Kiera Cass, The One, (2014), 323p
Let’s be honest here – I am an absolute sucker for dystopian teen fiction. Put a protagonist in a bleak, not so distant future who wants to overthrow the corrupt, controlling government and I’m all over it. Make it a strong but damaged female protagonist and I’m hooked. Throw in a love triangle with a dark-haired, gruff bad boy and a sweet, honest chap and I fall in love. I’m constantly picking sides and favourites, aggressively rooting for the bad boy.
I started off with the Hunger Games, probably like many others. I’m have been reading series after series ever since – devouring Divergent, Delirium, The Maze Runner, and Matched. I can’t stop! My most recent obsession has been The Selection Series. I read the first two books, The Selection and The Elite, back to back a few months ago and have been (impatiently) waiting ever since for a copy of The One to fall into my eager little hands.
…and once it did, I finished it in less than 24 hours. I wish I was one if those people who could stretch it out and enjoy it for longer – but alas, I’m not. I rip through the pages as fast as my eyes will let me.
The concept of this series is essentially the Bachelor meets the Hunger Games. It’s tough to give an overview without spoiling the first two books, but here we go. Society is split up into castes, varying from One to Eight. What your caste is essentially says what you do for a living, who you can marry, and what your life will be like. Ones are the royalty (king, queen, prince), where as Twos are celebrities and Threes, businessmen. It trickles down to Fives, the artists; Sixes and Sevens, domestic workers and manual labourers; and Eights, those who are essentially a burden on society. When Prince Maxon, the One-liest one of them all, is ready to marry, there is a Bachelor type competition for his love. Girls are pulled from each one of the castes to compete to become his wife and, essentially, the princess. Our lovely, strong headed, ginger protagonist, America, is a Five. She makes her way into the competition almost by fluke, yet manages to stay despite her constantly rebelling against expectations and her lowly caste. She brings along some romance baggage – her feelings for Aspen, literally the handsome boy next door. Swoon.
This book wraps up the love triangle which overtook the entire series – will America choose the prince, Maxon, or the guard, Aspen? As someone who usually cheers for the bad boy, this book put me a little out of my comfort zone. Throughout most of the series, I found myself loving Maxon and shunning Aspen. (Also, some of the greatest male protagonist names ever? I think so!) I was not at all shocked by the ending and her choice, but pleasantly content with the series wrap up.
Is this the best series I have every read? Not really. But I was I completely sucked in, impatiently waiting to read the rest? You bet. It’s entertaining as all heck, a quick and easy read with characters I truly enjoyed. What more can you really ask for?
Happy reading –