Thursday, May 8, 2014

Review: The One by Kiera Cass

Review: The One by Kiera Cass
Release date: May 6th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Yes, #3 in The Selection series
Source: Purchased
Length: 323 pages
Rating: Is this a real book?


The Selection changed the lives of thirty-five girls forever. And now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen.

America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the competition approaches its end 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.

From the very first page of The Selection, this #1 New York Times bestselling series has captured readers' hearts and swept them away on a captivating journey... Now, in The One, Kiera Cass delivers a satisfying and unforgettable conclusion that will keep readers sighing over this electrifying fairy-tale long after the final page is turned.

The Selection changed the lives of thirty-five girls forever. And now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen.

America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the competition approaches its end 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.

From the very first page of The Selection, this #1 New York Times bestselling series has captured readers' hearts and swept them away on a captivating journey... Now, in The One, Kiera Cass delivers a satisfying and unforgettable conclusion that will keep readers sighing over this electrifying fairy-tale long after the final page is turned.

The Selection | The Prince (The Selection #1.5) | The Elite (The Selection #2) | The Guard (The Selection 2.5)

Gillian: Hey, Gillian. How are you doing today? You look nice.

Gillian: You don't.

Gillian: We're the same person, so you kind of just insulted yourself.

Gillian: I need to talk to you about The One. You're the only one who understands me.

Gillian: Well, yeah, that's because I am y--


Gillian: Sorry. Proceed.

Gillian: So, that was a book. A book that happened.

Gillian: Was it? Was it, though? Or did you hallucinate ninety percent of what occurred? You did read it really late at night.

Gillian: This is a distinct possibility. Though even my fever dreams tie up loose plot threads better than... that.

Gillian: But you liked it! You laughed! I heard you!

Gillian: I laughed when a major character died.

Gillian: Okay, but you laughed.

Gillian: A major character's death that has nothing to do with the plot, is not born of the plot even though it so easily could have been, does not change the plot that follows or the main character in any way, and is executed SO POORLY that I could only guffaw in sadistic glee.

Gillian: I think you might be a very evil person.

Gillian: It was basically a sadness intermission. WE INTERRUPT THIS CORNY ROMANTIC SMOOCHERY TO BRING YOU SOME BREAKING SADNESS. America hardly felt sad at all, and I got the feeling this part of the book was meant to be seeeeped in grieeeeef, and yet there was no grief to be found. None. And heart trouble? HEART TROUBLE?! You kill off a major character in a series ender not through rebel shenanigans or anything, but HEART TROUBLE?!?!?!?!

Gillian: Don't even pretend you weren't devastated when SPOILER died at the end.

Gillian: Okay. That actually got me. FINALLY Kiera Cass writes an interesting character, and then she has to go and ruin everything with a COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS ENDING THAT COMES OUT OF NOWHERE WHEN THOSE STUPID REBELS DO THEIR STUPID REBEL THINGS AND IT MAKES NO DAMN SENSE AND OH MY GOD. I'm telling you. This wasn't real.

Gillian: But what about the ship! You like shipping.

Gillian: I do like shipping. I don't like when characters change their minds and hearts abruptly from one book to the next. I don't like it when a book has like fifteen cheesy declarations. I like where Cass meant to take her characters in terms of growth and epiphanies, but I cannot believe the way she took her characters there. One of the characters maintained a VERY STEADY position throughout both books, and poof! Book three, totes changes their mind. Because that happens.

Gillian: But you didn't want to stab America in this one. Or even Asspen! That's progress!

Gillian: Wow, you're right. I feel like I've grown as a human being. I no longer feel like committing fictional murder. America is no longer a waffling, waifish wattle-brain, and Asspen is less of a grunt grunt caveman, even though all of this growth occurs spontaneously in like the first chapter. BUT. THE. PLOT.

Gillian: Oh, the plot wasn't that bad...

Gillian: *stares*

Gillian: Okay. It was that bad.

Gillian: Hot. Freaking. Mess. There are two rebel groups: Northerners, who are Capital G Good, because they'e all YAY MONARCHY, and Southerners, who are Capital B BAD, because they want to shoot everybody and don't think the sun shines out of Maxon and America's royal behinds. Maxon and America are like, "Oh no! We can't let the bad rebels win!" And then things happen that have nothing to do with their actions. Asspen is somewhere in the background, being a noble ass. Marlee pops in for ONE SCENE and then pops right back out. Like um, thanks for visiting this supposedly epic series ender. Thanks for participating. Celeste the Bitch is abruptly and suddenly is humanized (which, actually, yay). The King continues to twirl his mustache, and the Queen continues to be the brainwashed victim of an abusive relationship who is canonized by every other character in the book.

Gillian: Okay, but that's not a plot.

Gillian: Don't be silly. Of course it is! There are romantical misunderstandings, pretty dresses, AMERICA IS A NOBLE HEEEEERO, Maxon what the fuck, ugh Asspen are you still here?, REBELS REBELS THE REBELSSSS!!!!, did that really happen how did that happen, the endddd.

