Book Review: The One by Kiera Cass

Posted May 12, 2014 by Kara in book review / 10 Comments

Book Review: The One by Kiera CassThe One by Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #3
Published by Harper Teen on May 6th, 2014
Genres: dystopia, young adult
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
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The highly anticipated third book in 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 perfect for the 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!

This series was a complete waste of my time.  Seriously.  No, seriously.  When I read The Selection my expectations were really, really low.  After all the negative reviews and the author drama surrounding this series, I was just not prepared to be impressed.  However, I was pleasantly surprised.  The first book wasn’t a standout novel, but it was just wacky enough to work for me.  Sadly, though, as the series progressed, it just got worse and worse.

First of all, I feel like there is no continuity from book to book.  Things that happened in book 1 were just inconsequential to book 2, and so on.  In fact, nothing seemed consequential at all.  For instance, the king was supposed to be super-duper intimidating and all that, but really he came off as a petulant toddler.  He would threaten America, but never followed through on any of his threats whatsoever.  America could disrespect the king and queen and absolutely nothing bad would happen.  Or how about all the rebel attacks that never seemed to actually get anything done?  I mean, they supposedly trashed the place and it was sooooo scary, but the attacks were completely forgotten almost as soon as they happened.  There was no urgency in this series whatsoever.  A major character died, even, and I just did not care.

Honestly, The One was just laughably bad.  I don’t think I’ve ever read a book so amateurish and lacking in all my days of blogging and reading some really shitty books.  I can’t think of a single positive thing to say – the characters were empty, the writing was awful, the dialogue was unintentionally hilarious, the world-building was shallow and downright offensive.  No really – the author thought combining countries into these ridiculous caricatures of themselves was a good idea.  Swendway.  Honduragua. NEW ASIA. But Italy got to keep on being Italy.  So insanely ridiculous.

I also don’t understand what the author was going for with the dialogue, particularly Maxon’s and the queen’s.  Maxon read like a really bad stereotype of someone from, like, Italy, for whom English is a second language.  His dialogue was so stilted and unnatural, and basically I could SEE the author’s pen in every word.  It was distracting and awful and literally no one in the world talks like that.  And it was the same for queen Amberly, too.  She would say something like, “Let me enlighten you about your next task” when NO ONE would use the word “enlighten” in the context, like ever.  These characters would pick really strange ways to phrase things, and it would always stick out like a sore thumb.  Other side characters had peculiar ways of speaking, too – their speech just did not sound natural and instead sounded like the author needed to find a way to pack in all the information at once.  And don’t even get me started on America’s maids.  She spoke to them like they were 5 years old, and really, with the way they acted and talked, who can blame her? What a mess.

Plot.  What is a plot?  Where can I find one?  Certainly not in this book – or this series for that matter.  It honestly amazes me that the author was able to write three books, nearly 1000 pages, of just 100% unadulterated love triangle.  It was so ridiculous.  There is actually room for plot in this world that Cass has built – the concept of modern or futuristic royalty, rebellion, and a caste system all begs for an interesting storyline.  But when you take that lousy writing, couple it with a lack of urgency and instead fill your pages with dresses and kissing – there’s no room left for substance and it’s a real shame.  When the major character died?  There were so many ways that that event could have tied into the plot, but instead it was basically just an afterthought.  I hate seeing this wasted potential.

If I could say one thing about this trilogy, it’s don’t waste your time.  Absolutely nothing of consequence happens in all three books except an idiot girl has trouble deciding between two boys.  Twilight had a more sophisticated plot.

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the one bingoThis book covers the Written by a Woman on my Bookish Bingo card.

10 responses to “Book Review: The One by Kiera Cass

  1. This book. THIS BOOK. The thing about the rest of the series is that it was so bad, but still sort of entertainingly, guilty pleasure-ly so. The One was just BAD BAD. The plot! That ending! The dialogue! It was just a MESS. And what about SPOILER toootally completely changing his mind about everything! I CANNOT. I feel like you and i need to vent about this book. Because I just… UGH. This book hurt my feelings. I’m glad that other people like it, and that it makes other people happy, but it’s just clearly not the series for me.
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  2. Wow I have both book 1 & 2 plus the short stories in the paperback, this series is part of my series to read. I’m curious about the books and I’m even more nervous about maybe not enjoying it. But this series is not on the top of my series to read so I got time
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