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.
Design + art – Nathalia Suellen Rating – 5/5
I absolutely love this cover. First of all, the wings made up of geometric shapes composed of lines and points are genius. They’re genius because our MC can float but does not have wings, and also because they make me think of DNA and science things like chemistry – both of which are majorly important to this story. I like the background too, which might be a wall with sky wallpaper, because it’s so strange. I’m not sure what’s up at the top corners, but it balances out the title text at the bottom. The color scheme is simple and beautiful, and the shadows are just the perfect amount of subtle to add interest but not detract from the main focus.
One is a mix of X-Men angst and action, along with plenty of science and experimentation. In a future where having only one paranormal ability makes people feel defective, Merrin longs to be able to fly. Things change when she meets a guy of course (eyeroll), but Merrin and her new friends make some startling discoveries about their abilities and the complex that studies these abilities. One is full of scientific goodness – DNA, chemistry, etc. But it’s also packed with Merrin’s thoughts about trust and belonging, about her future, and about how her society treats those who are Ones.
- Merrin’s tenacity – Merrin has a lifelong, somewhat improbable dream to work at the Hub, the center of all things science and superpower. But for her it’s not simply a dream – it’s a goal that she pursues full force. Merrin refuses to give up on her goal for the future, even when she finds out unsavory things about the Hub. She is also a strong-willed heroine who always has her goals on her mind no matter what. Too often in YA the girl falls in love and her plans fly out the window, but that is definitely not Merrin’s style. She’s gonna do what she wants no matter who or what stands in her way.
- science! – I love science, and although I’m no Bill Nye, I adore when books explain things in a way that sounds realistic. One has enough science to make you happy and enough explanation to keep you from getting confused. With my high school level understanding of chemistry and biology, everything in One was perfectly understandable. One is about people with superpowers, but the powers have a genetic origin. There’s testing, DNA, and vials full of special serum. I love that the abilities have a firm basis in science, rather than being explained away as a given in this world. Merrin’s focus on her lack of a 2nd ability leads to science being a huge part of this story.
- Merrin + Elias – Merrin and Elias as a couple are so sweet. Elias certainly isn’t painted as the perfect guy, but he’s kind and supportive. I like he and Merrin together because they feel like a realistic couple rather than only existing on paper. They keep secrets from each other, they aren’t immediately declaring love for each other, and sometimes they’re selfish. I like that this is a relationship presented in a way that lets each individual’s flaws and features show, and that neither character abandons their own pursuits or values in order to make the relationship smoother.
- one + one = magic – I found it a little hokey that Elias and Merrin together have the ability to fly. The whole idea that a guy comes along and happens to be able to “complete” Merrin and give her the one thing she’s always wanted is troubling to me. It did give Merrin her main interest struggle. She remains a strong-willed, independent character, but this need of Merrin’s to fly has always been intense and it just so happens that the guy she likes is able to give that to her. I realize that Merrin needed to have this struggle about her self-worth and only having one ability, but it just rubs me the wrong way that Elias is somehow the thing she needs to be complete and good enough in her own view.
My heart rushes, but it’s not from excitement. It’s more panicked this time. I’ve known Elias for a week and a half. I am sixteen years old, and he is handsome and kind, but if someone told me that for sure he was my other half, I would throw up. – pg. 136
The yellow on is unlabeled. Somehow, that scares me even more than the others.
Then I see, on the label, in the tiniest print – names. Each on of these is personalized. My heart sinks. Each one is designed for a specific person. Allen, Baker, Cole, Dunham – a categorized, alphabetical lineup. – pg. 278
Acquired: bought (ebook)