I knew I wasn't going to read The One for any deep, philosophical glimpses into a post-apocalyptic society; hey, we're talking a royal version of The Bachelor here, correct? But for what it is, The One is an enjoyably light read that intrigued me enough to gulp it down in two short afternoons. As with most escapist reading, it accomplished its goal in that respect very well.
If you're reading this review, you know the basics of how we got to this point: America is one of four young women left vying for the attention and potential marriage of Prince Maxon. Throughout the first two books, America's been inching toward a true relationship with Maxon, despite her feelings for childhood boyfriend, Aspen. In this final installment, she's decided to fight for him, though of course the road isn't smooth. Despite Maxon's protestations of his intentions to choose America, she frequently messes things up and acquires the wrath of the king in the process. There's also two rebellions going on, and somehow America finds herself in the middle of negotiations that may bring down the caste system once and for all.
While I loved this story--it's hard not to--the constant fighting between America and Maxon, complete with about 5000 misunderstandings, eventually wore at me. I like a good, headstrong, righteous heroine, but America spent a lot of time making things worse when they didn't have to be. Frankly, from a slightly more mature standpoint, I can't see this marriage working out in the long term if these two don't learn to build on what they have and stop bickering over past slights. But that's the beauty of the novel once again...I don't have to worry about those things because the story itself isn't about that. It's about two young people who aren't perfect finding one another when they least expect to and learning how to make a difference in lives. I could bemoan the fact that we didn't get a lot of closure on the rebellion aspect, and that there was really no point to some of the incidents, but that would just be a distraction from my overall enjoyment of Cass's writing and the storyline itself. Definitely fun and surprisingly touching at times, this series is one I'd have no problem recommending when you're in the mood for light reading.