Review: The One (The Selection #3) by Keira Cass

The time has come for one winner to be crowned.

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, 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.


What is The One about?

In this installment of The Selection, America and Maxon are getting closer to finally choosing one another. Frustrated by the idea of his dating multiple girls, America begins making it clear that her priority is Maxon and that she’d like his priority to be herself. And then there are the rebels, who grow bolder and stronger, threatening the lives of the Elite and the citizens of Ilea.

Genre: YA Dystopian Romance

There’s a splash of the reality TV world in these books, but this installment is heavy on the romance and the dystopia.

Tropes: Secret Rebellion

The big surprise of this book focuses on what’s been building up since the beginning: a major rebellion. Of course, rebels have invaded the palace before, but in this book the rebellion is really fleshed out and more details of it are explained.

Plot: There’s just no moral high ground here

Of course there are issues with the government–this is a dystopian novel after all. But honestly? Just about every character that claims to have the moral high ground does not. There’s so much pettiness and selfishness going on.

The Good

I’m glad that the exposition with the rebellion has been drawn out to this point. I think if it had been infodumped in the first book it would have been overwhelming, so I’m pleased with the pacing for that meaty bit of plot. I also enjoyed the relationships between the girls this round. While some friendly competition is always good, I was getting tired of the hating one another for hatred’s sake and it was nice to have the adjustment to camaraderie.

The Okay

I’m not sure how I feel about some of the features of the rebellion at the end? Spoilers: The symbolism of the star, the naming of America, and the other “signs” that she missed of her father’s affiliation felt a little off to me. It seemed as though this were something that wasn’t really set up before now, but the author was trying to make herself seem more clever. Just a thought. End spoilers.

The Bad

I’m not sue how I feel about some of the stuff with Aspen. I’ve disliked his inclusion in the series since the beginning, but in this book his role really felt completely unnecessary. There’s clearly nothing left between him and America, and continuing to trot out the “oh look a past lover!” trope is a little ridiculous–especially because other characters make a big deal out of something that really isn’t…a thing anymore.

Final Thoughts

This book felt like a transitional installment. It wraps up the stories of several side characters, pushes forward the action and the meat of the plot, and finally finishes up the story of the Selection process. However, I think too much was going on in the book. I made comments in my Kindle that too much happened in the first fifteen percent of the book–conversations that moved too quickly, moments that jumped from conflict to conflict, etc. A lot of the set up with the rebels felt rushed, as if there were clues or hints that were supposed to be in the first two books but had to be rush added to this book in order to make the plot move forward. I also felt as though the ending was rushed through so quickly that it didn’t fully make sense. I’m not sure if I’m invested enough to continue the series at this time, to be entirely honest.

By Catherine

I'm a lover of books, coffee, wine, and bees. Happy to join the ranks of book bloggers everywhere!

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