increases with rebels attacking the palace and even breaching the defences at times, bringing their fight into the palace grounds.

America must also deal with the conflict in her own mind and heart. Does she love Maxon and wish to marry him? Does she want the responsibilities of being a Princess and eventually the Queen, or would she prefer to return to a more ‘normal’ life? The presence of Aspen, her one-time boyfriend, in the palace guards is a constant reminder that she can turn her back on Maxon and the palace and return to her family and the future she always imagined she would have. Now that she has known Maxon and the opportunities available if she marries him, will that old life be enough?

The One is the final book in The Selection trilogy by Kiera Cass, bringing to a close the dystopian, reality TV-like process of selecting a bride for Prince Maxon. The focus is primarily on the relationship between America and Maxon - their doubts and desires and hopes for the future - while the civil unrest and political situation serves primarily  to add further tension to the Selection process and complicate their burgeoning romance.

The strong romantic and relationship element of this series, with the focus on America’s indecision between her two love interests, Maxon’s apparent interest in other Selection finalists, and even the friendships between the contestants and between America and her maids, make The Selection a much softer dystopian option than many of the other series currently available.

While the way the political element of the story develops is to some degree predictable, there are some unexpected twists and it does add some tension to the novel. The rivalry between the contestants is another interesting relationship dynamic in addition to the more obvious romantic triangle between Maxon, America and Aspen.

I have enjoyed reading The Selection, a romance in a dystopian setting, and thought that The One pulled the series together nicely. The Selection process, Maxon’s conflicts with his father, America’s indecision about her relationships, and the political turmoil are all resolved satisfactorily by the end of the story. While some aspects of the story were annoying at times, most notably America’s vacillating between Maxon and Aspen, the series offers teen readers a romance with an interesting setting and entertaining characters.

You can read our reviews of The Selection and The Elite by clicking the links. Fans might also enjoy reading The Selection Stories ebook novellas, The Prince, The Guard, The Favourite, and The Queen.

Title: The One (The Selection #3)
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperCollins, $14.99 RRP
Publication Date: 7 May 2014
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780007466719
For ages: 13+
Type: Young Adult Fiction