Gillian: That... wait, is that a plot?

Gillian: No. It's not. And those god damn sketchily-assembled rebels and their stupid conflict. I don't want to talk about it.

Gillian: Do you want to talk about how accidentally sexist this is? And how SPOILER needs a girl he can protect and SPOILER needs a man to shield her and guide her? And how these are held to be very, very good things?

Gillian: No.

Gillian: Fair enough. Do you want to talk about how stereotypically "Asian" Elise was made out to be, and that her life philosophy is apparently "Honor to Us All", and how offensive it was when Kriss pitied her for it?

Gillian: No.

Gillian: Should we bring up how the Palace security must be run by blind gerbils because that's the only way those fucking rebels could manage to get inside the fucking buildings six times a chapter?

Gillian: No.

Gillian: Do you want to talk about how pointless (and predictable) it was that SPOILER and SPOILER were secretly Good Rebels even though nothing came of that information.

Gillian: No. 

Gillian: Well, we have to talk about something.

Gillian: No. I don't want to. You can't make me.

Gillian: It was your idea to talk in the first place!


Gillian: Should we talk about that cheesy ass epilogue?

Gillian: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA oh my god was that a glorious thing. A comedic masterpiece, that was.

Gillian: You don't have to be mean about it.

Gillian: I EARNED THE MEANNESS, BUDDY. I bought this with my MONEY.

Gillian: As opposed to buying it with your couch?

Gillian: Shut up. I have no brains left after that. This book did not fit with the rest. This book did not feel like the continuation of the "plot" set up in anemic book one and frustrating book two. I couldn't even get mad at this book because I didn't believe this book. Not one freaking word of it.

Gillian: Look, no one forced you to read this series.

Gillian: MAXON DID. STUPID MAXON AND YOUR STUPID ENDEARING LAMENESS. Why do I care so much about you? Why are you doing this to me? Why were you a flip-flopping mess in this book? Why are there plot holes so large you could drop a truck or a 747 or California through them?

Gillian: But Cass kind of did a Red Wedding thing there. That's... um, that's something, right?

Gillian: Fungus is something. Sunburns are something. That ending is something.

Gillian: That was way harsh, Tai.

Gillian: LOOK. Endings, particularly to series, need to COME FROM SOMETHING. They can't just randomly happen and then conveniently the people who need to die for there to be a HEA die and then somehow that magically fixes EVERYTHING and NO. When George R. R. Martin kills people, he does it to complicate the plot. Not to just have it happen. Not to resolve things. NOT AS AN ENDING. And then there's the fact that the action is SO CLUNKY, so unrealistic, so poorly described, that i just laughed laughed because it lasted so long and some people could free and others bled out under tables and America did nothing and oh god horrible action scenes are horrible.

Gillian: You should really breathe between rants.

Gillian: I CAN'T EVEN.

Gillian: Do you want to talk about the cliches?

Gillian: There was a cheesy death fakeout. There was a cheesy "Save yourself! Live and be happy!" scene. There was a cheesy letter written from beyond the grave full of wisdom and truth. It was an endless avalanche of cliche. America and Maxon are the only non-cardboard characters. The worldbuilding is nonsense. The writing is clunky, amateurish, and obvious. I need a drink. I need several drinks.

Gillian: Yes, but that's been true since the beginning, and yet you still read them all. Even those novellas.

Gillian: I once described this series as being like a deep-fried Oreo, and it's mostly still good. It sounds like a better idea than it is, it has this weirdly addicting, saccharine-sweet junk food quality, and it has zero nutritional value. But then this third book happens and it's... it's just... it's so bad I can't even find an accurate food metaphor. A tomato and marshmallow smoothie.

Gillian: I just vomited.

Gillian: An appropriate way to end this.


  1. Eugh. I've been told by friend after friend to read this series, but I'll be skipping out on this one now. I hate it when I buy books for myself that end up sucking beyond all belief D: *sends mind bleach so everything is erased and nothing is painful*

  2. Gillian, this review is brilliant. I won't be reading this book, but your writing is great :)

  3. LOL. I love this review. I haven't read this series, and I won't, but I'm 99% positive your review was better written any way. Thanks for the entertainment. :D

  4. You Gillian, you take the crown (appropriate much?) for creating the most amazing review I've possibly ever read out of a terrible terrible experience. I myself haven't read this series, but I like reading reviews of series finales and I'm so so sorry you didn't enjoy this at all, I really am. I can't imagine how disappointing it must have been and you see how much it got to you in the review, but I want you to know that review was absolutely mind-blowing in an amazing way! :D

    1. *I* get the crown! Yay! I'm the One! I win the Selection! :) Thank you

  5. Nice Clueless reference. This was awesome - sorry for enjoying your pain.

  6. I was going to pick this up because she's doing a signing in a few weeks. I think I'll save myself the $$ in terms of book and gas to get there. I like my sanity!

