The One (The Selection #3). Kiera Cass.

15844362The One
by Kiera Cass

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three stars is a generous rating from me, I think. Even though this book does have its pros, alot of the time, I was banging my head on the desk asking myself, why is America so hard to relate to? Why is she so damn perfect? There is one thing that I really hate in this world: A Much Too Perfect Protagonist. If the main protagonist can do everything in a very mary sue/gary stu way, then really, what’s the point of reading the book? It’s even worse when the personality of that character is absolutely charming and has the most personable personality in the world. IT DRIVES ME NUTS.

And This Is Why The One In All It’s Perfect Glory Lost Me.

From the very beginning of this series, I haven’t loved the story. It’s the Bachelor reworked and something like the Princess and the Pea all messed up. It’s a love story plain and simple, and while it’s fair enough that it needed three books to explore the relationship between America and Maxon, I also felt it was highly unnecessary.

First off, let me talk about the pro: I have tried. I have really tried to find at least one pro that I could talk about for this book. And I found one. Barely, but after thinking over it, it is a pro. What the One and the whole Selection series does really well is explore the relationship between America and Maxon. Ignoring for a moment the extra unwanted limb that makes up the compulsory love triangle, Aspen, then you have a good relationship going on between America and Maxon. They don’t immediately fall in love in The Selection. They don’t even know each other, and what’s more, after reading The Prince short story, I actually really appreciate how Maxon first meets America. In fact, I actually liked Maxon more than anything and would gladly read a whole novel about him, given that he retained that sense of vulnerability and weakness that I saw in his short story. Maxon and America have my vote as a good couple. I like that it wasn’t insta-love (well, there was attraction, but America admitted that she couldn’t love him at the start which was wonderful, I liked that). So this is the one pro that I enjoyed about The One and the Selection as a whole.

And Now For The Cons. If you love these books then STOP READING RIGHT HERE because you won’t like what I’m going to say next, and it’ll sound more like an angry hate rant than anything else even though I promise, I am trying to sound as rational and as calm as possible.

My biggest pet peeve with THE ONE is AMERICA SINGER. How many times have I come across a character like her? Many, but there are only a few instances where I get to my current level of annoyance. America Singer is the epitome of perfection. Even though she whines about being flawed and the other characters whine about how low class she is, America is considered perfect in my eyes. She can’t seem to do anything wrong! And furthermore, everything seems to happen to her at the perfect time. Some might say she was clever in finding ways out of the King’s little tests, others might say that she was lucky, me: I don’t believe it. She wiggles her way out too many times and it always seems to win over the people of Illea. Fine. I get it, that’s the whole point of the story. That’s what makes her so loved and perfect to be Maxon’s wife and the Illean princess. But really…really???? It’s just so easy for her to whine about convicting a man to death, and then standing in the spotlight….she has inspiration and saves not only the man in front of her, but makes everyone love her even more. And how does she do that? America gives the man the means to do so. Tell me this did not happen? And yet it definitely did. Oh what else?

Her love for Maxon. Sometimes…I can’t even tell if America even loved Maxon. Sure she said it, and thought it, but America was like the most selfish character I have ever scene. So selfishly selfless, always putting someone else before herself, it was like she was the only one who could possibly think about these things and that no one else does. You know, I really hate these kinds of characters. I don’t think it hurts if the character is jealous or envious or selfish or in America’s case, be a little obedient. I feel like America wasn’t as smart or clever or even as stupid as the author was trying to portray her. I felt like there were too many moments when “America” had no personality, and if it weren’t for the bland characters that were in the Selection with her, she would have bored me. But because everyone was so bland and two dimensional, America could look wild and interesting, even when I felt like she had no personality.

