The One by Kiera Cass

The basics

Title: The One


Series: The Selection #3

- The Selection (April 2012)
- The Elite (April 2013)
- The One (May 2014)
- The Heir (May 2015)
- The Crown (2016)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

The time has come for one winner to be crowned.

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, 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.

Read a full summary of The One by Kiera Cass below. If you can’t remember what happened in The One and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.


  • America receives a letter from May, which tells America that Kenna has had a baby and named her Astra.
  • August and Georgia, two rebel leaders from the North, show up at the palace. They want to speak to America and Maxon.
  • America recognises Georgia, and seems to remember previously seeing her up a tree in a previous book.
  • August and Georgia explain that they and the rest of the rebels from the North are in support of the monarchy, which is a surprise to everyone. Apparently they really like Maxon which is the second surprise of the scene. They warn that the Southern rebels are looking to get rid of the monarchy entirely.
  • August tells Maxon he should marry America because everyone looks up to her. Maxon is like… do I not get a say here? America wants to marry Maxon though so this works for her.
  • The King broadcasts that the rebels are killing different castes, starting with the Twos and going all the way to the Fives.
  • America gives a little speech to get people to fight the rebels.
  • America and Maxon go on a date (at a time like this!). There’s a rain kiss that I’m sure shippers DIED over.
  • Celeste is super upset about how much everyone loves America. She’s very jealous and wants Maxon to marry her instead, but America is more beloved among the people. Celeste apologises for her previous behaviour though.
  • America wants to meet with August again so she asks Aspen to help. She and Maxon wear disguises and go off to find August and Georgia. The four of them talk, and August asks for weapons to fight off the Southerners because they’re killing loads of people.
  • America and Maxon leave and are quickly attacked by some Southern rebels. There’s a bit of a fight and America is injured but they escape to the palace.
  • America invites Nicoletta and Georgia to a tea party. Nicoletta is an Italian princess. Georgia asks her to fund the Northern rebellion’s weapons to fight off the Southerners. Nicoletta goes along with it because of alliances and stuff.
  • The Elites are expected to condemn some criminals, and Maxon gives America a gift of jewellery for the occasion. America is supposed to be condemning a thief to life in prison for stealing some clothes, but she refuses. Instead, she gives the thief her jewellery, allowing him to pay off his debt to the king and buying his freedom. This goes against the King’s plan, and obviously angers him.
  • The King wants America to be removed from the Selection. Maxon refuses, claiming America is now too popular with the public.
  • The Italian royal family invite this one to Italy. America is to go with them because she’s half the reason the countries are so friendly.
  • Maxon kisses America and tells her to admit her love for him. Rude.
  • America’s father dies of a heart attack, which America learns of just as Maxon is accosting her.
  • America attends the funeral. Her mother gives her and her siblings a letter written by their father. Her father tells America to “look unto the North Star”, and America realises that Georgia’s jacket has a constellation that could fit with this. America realises that her father was a Northern rebel.
  • Maxon now only has to choose between America and Kriss when it comes to the Selection. Maxon makes his decision and wants to announce it the following morning.
  • Kriss is wearing a necklace of the North Star and America notices this. She asks Kriss about it, and Kriss admits to joining the Selection as a rebel but now she is actually in love with Maxon (for some reason…).
  • America gets huffy and leaves the party.
  • Maxon goes to find America in her room and tells her he has chosen her. They kiss again and finally properly admit their feelings for one another. They fall asleep next to one another that night.
  • Aspen walks in on America and Mason and it’s very awkward. While Maxon preps for the announcement, America speaks to Aspen and explains what’s going on. Maxon sees America and Aspen talking and realises there’s something there. Maxon decides that he can’t possibly marry America now. He also threatens Aspen.
  • The engagement ceremony takes place. No idea what Maxon’s ultimate decision was because the Southern rebels crash the party and start killing people. Celeste and Anne die. Maxon saves America from being shot, and as he’s lying there injured he apologises to America for making poor decisions and almost marrying Kriss.
  • Maxon makes Aspen save and look after America, so Aspen takes her to a safe room before going back for Maxon.
  • America, now locked in the safe room, tries to escape but fails. August and Gavril show up and get her out of the room. They tell her the Northern rebels are fighting the Southern ones.
  • Aspen is injured in hospital. He tells America that Maxon survived, but his parents were killed so Maxon is now the king.
  • Aspen clears things up and reveals he’s no longer in love with America. He’s actually now with someone called Lucy.
  • America goes to see Maxon, who’s quite injured but surviving. Maxon tells America he plans to dissolve the caste system, which seems sensible.
  • Maxon gives America an engagement ring and finally asks her to marry him. America accepts.
  • America and Maxon get married and the official coronation of the new king happens. America becomes Queen, and Marlee and Carter are attendants to the king and queen.
  • Two years later, America reveals that she is expecting their first baby.

This is a full plot summary of what happened in The One by Kiera Cass. Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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