Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Review of ONE by LeighAnn Kopans

When having two powers makes you a Super and having none makes you a Normal, having only one makes you a sad half-superpowered freak.

It makes you a One.

Sixteen-year-old Merrin Grey would love to be able to fly – too bad all she can do is hover.

If she could just land an internship at the Biotech Hub, she might finally figure out how to fix herself. She busts her butt in AP Chem and salivates over the Hub’s research on the manifestation of superpowers, all in hopes of boosting her chances.

Then she meets Elias VanDyne, another One, and all her carefully crafted plans fly out the window. Literally. When the two of them touch, their Ones combine to make them fly, and when they’re not soaring over the Nebraska cornfields, they’re busy falling for each other.

Merrin's mad chemistry skills land her a spot on the Hub's internship short list, but as she gets closer to the life she always wanted, she discovers that the Hub’s purpose is more sinister than it has always seemed. Now it’s up to her to decide if it's more important to fly solo, or to save everything - and everyone - she loves.
*summary from www.goodreads.com


My Review **
From concept to the very first line, ONE grabbed my attention. I immediately sympathized with Merrin Grey, a One caught between having a superpower and having nothing. Merrin wants to fly more than anything, but she can only hover because she has half a superpower. Although her One power was supposed to fade many years ago, she refuses to give up and still practices every morning. Her determination is more than admirable, and it is a strong character trait that plays through the entire book.
                            
Unfortunately because Merrin never developed the second ability that would allow her to fly, she has to transfer to Nelson “Normal” High where she soon meets fellow One, Elias VanDyne. Elias, by the way, is one of the sweetest most genuine guys I have ever read in YA. Merrin’s awkwardness around him is so believable. She has so many thoughts swirling in her head about how she wants to act vs how she thinks she should act, a confusion that often plagues many teenage girls especially really smart, logical, science-minded ones. I saw a lot of my high school self in her, so I immediately latched onto her character and probably would have followed her off a cliff like a lemming. I wanted to know her story and follow her journey.

Admittedly after meeting Elias, the story slowed down for some world building that might have been better spread out a bit more throughout the book. However, by this point I was intrigued by Merrin and Elias and what might be that I sped through to find out what happened next. By chapter five the story really hit its stride. Elias and Merrin had me wrapped around their pinky fingers and I was truly swooning and flipping pages looking forward to what came next.

I found some of the earlier reveals in the story a little predictable but they were cool nonetheless. By the time Merrin and Elias discover that together they can combine their abilities to fly, my heart was melting. The discovery and tension between them is beautiful. This is by far my favorite scene in the entire book. I became so enthralled by how engaging this story is.

As with any great love story there are secrets. Merrin and Elias are no exception. Merrin has her eyes on an internship with Biotech HUB, a facility dedicated to researching Supers and their abilities. Because Merrin is a One, she is not eligible for an internship, but that doesn’t stop her from secretly working with Mr. Hoffman, her science teacher from her old school. Merrin is determined to not only secure one of the coveted internships, but is also convinced that working at the Hub might provide her with some insight to solving her Oneness. She’s hoping to one day finally gain the ability to fly on her own, without Elias. But the more Merrin looks into Biotech Hub, the more she uncovers, and it seems they might be up to some sinister things inside their tightly controlled facility. And Elias seems to have some secrets of his own that might also be entangled with the Hub’s plans. Ultimately, Merrin has to decide if her desire to fly on her own is worth risking her family and friends.

Straight through to the finish this story kept me entertained and speeding through to find out what came next, yet trying to stall and savor every last word of it. I struggled a little bit to understand the details surrounding the big reveal at the climax, but by the end of the book all of my confusion and questions were resolved. The story left me happily satisfied but also wanting to know what happens next with Merrin and Elias. It also left me wanting to flip right back to the start and discover their adventure all over again.

Although I am a complete sucker for superhero stories, and immediately knew this was a book I had to read, I know superpower stories aren't for everyone. That said, don’t let the powers spin deter you. This book is so much more than a superhero story. It bridged the gap between science fiction and literary so seamlessly. As someone who is not always a fan of contemporary and literary stories, I was drawn to ONE because of the premise but I stayed because of the characters and the words on the page. I think ONE would appeal to a wide range of readers and is a good book to inspire science fiction readers to try more literary books and more literary readers to look into more science fiction. It was truly a fun, lighthearted read that often left me swooning and feeling like a teenager again. I highly recommend it, 4.5 stars!

**This review is based off an E-arc generously provided by LeighAnn Kopans

6 comments:

  1. Looks good. I'll have to add it to my to read shelf. Be a nice break from my usual reads.

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  2. Fantastic! I'm so excited to read this ONE when it comes out ;)

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    1. It's definitely worth the wait, although I guess I can't really say that since I've already read it ;)

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  3. Nice review. I guess I gotta read this now. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks! Yes it's definitely a must read :)

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