Title: The One
Author: John Marrs
Publication Date: April 16, 2019
Age Range: Adult
Genre(s): Thriller, Science Fiction
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How far would you go to find The One?
A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner–the one you’re genetically made for.
That’s the promise made by Match Your DNA. A decade ago, the company announced that they had found the gene that pairs each of us with our soul mate. Since then, millions of people around the world have been matched. But the discovery has its downsides: test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships and upended the traditional ideas of dating, romance and love.
Now five very different people have received the notification that they’ve been “Matched.” They’re each about to meet their one true love. But “happily ever after” isn’t guaranteed for everyone. Because even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking than others…
TW/CW: emotional cheating, cheating/infidelity, cancer, loss of a loved one, graphic depictions of deceased bodies, descriptions of murder
The One by John Marrs was a book that got so much hype within the last few months and I was super excited to check it out. This was a book that had a super interesting premise – finding your true love using DNA. I love books like this that take a super wild, yet slightly probable science fiction creation and show the ugly side of it.
This book is no different.
This book starts out like a pretty basic contemporary book, following a number of couples as they meet ~the one~ and hijinks ensue. Some of the relationships are pretty straight forward, some result in unexpected surprises, and some result in broken couples. I really enjoyed following these different couples. At first, I thought some of these plots overlapped, but quickly realized they didn’t. I kind of like this, as it allows the reader to see pretty much every possibility this DNA matching could give the people in this world.
I think Nick and Alex had my favorite plot thread overall and was the couple I was rooting for the most. I really enjoyed how they grew to love and appreciate each other and communicate with the other people affected by their relationship. I don’t really have a least favorite couple, just some that I was rooting for as much.
I really enjoyed how the tone of the book shifted around the 60% mark. By this point, you understand the main conflicts between the couples and watch how the relationships are fully developing and finally get the first twist. I think this was done really well as you the reader are now super invested, allowing for this first twist to have an impact, but not fully sure how the rest of the book is going to play out.
This first twist allows for a metaphorical ripple effect as more twists are revealed for the remaining couples, although they don’t directly affect each other. That is until the final, big twist of this book. I feel like if I paced myself and took time to ponder this book, I would’ve seen this twist coming, but I was so captivated I just devoured this book, allowing this final twist to be a huge shock.
I mentioned in my weekly reading vlog, The One would be an amazing book club book. I think the talking points this book brings up would allow for some amazing discussions. I think the overall concept of DNA matching is super compelling and the way it was used in this book was so well done.
The One is one of the most thought-provoking and intriguing books I’ve read so far this year. This book allows readers to ponder the benefits of “playing god” with finding love and figure out if the benefits outweigh the risks. To call this one a thriller is a bit of a stretch. There are a few moments that definitely could be considered thrilling and there was a little bit of a mystery, but this felt more like a contemporary sci-fi (if we’re being nitpicky). If you’re looking for a fast-paced, escapist read, this is a fantastic pick!