The One

The One  - Kiera Cass America and Maxon were pretty annoying in this book. Because neither of them wanted to be the first to say 'I love you' out loud. If one or the other had been brave enough to just speak the words, a whole lot of trouble could have been saved. I figured after the last book that the only way America was going to be able to regain Maxon's trust was to tell him the truth about Aspen. Because of that ultimatum, I can't help that feel that she doesn't deserve him. Then again, selection or no selection, he was cheating on her with all these other girls, making me wonder how she could trust him. Maybe they do deserve each other.

Aspen was just as bad. He was a prideful, controlling jerk. In the first two books he abandoned America because he was to prideful to be with her, then changed his mind and tried to hang on to her when it would've been better for her if he'd let her go. Then in this book for some bizarre reason he decided not to bother telling America that he'd fallen in love with someone else (and I honestly think that Lucy deserves someone better) until he tried to do so at a time when she was upset, and didn't let him, but then when he saw America and Maxon in the same bed (though not sleeping together) he still reacted with the kind of anger that one would expect from a newly dumped boyfriend.

In other words, I hate the three main characters. They're all such hypocrites. Kiera Cass needs to work on her character building. That said, her stories are very, very good. If it weren't for the hateable characters I think that this would be an amazing series. The ending was sort of weak. The only way to end this series with this book was to kill the king, otherwise it would have had to keep going and going until Maxon and America were able to get out from under his thumb, but it was a pretty clean ending to Clarkson's messy storyline that would have shown more depth to the two lovebirds if they'd had to be strong and stop letting him control them. The other thing I didn't like was the killing of Queen Amberly. Cass could've done so much with her character in the end chapters, but she chose to just kill her. That was very frustrating. And for her to kill off Anne (and with such an off-hand 'oh by the way, nobody cares about her Anyway' type of attitude) cleaned up Lucy and Aspen's love story more than I thought was necessary. America's father was another one. His death did have some plot-points with Maxon realizing his feelings for America (y'know, finally,) but there could've been another way to do that...and there was really no point in him being a rebel other than for America to recognize the star Kris was wearing marked her as a rebel, and, given the fact that America had just become friends with Georgia, there was already a much easier way for America to realize that.

Another problem was Celeste. She'd been so mean in the first two books and suddenly she's being nice. That was a little bit too abrupt. I feel like she needed have been little clues that she wasn't as nasty as she was letting on in earlier books so that her sudden niceness wouldn't have felt so out of character. Then she has a freaking ton of character growth and then...she dies. Seriously? That is not what you do with a character who has just had a boatload of character growth.

Okay, okay, just one more complaint. Both America and Maxon needed to prove themselves to each other (at least in my mind, with aforesaid approved cheating with the selection,) but only Maxon proved himself to America by saving her life, and realistically, because America had accepted that the selection, with it's sort of cheating was the way she was going to have to win Maxon, she really needed to prove herself to him even more than he needed to prove himself to her. For this reason I think it would have been more powerful if she had leaped in front of a gun to save Maxon, rather than the other way around. Plus, for all that she is a weak person when it comes to being honest, when it comes to being brave, America is very, very strong, so the fact that she just sat there while the rebel pointed the gun at Maxon felt out of character.

Okay, so Kiera Cass needs to really work on making her characters more likeable, and on making her endings stronger. Other than that her stories are very good. Honestly because of the weak ending I'm trying to decide between giving the book two stars or three. Oh well I'll give her the benefit of the doubt and give her three because I was listening to it as an audiobook and the narrator was very good.