I finally bought it! Yaaay!
The first chapter allows you to dive straight into this book; it is simply as if you have never been away. It was like I didn't even have to try to remember The Elite, because the main twists were covered pretty nicely with 'looking back' type sentences. I hate it when a book tries to recap too much, it gets boring, so I'm really glad this didn't happen.
OK, so to recap for those of you who didn't get quite so caught up in the story as me, or for those of you who read it back in the dark ages and can't remember what just happened. America is chosen to be in the final four of The Selection, nearly screws up her chances entirely (several times) and then finally, finally, decides to stay and fight for Maxon. We found out that Maxon's dad, King Clarkson, is a complete and utter a-hole (please excuse the language, but I couldn't find a better word to describe him).
So talking about the actual story-line, the competition seems to be getting to all the girls, but now that it's just them, they all have to try extra hard to win Maxon over. America is trying, and yet somehow she goes back a step in her character arc. Yet again we see her arguing with Maxon, going over the same things she's been worried about in the first and second books, and now we have an extra issue; she wont admit to herself she actually loves the guy. I could have face-palmed, but I didn't. Strangely, these parts didn't annoy me quite as much as they did in The Elite. Maybe it is because America has matured a bit more, and maybe it's because she isn't toying around with the two boys so much.
I loved the fact that there was a lot more dystopian type events going on here; a few attacks, a bit more subversion on America's part, sneakily doing things against the King's wishes... I thought it was all great. I noticed that it was a lot more serious though, less laugh out loud moments and more crying, or more horrible things happening.
Now for the big part: this book is the last in the series, so I really have to say something about the conclusion. You can all breathe out a sigh of relief! There are a few things you can really see coming, mostly things that have to happen to get the world back to rights. You guess what happens with Aspen eventually, but that doesn't matter because it was all so satisfying. There were a few shocking deaths thrown in there that you really don't see coming, but that just added to the whole feeling of the final chapters. I actually teared up at a death of a character who I totally detested in The Selection.. that says something for the story, doesn't it?
It was a really absorbing read, and I couldn't put it down. I couldn't stop thinking about it, actually; I just had to see what was going to happen!
The One on Goodreads
The One on Goodreads