Sunday, June 8, 2014

The One, By Kiera Cass- Review

From Goodreads:
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.

As always, consider this review to be a spoiler to either book one or book two if you haven't read them, and although I will not be intentionally spoiling anything from The One, it is possible I will unintentionally spoil plot points or events. So please read with caution if you haven't already read the series!

Throughout this series I let a lot of things I would normally natter at, slide. It was a fun, light read, and as such I wasn't expecting any over the top-fantastic writing. I think I might have let Cass off too easy though, because I found myself slightly disappointed by things I managed to shrug off in the previous books. Possibly because this was the big finale and I expected her to pull up her socks a little? I'm not really sure.

As always, the Aspen/America relationship was too easy. There wasn't enough in depth anything for it to be wrapped up properly, and the big reveal (that's been threatening since the beginning) was anti-climatic because it ran face first into the only other major plot point- the revolution. This felt like a cheat to me, Cass had been building towards the unveiling of their relationship for some time, and scenes like Marlee and Carters public beating were glaring warning signs of how bad it could be. So for the actual event to be brief and less than epic, was a huge let down. But it also felt like a storytelling fail to me, it was built up to be a big blow out, so blow it out, and spend a good chunk of the story visiting the repercussions and making the resolution believable.

Likewise the fix for the King hating America, and all his general evil doing, was way, way too easy. I won't go into specifics, obviously, but it felt far too much like a parental "because I said so". Of all the possible ways I'd imagined Cass working her way through this issue, her actual dealing with the situation was so far from anything I'd considered it was almost George R.R. Martin worthy in it's shock value. Unfortunately not in the well written good way. Once again it felt like a cheat or a short cut, instead of actually storytelling. If for no other reason then it cheated the reader out of a lot of answers about the King and Queen, background and personality reveals that would have enriched what we already knew about Maxon and the court.

Although this was a far, far cry from a bad read (I zipped through it in a couple of days and enjoyed it, though not as much as the previous two), it was disappointing in enough major ways to colour my final feelings on it significantly. In the end I was left feeling much the way I did with the Twilight books, the first bits were fun and fully re-readable, but once they delve into an attempt to make it a full fledged story instead of a bunch of fluffy love-me, love-me-not anecdotes (this one with an array of fun wardrobe changes and catty arguments with other eligible girls) things get bland, unbelievable and plain silly. Nothing I would ever subject myself to trying to read a second time. So go ahead and read it, just so you can say-you did it! you read the whole series! But really if you've read part one and part two then you've read all the good stuff.

The One, by Kiera Cass
Published by HarperTeen, May 6th, 2014
Buy The One on Amazon

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