I just couldn’t relate to America. I couldn’t relate to her exceptional perfectness. I couldn’t like the fact that everything she did, rather than hindered her, aided her. Not to mention the overly cheesy or roll your eyes moments that came from America’s perspective. For example, the first scene where I was once again introduced to America and her participation in the Selection. In this first scene, at first I don’t have any against the dress that America wears or what she tries to do, I only care about when Kriss says so bluntly, “you look like a whore.” *Facepalm* I would’ve have thought anyone who was in the Selection to be the Princess alongside Maxon would have held their tongue and used a word less….vulgar But okay, so that happened and well America sows off her leg in that sexy red dress of hers and lures Maxon to her bedroom where she proceeds to try and seduce Maxon. Except Maxon knew and laughed it off. This should have made me fangirl or something, but I. FELT. NOTHING. How can I feel anything when during those first four or so pages I already did not feel like I was within the mindset of the one called “America” in The Selection and The Elite? If anything it felt totally and completely out of character. That was one scene but there’s more. More of this OOC action. And then there’s the stuff that’s in character. OOC stuff gives me a headache. I call it OOC because it can’t possibly be in character if I can’t read her! It gives me a headache because I can’t relate to her, and it frustrates me when I’m faced with a situation in which I cannot feel a single thing for the character in question. I rarely have this problem. But you know what makes it even worse than getting a headache from OOC action? It’s getting a migraine {figurative of course, but well,it’s not that far from the truth} from a character who never seems to fail the people even though it’s against the King. I might have been more acceptable if throughout the story, I actually cared about America more. And clearly…I did not give a damn about her. Especially when there were so many perfect moments, so many moments where I didn’t see her real flaws shine. And her worst flaw…it’s thinking that what she did had to be done. Honestly, I completely agreed with the king, I don’t think she deserved to be princess at all, what makes her a princess?? When she was given a choice to bring the country together as a display of her love for Maxon or to face the other option…Maxon believing that America didn’t love him at all, she chooses the latter. Fair enough. And while for some heroines, I would agree this is the best option, for America….I WANTED TO SEE HER ACCEPT IT AND SEE HOW SHE DEALT WITH THE PEOPLE OF ILLEA RATHER THAN GOING THE PRISSY MARY SUE WAY. I wanted to see America MAKE A BAD MISTAKE, made because she thought she was doing something right, and learning what was wrong about it rather than seeing her make the right decision for a reason that’s just so……you should just leave this Selection.

But then, the only reason why America can even get away with such a thing is because the whole series is centred on two things “a harem of girls for the Prince to choose from” and the idea of “love”. Funny, the Selection is also about finding the right woman to stand by the Prince and help rule as a Queen in the future…why do I feel like I never really saw any moments where the girls actually learnt how to be a proper princess??

ENOUGH I say, I have ranted about how much I dislike America enough. Let’s move on to the other aspects.

On top of America’s flawed flawlessness, I found the end of The One to be the most interesting. I actually really liked the action at the end. I liked how there was so much action…action that the rest of the book lacked, and I sorely hate how short it was, and I really hate how America was saved, and Maxon was left, shot elsewhere…? I do like how there was that rebel stuff happening relating to America’s father and to a number of people in the palace and whatnot. HOWEVER. Why does it feel like it was just brushed off? Why do I feel like I wanted more about it and yet….there was hardly anything? And then the book ended with America and Maxon getting married. And that was it. -.- <—That’s not my happy face. That’s my disappointed annoyed face.

Lastly, I want to point out, if you don’t like pointless deaths, THEN DON’T READ THIS. The last chapter or two is filled with pointless deaths. Seriously. I feel sorry for all of them, and feel like it was a sad way to leave the story. Specially in Celeste’s case. Really, I would love to see and know more about Celeste mainly because she was (up until midway through) the only character that remained consistent. **Spoiler Bit***Β Her death at the end was unfair and it was an easy way out of the problems that she whined about partway through the story to America. I really wished I hadn’t read that. It’s even worse that after people died, there was time for a marriage.Β **End Spoiler Bit**

I gave this 3 stars because for readers unlike me, you might enjoy this. It’s not bad. It’s just not to my tastes or perhaps I read it at a bad time. Yet, it does end well, I don’t enjoy the fact that there’s a sequel after this one featuring America and Maxon’s child. I don’t want to read it, yet at the same time, I want to read it because it’ll be a reverse harem and who doesn’t want to be surrounded in gorgeous men? But really…it does take the notion of ‘love triangle’ to the extreme.

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2 thoughts on “The One (The Selection #3). Kiera Cass.

  1. YESS! It always annoys me tto no end when perfect characters are shoved in our face. Like I had read a book, and the MC was so selfless, always willing to give up his life for others that it was unbelievable.

    i have somewhat of a neutral opinion on the Selection (i had read it ages ago) but I love your review πŸ™‚
    Lovely review! ❀

    • Tell me about it. It’s fine if a character is selfless, but at least give them another facet of their character that makes them complex. No one is perfect after all. whatever book it was that you read with the selfless character, I hope I never read it!

      Lol, I agonised over reading The One. I didn’t want to read it after getting 20 pages in, but I didn’t want to not finish it and have it on my tbr list lol. Shame though, the covers are quite pretty! Thanks! ^^ I may have ranted a bit too much…..haha

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