The One by John Marrs
Publisher: Del Ray
Publishing Date: 4th May 2017
Source: Received from the publisher in return for an honest review!
Number of pages: 416
Genre: General Fiction (Adults), Suspense
How far would you go to find THE ONE?
One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.
A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…
A psychological thriller with a difference, this is a truly unique novel which is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.
(Note: Previously published as A Thousand Small Explosions)
Oh holy moly, guys. This book. THIS BOOK. I’ve no idea what took me so long to eventually read it, as I got my copy already in January before it was published as an ebook, and I’ve heard tons amazing things about it, so really, there is no excuse for me and the fact that I’ve read it only now. The paperback publishing date was, however, a very good reason put it to the top of my TBR pile and when I started to reading it, I couldn’t put it down. Literally. This book. THIS BOOK. It was freakingly brilliant. So refreshing, so original, so unpredictable – one of the best novels this year, believe me.
The idea of the book is absolutely brilliant and intriguing. Forget months, or even years, of dating with unsuitable people, oh no, it is so past already. The only thing you need to do is to take a DNA test, as a gene that genetically link you to the right person has been discovered. The result is a happy ever after, a world without divorces, betrayals and such. Sure, people in relationships who haven’t been matched yet may be tempted to take the test and when it shows that they are not The Ones they may of course change their mind about the person they were supposed to love for ever and move to their match, but hey, no risk no fun, right?
I was immediately hooked and drawn into the characters’ worlds. There is a small group of them in “The One”, and because of this fact, but also because they are so incredibly well written, I almost immediately felt like a part of their lives, as if I knew them personally, inside out. They all find themselves in totally different situations but there is one thing that tie them together – they all made the test and are in relationships with their Ones. What is the catch here then? Well, you can be matched with anyone, regardless of their age, race, sex – but that’s the risk if you want to find real and true love. Mandy has got her match – the first thing she does is to go on Facebook and search for his profile but then she learns some sad truths about Richard. Jade has also got her match – she chats with Kevin on daily basis, the problem is that he lives on the other side of the world, in Australia. But after talking with her best friends she decides to bite the bullet and travel – what kind of surprise is waiting there for her? Nick is engaged, to be married, but his partner is obsessed with taking the test to confirm that they are really perfect together. But is this really so good, this idea? Isn’t it better to live and love each other, even if they don’t know if they’re really destined to be together? Christopher, who – for a number of reasons – would rather avoid the company of police officer, is matched with one… And Ellie, who’s discovered the DNA gene, is also looking for love! She’s just been matched and this relationship seems to be working so well, she wants to be loved for who she really is and not for her wealth – is she going to get this unconditional love?
Those are five very different stories and what is so great is that the author has given all of the characters the equal space and time. To tell five such stories, with so many subplots and intricacies, in one book, and do it in such a compelling way must be a real gift, and hats off to the author for pulling it off in such a brilliant way – I think John Marrs deserves standing ovations.
At the beginning I thought, oh great, so many characters, all of them unrelated, how is it going to work out? I felt like I was being bombarded with the characters, there was all the time someone new, and I was afraid that I’ll have problems with knowing who is who and what’s their story. But, guys. It was so short lived! Quickly, very quickly, I found myself engrossed in their lives, and I never felt confused. They were so very well written, so clear, with distinctive voices and it was so easy to slip from one of them to the another, immediately remembering what’s their story and where we are with them.
The author succeeded in smuggling this little lesson of being careful in the present world in the story as well. Normally we are all oh so cautious but when it comes to internet people mostly choose to share almost each teeny tiny detail about themselves and their lives, giving away phone numbers to anyone who asks for it. John Marrs showed consequences of acting like this, consequences that we really couldn’t have imagine.
This novel was unputdownable. It was exciting and addictive, and as the chapters were so short, I more than often found myself telling only one chapter and coming out for an air few hours later. It is so, so cleverly plotted, full of shocking twists and turns. “The One” was one of the most unpredictable reads you can ever wish for. Those short chapters always ends with the author teasing the reader, with a kind of a small cliffhanger, so you are really desperate to read further. I didn’t want to skip a single word in this story, it was so surprising and so exciting, and in a good way surprising and exciting, as sometimes authors tend to exaggerate, but here my eyes just grew bigger and bigger at all the ups and downs, slowly leading us to the brilliant Grande Finale. This is one thrilling, exhilarating journey that the author takes us on, that often left me feel disbelief at what has just happened and that I would never see it coming – incredibly clever and incredibly complex, this story was. It was sharp and addictive, probably one of the best psychological thrillers out there. It is also not as heavy as you could expect psychological thriller to be, but it is full of questions and “what ifs” and I absolutely adored the complex and complicated way to match all the elements of the puzzle. “The One” was incredibly fast paced unique and fresh story and if I were to describe it in one word, I’d probably say unpredictable, jaw dropping. Highly recommended, guys!