The One by Kiera Cass
My rating: (4 / 5)
“Break my heart. Break it a thousand times if you like. It was only ever yours to break anyway.”
Oh my. These books, they are just so fluffy. If books had a colour, they’d be pink. If they had a taste, they’d be the finest buttercream frosting.
I adore them anyway, because they are also so entertaining, and so much fun, and just warm my heart. I feel a little guilty about liking them so much because they are just so, so… fluffy.
“America, my love, you are sunlight falling through trees. You are laughter that breaks through sadness. You are the breeze on a too-war day. You are clarity in the midst of confusion.
You are not the world, but you are everything that makes the world good. Without you, my life would still exist, but that’s all it would manage to do.”
But we all need our little rewards in life. This continues to be one of mine.
If you’ve read my review of the novella The Favourite you know that I was spoilered all to heck and gone for this book. I knew how it was going to end, I knew several big plot points that were to come, and while it was a comfort for me when the book had my heart racing in some places, or my eyes prickling with tears in others, I’m still kind of sad that I was spoilered ahead of time. So, once I again, I forewarn: Do not read the novella The Favourite before you read The One. I wish so much that I had waited.
This is the book where Prince Maxon finally narrows down the selection he’s been going through in the previous two books to the one girl he’s going to marry. Rebel activity has stepped up, people are making alliances with other nations left and right, King Clarkson is more of a jerk than ever, Queen Amberly is sweet and pink and fluffy as ever, America comes into her own and decides to fight for what she wants in life, some people die that shouldn’t, and some people die that should, and bad things happen and good things happen and somehow the author manages to tie up a surprising amount of strings by the end of the book.
I enjoyed the writing here – surprise surprise – as I have in the other books. Cass is an excellent storyteller, and manages to get me all wrapped up in her words so that I don’t want to put the book down. The characters have matured and changed quite a bit through the series, considering that the actual time line hasn’t been that long. Still, it’s been fun to see, especially the way Maxon has grown as a man and a leader.
I was very sad that there wasn’t more of America’s family in this novel. They have been a bright spot for me throughout this series, and the brief bits of them here have an entirely different feel than earlier interactions, due to the nature of the interactions of course, but still, I was left wanting more.
We do, on the other hand, get to know the ladies of The Elite that are left even more, and it’s both surprising and fascinating to get more insight into their characters. We even get to know some rebels a little bit which is even more fun. Overall, this is a nice tie-up from the previous books – though it leaves me wondering what goes on in the next two in the series! I haven’t looked into them too much yet, but I am definitely looking forward to reading them!
“I nodded. “I’m sorry I let you down.”
“No, no, dear,” she said, turning forward. “I see potential in you. I worked in a factory when I was your age. I was dirty and hungry, and sometimes I was angry. But I had an undying crush on the prince of Illéa, and when I got the chance to make him my own, I learned to check those feelings. There’s a lot to be done from here, but it might not happen the way you want it to. You need to learn to accept that, okay?”
“Yes, Mom,” I joked.
She looked back at me, her face like stone.
“I mean, ma’am. Ma’am.”
Her eyes started glistening, and she blinked a few times, turning forward again. “If it ends as I suspect it will, Mom will be just fine.”