Sunday 7 December 2014


Title: The One
Series: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: 6th May 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
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.


As I really enjoyed this series so far (both the books and novellas I have read so far) I was really looking forward to getting around to read this one. As usual because I had loved the prior books in this series I had high expectations. When I was approaching reading this book and thinking what I would like to see happen and what I expect I was hoping that the "winner" will be chosen. At the same time I didn't want the remaining girls to leave the Palace and therefore disappear from the book, especially if America wasn't "The One" Maxon chose.

I somehow managed to miss this one if it was on Netgalley and/or edelweiss, so I had to wait until it was a reasonable price before purchasing an e-copy from Amazon. (I'm trying my best to not buy so many paperback as I am running out of space to keep them all. The little space I have is shared with my daughters books too).
I love the cover, I'd say it is an image of America in yet another stunning gown, maybe as it's white, a wedding gown? The byline on the cover is inkeeping with the tone and contact of those that appear on the first two books in the series. "35 girls entered the selection only 1 can win".
Would the cover alone make me pick this book up from a book store shelf? Yes, though its a rather girly cover, the byline would make me want to know more.
I really loved the dedication at the beginning of this book, as I felt it was really relevant to incidents within it.  As soon as you begin reading this one, it's straight back into the action and drama of a rebel attack. The four remaining "contestants" are America, Elise ~ the perfectionist, who would be happy to be chosen by Prince Maxon as she has been brought up to be obedient and totally accepts the concept of an arranged marriage. Though she admits she doesn't love Prince Maxon she believes love would grow between them; Celeste ~ the diva who wants fame, glamour and all that comes with being a Princess; Then there is Kriss ~ considered the sweetheart, who makes it know she already loves the Prince, but Kriss seems to have a sharper darker side, is she hiding something, or is it just nerves? Life in the Palace is naturally becoming more tense as the time nears when Prince Maxon must choose his bride. 
I don't consider myself to be particularly girly but even I appreciated the detailed descriptions that Kiera Cass used to describe the beautiful gowns the four remaining girls wore, as well as the gorgeous jewellery they are gifted by Prince Maxon. America is still recovering from a state on confusion about who she really wants to be with, Aspen or Prince Maxon. America doesn't know how to tell either Aspen or Prince Maxon what she has decided. In  fact, America does worry how she could cope without either of them. Silvia is still giving the girls etiquette lessons, coaching them how to converse with foreign dignitaries and teaching them how to behave around the King and Queen Amberly. The King still dislikes America, however is opinion is swayed when the public seem to warm to her and appreciate her small deviations from official protocol and the fact she is from a lower caste.
In this book, we meet northern rebels August & Georgia, who mysteriously find their way into the palace and speak to Prince Maxon & America. It seems the norther rebels have taken a liking to America's more open, and fairer ways. they recognise a kindred spirit within America, they want to dissolve the caste system and make a more equal society. 
We see more of the interaction between the four girls and Queen Amberly in this book too. There's a light and fun activity the girls busy themselves with in the Palace as due to southern rebels it is too dangerous to be outside. They each do make overs on one another. The Queen seems to find it amusing to watch them too. Then there's a really sweet sentimental scene where America calls Queen Amberly "mom" then realises her mistake and apologizes to The Queen smiles and says that she would love nothing more than for America to be chosen by Prince Maxon and actually call her mom one day.
There is so much action, drama, romance, as well as danger, and obstacles to be overcome in this book. We also get to catch up with Marlee or Mallory as she is now named. Mallory is literally living and working right under the Kings nose without his knowledge! It is something that Prince Maxon arranged. 
There's lots of "off" and "on" within the relationship between America and Prince Maxon. They both love the other, but do not want to be the first to say it, in case the other doesn't reciprocate. Every time they are about to confess their true feelings for each other something gets in the way, such as a death of a character, or a rebel attack, or some demand from the King. 
We are able to visit America's family though not in the best of circumstances, which also means we see one of America's maids, Lucy out of her usual context, which initially brings her and America even closer until a secret slips out and Lucy is both confused and upset that America had not confided in her..
There is also a little surprise about one of the other girls that America discovers. The plot twists and turns, you become hopeful that Prince Maxon has made his choice then something happens and his chosen decision is brought into question again. You are kept on the edge of your seat wondering who will be chosen almost right to the very end.
So did I enjoy the book? Loved it! Admittedly I felt it was a slow starter, ironically as there was plenty of action because of a rebel attack. I honestly think this series of books would make a great film or TV Series, provided those in charge kept super true to the books how Kiera Cass wrote them.
Would I recommend the book? If you have read the books prior to this one it has to be a must read. I would recommend the whole series so far.
Would I want to read another book in this series? Yes please! I'm looking forward to the novella called The Queen as well as the next book called The Heir.
Would I want to read other books by Kiera Cass? I would certainly pick up any book written by her to take a closer look.

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