The time has come for one winner to be crowned.
When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, 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. – Goodreads
The One starts off with a bang. Literally a bang from a rebel attack. What’s interesting is how much America wants Maxon the person, not Maxon the prince. Not realizing that, you know, they are one in the same. Maxon still makes me laugh by calling America out on her bullshit. It’s also heartbreaking to see how Maxon’s father, the King, continues to be a major asshole.
The One is very firmly a last novel in the series. What I found interesting was how much extra in the world building aspect occurred. We learned more about the country’s history and how the country became the country that America lives in. There is also action in this novel. From rebel attacks to gun fights, Cass wrote them all. Of course she also wrote about love.
At 25%, finally, finally America figures out she loves Maxon. Not a little bit. But finally jumps in and feels herself covered in his love. Then of course, he becomes closed off because his life is changing. What continues to be annoying is the fact neither one of them will say that they love each other. Each refuses to be the first person and because of this there is a lot of awkward gazes. He demands that she says that she loves him, she refuses until he gets rid of the other girls, he refuses to get rid of the other girls until she says she loves him.
Meanwhile, on the Aspen front, he is still annoyed that America is changing and constantly judging her while also “assisting” her. And although she now loves Maxon, she is still thankful to have a friend in Aspen. As a reader, it’s also painful to see that America hasn’t been honest with Maxon about Aspen, which one knows will probably come back to bite her. However, what did change however, was the friendship between the group of girls. Slowly as the game is crumbling, the girls bond together and actually become friends. It was nice to see the women become friends, and not consistently tearing each other down.
Family dynamics are also strong throughout The One. From Maxon’s family, including the asshole King, and the nice Queen to America’s family who in their own way are assholes. But in their own way, all families are assholes, it is what makes your family yours. Plus, family hide secrets from each other, and the family’s in The One are no different. It was refreshing to see.
Throughout this series, Cass is able to convey a range of emotions between friends and family that even if I don’t enjoy what’s going on, I understand and am thankful for her ability to convey those emotions.