Publication Date: May 6th, 2014
Publisher: Harper TeenGenre: YA, Chick Lit
Synopsis (from Goodreads): The Selection changed the lives of thirty-five girls forever. And now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen.
America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the competition approaches its end 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.
From the very first page of The Selection, this #1 New York Times bestselling series has captured readers' hearts and swept them away on a captivating journey... Now, in The One, Kiera Cass delivers a satisfying and unforgettable conclusion that will keep readers sighing over this electrifying fairy-tale long after the final page is turned.
So what had happened was...
I was born and raised in South Carolina, a proud child of the 80's. Also, my dad is Puerto Rican, and my mom is super white. I have neither a Hispanic or Southern accent. No clue why. Growing up, I was awkward. I didn't understand fashion at all (not that I do now) and was never into what was cool while it was actually popular. But I didn't mind it so much because I had a few really great friends and wonderful outlets. By high school, I was a seasoned dancer, diehard theater buff, and in a chamber choir that at one point was tied for third in the nation competitively.
My great ambition when I graduated high school was theatre. I wanted to be a performer in the WORST WAY! I took a semester off, did a bunch of local shows, taught at a theater camp, and went to Coastal Carolina University in the spring majoring in Musical Theatre.
After making a fantastic mistake and essentially following a boy to a different school (and state) I went to Radford University and switched my major to Music. Then Communication. Then History. Maybe a year into college, I was over theatre (though I still love performing) and decided that what I would really like to do was go on staff with the campus church and just be helpful to students. I settled on History because I could finish it on time after switching so much, and because I liked listening to the stories.
Then, those plans were thwarted, too. I met a guy who I kept rejecting but whose heart was set on me. He somehow talked me into moving to Blacksburg, marrying him, and having babies together. I'm still not sure how he did this... well played, Mr. Cass. After that, my main hope was to be a good homemaker and stay at home with our kids when we had them.
In 2007, my world was shaken by a local tragedy, and I took it pretty hard. Over the course of the following year, I tried a lot of things to get myself together resulting in me sitting down to write a story where my character had to deal with my problems so I wouldn't have to. The distance from my head to the page helped me step back a bit and cope with all the things I was feeling. I ended up not finishing that story because I woke up from a nap with the idea that would become The Siren and HAD to get that written. After I got into the habit of writing, lots of ideas came, including The Selection and handful of others that are waiting their turn.
Once I started writing, I felt like an idiot. How had I not known I loved this all along? Seriously. Dancing, singing, acting, history... it's all just story telling. And I love it.
I self-published The Siren in 2009 (while I was five months pregnant) after not having a lot of success querying it but aching to give it to the handful of followers I had. Their support was a lot of what made me want to continue to try and share my stories with people.
In early 2010 (when my son was just two months old), I started querying The Selection and was lucky enough to find a wonderful agent in Elana Roth. Sometimes I still can't believe she took a chance on me. After a few months, Erica Sussman at HarperTeen snapped up The Selection, and it came out in the spring of 2012 (while I was six months pregnant with my daughter). Now I'm a #1 New York Times bestselling author, and I'm thrilled to have the chance to share my stories with the world.
I currently live in Christiansburg, VA with my hubby and two kids and spend my free time playing on YouTube and twitter and eating cake.
So in all honesty...I'm on a total high from this book right now! I know, I know, the first book I was completely miffed that Kiera Cass had merged two unrelating things together to make a story....and the second book gave me such severe whiplash that I wanted to gauge my eyes out. But as time went by....I wanted, no, needed to know what happened in this story. Don't worry, I will try to hold any spoilers until the end. ;)
The One just came out this Tuesday, and would you believe that it's already a #1 Best Seller?? Holy cow. Truthfully, it's not the best series I've ever read. It lacks in content...but I did get attached to the characters and as much as I wanted to predict the ending, Cass provided several twists in the middle and I kept doubting my theories. You hear me talk about "books I hate to love," well, this is one of them. But even in literature, we all need our guilty pleasures, and sometimes reading simple, mindless chick-lit gives me an extra boost to "read on!" You know, kind of like how during the day you may listen to music your posse approves of, but at night you secretly jam to early 2000's Miley Cyrus or reminisce about *NSync's golden days. You know who you are.
That being said...I ended up falling in love with this series way more than I ever intended to. I hate to admit it, but I really hope Kiera Cass decides to write a post-The One book. Maybe? Please?
* * * WARNING: SPOILERS * * *
Okay so for all the stuff the happened in The One that I'm dying to talk to someone about (I have a friend reading it, but she isn't finished yet and it's killing me!!). I liked most of the plot twists that she threw in there. This was the only book I felt like we got some real action in. I thought it was cool how the heir of Illéa just came into existence out of nowhere. Discovering that America's father and Kriss were Northern Rebels was also a huge shocker! I really didn't see those things coming.
But seriously, the Prince needed to be less of a pansy about his feelings for America. Wait for her to say it first? Be a man, yo. You can rule a country but you can't tell the girl you wanna pick in a competition that YOU put on that you love her? Did I misunderstand the reason we are all here??
The death toll. Oh my lawd. That was depressing. It was like the Battle of Hogwarts all over again, but confined to one room. And not quite as brilliant. But I was starting to like Celeste...and the Queen! Oh, the Queen. That was so sad. You just tore my heart out, Kiera Cass.
* * * END SPOILERS * * *
Word on the street is that Kiera Cass just announced another prequel: The Queen! I haven't been informed of a release date yet, but we'll get a peek at the previous Selection and how on earth the Queen ended up with a malcontent crab like the King.
Concluding thoughts: Kiera Cass bewitched me with this series. I'm sure later I will hate myself for loving it so much, but I don't doubt that when I need a guilty pleasure to indulge in, this will be in my repertoire. I shall therefore shelve this with my Books I Hate To Love.
Have you read The Selection series? Finished The One yet? Let me know your thoughts!