    1. Ha! I mean, I never want to tell someone NOT to read a book. Sooo many people love this series. It's just... not for me. And yet I've read every single word of it, so who even knows

  7. I honestly have no idea why I read this series... as in, read the first, unabashedly hated it, bought the second one the day it was published, turned to hating myself and my bad choices, then pre-ordered the third, and read it the day it came out, and basically, now I feel like I can no longer trust my brain for getting addicted to such a muddled mess of a story.

    Also, your pop culture references and generally flawless nature made me enjoy the book more in your review than in the actual novel. :) You rock.

    1. That is completely how I am with this series. It's a SICKNESS. It makes no sense and YET.

      Haha, thank you! <3

  8. You want to know a secret. I just bought this. I have all three books now and I haven't read any of them. I'm planning on doing a binge read when I need something to laugh at. Who knows, maybe I'll be a fan since I'm not going into it expecting much?

  9. This is the most amazing review I've read. Haha! I can't wait to borrow this book from a friend and rant about it too. I think I'm actually reading this series because I want to inflict pain to myself and also for a bit of amusement. Haha!

  10. Haha! OMG! That was so much fun to read.

  11. Best review ever. I knew I wasn't going to read this so I asked for a spoiler and got it, but no one told me about this death? Epic.

  12. This review is a beautiful thing you've created. I, like you, suffer from what I like to call Selection Syndrome. It's a little-known illness that causes readers to continue reading while also wanting to hit themselves in the face repeatedly.

  13. People consider "trashing a book" is not very "review-y". I happen to be extremely judgmental when it comes to books. AndButSo,I love trashing books (ahem, sorry - I'm not accusing you of anything though). I decided to skip this series altogether because I CANNOT STAND GIRLS IN WHITE DRESSES ON THE COVERS OF DYSTOPIAN FICTION. *flashbacks to Shatter Me* * shudders*

    By the way, HI. On a totally unrelated topic, I saw a reference to the name of your blog in a poem. Wasabi, by Andrea Gibson (which happens to be a literary piece of art). It just struck me recently though.

  14. One word. Clueless. We could be friends :)

  15. Oh my word, that was priceless. But GRRRRR, I want to push aside all those spoiler tags! I WANT TO KNOW.


    I’d say I want to read this series but lolno, you already have me watching OTH.

    Seriously though, this review is perfection. I am craughing and making orca whale noises and my coworkers are like OMFG WHAT DOES SHE DO IN HER CUBE? A two-Gillian debate has just shot up to the top of my favorite things list.

    Thank you for breaking down the “plot.” I keep forgetting these books have one aside from WHO WILL SHE CHOOSE? But I figure there must’ve been SOMETHING else to fill an entire trilogy. (It’s not like Peter Jackson wrote this.)(Badumtish)(Sorrynotsorry)

    Can we all take a moment and weep/laugh/weep some more that this woman is actually, in fact, on a panel about world-building?

    (Nice use of Clueless)

    Alright, look, I’m really sorry. Let’s just talk when we’ve mellowed, alright? I’m outie.

  17. I just reviewed this heap of terrible and more terrible as well, and your comments summarise it perfectly! There's just so much wrong with it, the rants will never wind down!

  18. Hi, sooooo....
    I like these books a lot. Kiera cass is great at capturing people and I really enjoyed reading this trilogy, but when it comes down to it she is a very sloppy writer. Lots of cliche and fluff, and a whole lot that makes NO sense {like the northern/southern rebel deal}. Some feelings aren't developed very well {like how America spent NO time mourning her dad}. I <3 maxon, I honestly <3 America, and was happy that aspen didn't make me want to slap my dog for once. I ended up liking the end of the book, even though cass kind of scared me for a while there in the last few chapters. { don't tell me you don't feel the same, don't worry you can let up the bad girl YA blogger attitude. Anyway, thank you, I <3 your posts. Keep blogging!

  19. This is the best thing I've EVER READ.

  20. OH GOD. Ok so I just finished reading this book and IT WAS TERRIBLE. So painful to get through. I desperately looked up reviews of the book to make sure I was not the only one with all those wtf questions and I found your blog. THE FEELINGS ARE MUTUAL. I read the first book out of sheer boredom and for some reason I had to read the rest of them (I was looking for writing ideas and found this could be a great story if the writing was better). The other books were bearable but this one was just painful. Sadly, I'm still planning on reading The Queen -.- maybe it'll get better? Maybe? But your review was so spot on. Great reviews, hands down. And by all means please pass the mind bleach as I am in desperate need of it.

  21. who was married at the end with America ??? :D

  22. I can't believe there were only a few reviews saying the same as you. I completely agree with you... and I really don't understand how so many people said that the book was great because of the end!!

  23. I love your reviews, keep it up!

  24. Amazing review.. I have read the series and I share the same feelings... You have nailed it... At least there was one positive thing which came out from reading this series... I was able to thoroughly enjoy your review.. Keep up the good work..

  25. I'm really sorry you didn't like the books; however, I loved them and yet, I still agree with you on some of these points. I think I am going to continue reading your reviews.


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