Honestly, I’m being generous giving this book three stars. Really generous. ‘The One’ was all over the place. While I still enjoyed watching what shenanigans America got up to, the way this series was wrapped up was messy and sometimes nonsensical.
So, the good bits first. Finally seeing how it ends; how it all unfolds. That was the best part (and is probably the only reason I gave it three stars). Maxon. Maxon and America scenes. Those were good. Seeing American defy the King is always fun. The rebels had some interesting bits. The dresses are fun, the events are even better, but ‘The One’ lacked both of those. Honestly, I had many more criticisms of this novel than I have good things to say about it, so let’s just get onto that.
There were many instances where America is thinking to herself, trying to figure out how she feels, trying to justify her actions. In the end, her tangents just comes off as Cass trying to convince us that America’s actions and feelings are justified, when they really aren’t. Majority of America’s feelings in this novel are just there to prolong the story. Failure to communicate is a huge plot device in this story and it’s not justified (nor does it feel realistic), as much as Cass tries and tries to make us think it is. America’s thoughts end up feeling more like explanations for the prolonged plot.
I’ve heard some complain that this series did not need to be set in a dystopic society, and I agree. This could easily have been done in a historic, fantasy world, with rebels and what not, and played out fine. Of course, there wouldn’t be cameras. But this dystopic world really never got off the ground from the beginning, so was it really worth it? It just seems like a lot of more work that didn’t pay off in the end.
Overall, if you want to finish this series to see how it ends, I understand, that’s exactly what I did. I was very excited for this book, and also very let down. By the end, I’m glad I read it, so I at least have some conclusion, but if you weren’t crazy about the first or second, this isn’t any better.
Onto the spoilers~ Read at your own risk.
My first and biggest complaint: Is it really so bloody hard to tell the person you love, that you are begging to stay with, that you love them? America’s and Maxon’s reasons for not saying I love you to each other were such obvious bullshit it was maddening. The only reason they wouldn’t say it was because the author had to prolong the story. That was it. The whole map of emotions thing didn’t convince us (which is clearly what Cass was trying to do) nor did it feel genuine or real. The only plot device that made sense (about their relationship specifically) was Maxon finding out about Aspen. And that was resolved, what, ten pages later?? That had such potential! That could have been the ongoing plot device! Not this I can’t say I love you bullshit.
Kriss being a rebel. Necessary? No. Did it make sense? No. Her father being a rebel and finding the diary didn’t make sense either. “Here, America, I love you more than the world but I’m gonna potentially ruin your life for the sake of everyone else one day living in a better world. Ok peace.” Hmm, that isn’t’ the father we’ve seen. Kota, perhaps, but not her father. America sure put some random ass things together to make sense of them. We are being attacked by the southerns! The guards weren’t abandoning their posts, the southern’s were killing them and taking their clothes! How could you figure that out in a second??
And ohhh boy did they get lucky that the Southern rebels attacked. The King, basically their biggest problem, was eliminated so the story could end. All problems solved by luck now we can live happily ever after okay? okay. end of novel.
As I write this, I wish I had given it two stars, not three. Perhaps I’m just being generous because I liked the first two. ‘The One’ felt sloppy and hastily done.