The One by Kiera Cass

Who doesn’t love a happy ending? Look, I’m not saying that I can’t appreciate a sad one, or a bittersweet one, but I’m a sucker for a well-written “happily ever after.” If you haven’t read The Selection and The Elite and you plan to (I recommend the series, so you should), don’t read any more of this post. There be spoilers here… 

the oneFor the rest of you, who either A) don’t care about spoilers, B) don’t plan to read any of the other books, thus making reading this post pointless for the most part, C) weren’t paying attention and still don’t realize you’re about to hit spoiler country, or D) have already read the book and are interested in my opinion of it, let’s continue. I’m excited.

I want to start with a mini-rant about the covers of these books. I struggled with myself before I bought the first one a few years ago because the beauty-pageant-esque covers made me think they were going to be frilly, girly, trivial books about make-up and boys and absolutely nothing else. There’s nothing wrong with books like that – they’re just not for me. But for some reason I kept picking The Selection back up off the shelf until one day I bit the bullet and actually bought it.

I’m so glad I did.

The thing that I like about Kiera Cass and her series (I thought it was a trilogy, but recently she’s announced two more books in the series, so I guess it either never was or is no longer) is that they’ve got a little something for everyone. There’s action, an underlying mystery to keep you interested, a love triangle that doesn’t make you want to vomit, and a fast-paced plot that moves everything forward with each and every page turn. They’re well-written, funny, heartwarming, and at times, painfully realistic. America, the protagonist, isn’t perfect, far from it she often does the right thing at the wrong time or just the absolute wrong thing. But she’s always trying to be better, do better, make the world she lives in better, and it’s a noble quality in her without making her seem preachy or judgemental. I really liked her.

And the ending of the trilogy that isn’t a trilogy was, in my opinion, beautiful. It’s a bit abrubt, but that works for Cass, because it keeps you from guessing the ending before it happens. Even though I wanted America and Maxon to be together, I didn’t think it was going to happen when we were down to the last dozen or so pages and things were clearly not going to end up like that I was starting to get upset over the injustice. But everything ties together in a very sweet way at the end, without it ever feeling like a cop-out kind of outcome. It was believable – there were casualties (I hated that Amberlee and Celeste were among them, though I was more than happy to say goodbye to the king) – and things were far from perfect all of a sudden. But there was hope, which was the perfect last note of the song. As America states in her own reflection on it all,

“This isn’t Happily Ever After. It’s so much more than that.” 

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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