DISCLAIMER: The following review is absolutely scathing mostly for humor’s sake and contains spoilers so if you’re a big fan of The Selection series you probably shouldn’t read it.
I came into The One, the third book in The Selection series by Kiera Cass, knowing I would only be happy if one of three things happened:
1. America gets with Aspen
2. America just does America and tells all of these men trying to decide her life for her to go away.
3. America, Maxon and everybody else in The Selection (with the exception of maybe Celeste) are murdered by rebels who then abolish the caste system, start a democratic government and establish free elections where the people elect leaders of their own volition.
So pretty much I knew I would be really mad because…
Nope. No democracy here. The political situation in this novel was written by someone who has maybe read part of the Wikipedia article for Marxism. I think that the monarchy was kept in place because Prince Maxon is just so cute? Isn’t Maxon so cute? Who needs DEMOCRACY when you have a perfectly cute monarch? Maybe it’s the whole “American” thing but I sort of have a problem with rooting for the monarchy.
Okay, lets start with a quick summary of the series. We’re in post-apocalyptic America where the monarchy has installed a numerical caste system. 1 is royalty, 2 is pop stars and models, 3 is not famous rich people, 4 is business owners, 5 is artists (because LOL we all need artists in dystopian society), 6 is maids/servants, 7 is factory workers and 8 is homeless people. Our heroine, also America, is a 5. In the first book she gets chosen for The Selection– a nationwide dating competition where the crown prince chooses his bride. Yes, it is The Bachelor.
There is a lot of violence and distrust in this society because OF COURSE. There are two groups of rebels. There are Southern Rebels who just want to kill everyone indiscriminately and then Northern Rebels who are less violent and want to change things peacefully.
But that’s not as important as the romance. Before America comes to The Selection she dates Aspen, who is a 6 and therefore taboo for her to date, but he breaks up with her because they live in a dystopian society, his family is hungry and it’s just too hard to run away with your teenage girlfriend. America takes this incredibly personally (she takes everything personally) and when she gets picked for The Selection she leaves him. At first, she doesn’t like Prince Maxon but that changes in a matter of 20 pages and when we get to The One she’s in love with him. TWIST: Aspen has traveled cross-country to be a palace guard to protect her from rebels who raid the palace every day. So, I guess there’a love triangle. That’s about as concise as I can get with this plot.
On with our review. I’m gonna split it into two parts: DYSTOPIAN PLOT and ROMANCE PLOT.