The One: The Selection, Book 3

Book review by
Julie A. Carlson, Common Sense Media
The One: The Selection, Book 3 Book Poster Image
Popular with kids
Thrilling, swoon-worthy romantic finale to popular series.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 45 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

The One continues with the rebels from the South wanting to destroy the kingdom that Maxon and his family control, so politics, war, famine, poverty, wealth all come into play in the novel. America, Maxon, and other characters try to figure out solutions to problems and the best course of action. Readers will learn about tyranny and how not to be controlling, especially of people in positions of power. 

Positive Messages

Strong messages about courage and bravery, love of family, friends, and the opposite sex, the importance of friendship, learning to listen to others and helping them in times of need, standing up for what you believe in, anti-bullying, and trusting others. Also, it's sometimes good to keep secrets, but harboring them can lead to hurting yourself and others. Apologize when you're wrong. The Selection series questions arranged marriages and suggests that people should find love on their own, not through a reality TV competition. The One digs deeper into how humiliating others and putting people down is wrong, hurtful, and embarrassing. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

America once again shines as a positive heroine in The One. She's a good person and a good friend, who shows loyalty not only to her family, her friends, her maids, and Maxon, but toward the people of Illea. America's smart and courageous and always puts others before herself, even in dangerous situations. Throughout the course of the series, she's grown to love Maxon, but often has a hard time expressing her feelings. Maxon has become a stronger role model. He wants peace in his country and has compassion for others. His feelings for America have also grown, even though he appears to be a playboy -- but isn't. Other side characters from America's maids to her family to people outside the palace are heroic. 



There's hand-to-hand combat, use of weapons such as gun. A character gets shot, two characters die. 


Kissing, caressing face and body, hugging, hand holding, and laying in bed together, but no sexual intercourse.


Some verbal humiliation and put-downs. "Hell" is the only strong language.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The One is the final novel in NYT Best-selling The Selection trilogy by Kiera Cass, following The Selection and The Elite. It continues the story of America Singer in the competition to win Prince Maxon's hand in marriage. The novel has romantic scenes, including kissing and caressing. There's some violence (hand-to-hand combat, fighting with guns). A character gets shot, two characters die. There's also verbal humiliation and put-downs, but no swearing other than "hell." 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byiwolfv18 June 12, 2019

Great Conclution

And here, we're back again as you can see. HAha.

Anyways, yes, if you've seen my last two reviews, you'll understand that I loved this book from... Continue reading
Adult Written byrebma97 July 14, 2015

Great conclusion

The One is the ending to the "first" trilogy in The Selection (the fourth book deals with America's daughter), and it's really good. Probabl... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byEpicNerd May 20, 2014

Outstanding Finale!!

Wow, this book takes the cake! This is by FAR, the best in the trilogy! More political aspects are observed, the romance is the finest it can be, characters are... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byKat D. December 20, 2020


This entire series is awesome! There are a few makeout scenes, (One in a bed, but some clothes are removed, but not all. Lots of deaths, but none are explained... Continue reading

What's the story?

The end of the Selection competition comes to a close in THE ONE. The novel continues to focus on the growing tension between King Clarkson and the Southern rebels who want to hurt the royal family. But all America and Maxon want is peace. Both of them even go out of their way to bridge alliances with the Northern rebels -- safe and unsafe moves that put them and others in jeopardy. In The One, America and Maxon's feelings grow stronger for each other. America also fights for her position in the competition and not being kicked out by King Clarkson, who doesn't like her strong personality, fighting spirit, and being from a lower caste. Throughout the novel, she must prove to the royal family, Maxon, and herself that she's indeed "the one" for Maxon.

Is it any good?

The story moves at a fast pace in The One, and it's a solid and exciting conclusion to the popular series. We meet new characters and some familiar faces from the previous novels. The One also ups the romance of America and Maxon, making this novel a lot more swoon-worthy. Even though readers might be sad to see these characters go, The One is a book they will thoroughly enjoy by rooting for America and Maxon to be together.

However, there are times that readers might want Maxon to grow a spine and stand up to his father, especially when he puts down America. But all Maxon has ever wanted is to choose the bride he loves and wants, as well as peace in Illea. Because of this, Maxon has grown to become a worthy partner for America and vice versa. As for Aspen, some readers might be disappointed that he's been relegated to a secondary role in this novel. But those who don't enjoy love triangles will be happy to see that one's ended, while Aspen remains loyally and dutifully by America's side.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about reality dating shows. Do you think shows like The Bachelor or I Want to Marry Harry are good or not good for women to participate in? Do you think they're real or scripted?

  • Do you like the way the story in The One played out? Are you happy with the way The Selection series ended? Are you looking forward to more books by Kiera Cass?

  • Would you like to see The Selection series made into a feature film, like The Hunger Games and Divergent? How is it different from those? How is it similar? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love romance

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