The One’s We’re Meant To Find by Joan He

*Spoiler free*

Thank you so much to Roaring Brook Press and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

Cee awoke on an abandoned island three years ago. With no idea of how she was marooned, she only has a rickety house, an old android, and a single memory: she has a sister, and Cee needs to find her. STEM prodigy Kasey wants escape from the science and home she once trusted. The eco-cities—Earth’s last unpolluted place—are meant to be sanctuary for those committed to planetary protection, but they’re populated by people willing to do anything for refuge, even lie. Now, she’ll have to decide if she’s ready to use science to help humanity, even though it failed the people who mattered most.

I mean, is anybody surprised that I was looking forward to this book with bated breath before I even knew it existed, basically the second I finished Descendent Of The Crane? It’s a Joan He book, of course I am going to want to read it. And the synopsis only heightened my urge to read it. One sister wakes on an abandoned island, and the other is a STEM prodigy living in a eco-city, one of the last unpolluted places on Earth. Cee needs to find Kasey, and Kasey wants to escape the city she is stuck in. I was very much looking forward to seeing what this book was all about. Trigger warnings: terminal illness, suicide, violence, death, death of parent (off page), vomiting, large scale natural disasters and mass casualties, some gore

This review is going to be brief, only because this isn’t a book were only plot and character can be talked about. It’s more than that. It’s a book that’s swallowed whole.

Do you ever read something that is just so breathtakingly, achingly beautiful? Something that is just pure ART? That’s The One’s We’re Meant To Find. (Brief side note: I am ecstatic to see the art that is going to be inspired by this book. The fanart is going to be out of this world.)

At it’s heart, it’s a story of sisterhood, and one of Cee and Kasey’s individuality at the same time. The way their stories were woven together was absolutely masterful. Small details that were reflected back at each other made me sit up straighter and marvel at storytelling talent that He has. Both of these girls are so different, but the love the hold for each is so firm. They’re pulled towards each other while at the same time they push each other away. Their stories are intertwined in a way that can’t be untangled. Each of them worries they aren’t enough. How can they be what the world needs them to be? How can they be when they seem to be broken in the eyes of everybody else? Their story feels like something like the gentle lull of the tide, something that can sooth, but something that rip and tug and shatter.

This is the kind of book that sticks. I already feel it digging into the marrow of my bones. It’s a weird little book, but I feel like I’m finding that the weird books are the one’s that turn out to be my favorites. Emotions flash across, anger, grief, numbness, happiness. Plots are hatched and boats are built.

And Joan doesn’t lie when she calls this book twisty. What does humanity deserve? What can people do?

Alright, I’m hopping off the elegant train for a second because I want to make sure to include some things. The freaking science aspect of this book was incredible. Kasey is so freaking smart and I loved the technology and discoveries of this world. But also how the downfall of pollution was handled. I loved Cee and her abandoned island. I loved the weaving of this story, how it seems to pull together from all different sides until it’s brought together and it creates something that is the green of the sea. I loved the writing, of just how good it was (seriously, I could go on and and on about how well written it is).

It’s a book about finding each other, of being found, of deciding, of humanity, of the ocean, of the greenness of the sea, of the depth we can swim. It’s so much wrapped into one book.

The One’s We’re Meant To Find comes out May 4th, 2021! You can add it on Goodreads and pre-order a copy in the meantime!

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