Review | The One by John Marrs

Undeniably gripping, but lacking heart. 3.5/5 stars.

The One by John Marrs

A huge thank you to Inge over at The Belgian Reviewer for my copy of The One which I won in her recent giveaway. Thank you!

The blurb: 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…

My take:

This book is a true page-turner. The story is told from five different character viewpoints in short, alternating chapters, meaning there is always enough going on to keep the reader interested. Each chapter moves one of the character’s stories forward to a cliffhanger before switching cruelly to the next. This method makes it hard to put the book down, particularly if you’re more invested in one or two of the stories than the others as you are driven to read quickly to get back to your favourite plot strands.

Cutting rapidly between different viewpoints is also a great way to keep the reader in the dark, and the book certainly delivers on surprises and twists.

Unfortunately, the downside of this way of telling the story is that initially I found it difficult to remember who was who. Right from the beginning we only get a few pages with each character before we leave them to move to another, which didn’t give me enough time to remember who they all were. Moreover, as we only get brief moments with each character from the outset, I didn’t feel I was given time to connect with any of them or come to care about their issues (although, in the case of Christopher, I don’t think that was the point!).

Overall: The One juggles and progresses its multiple plot strands skillfully to keep you engrossed and surprised. Just don’t expect to care much about any of the characters.


Claire Huston / Art and Soul

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13 thoughts on “Review | The One by John Marrs

  1. That is such a problem when you can’t keep characters straight. It makes it hard to connect to them and their story. I’m glad it still was enjoyable because of the page turning aspect, though. This is one I might pick up if I see it at the library. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I admit the second switch to the characters was difficult for me too and I even considered writing something down.., 5 characters and storylines is quite something, but I still admire what he took on, he could have gone with 3 but this is still more fun and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I understand it’s harder to connect here but this is more of a story that you can just follow from the sidelines and let yourself be surprised by the twists and turns, like gossip 😉. I’m sorry if I keep rambling on, I’m still happy you really didn’t hate it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!
      It was very well done. I’d be surprised to find anyone who didn’t find it highly entertaining. I thought Nick was probably the most sympathetic characters and if I’d liked any of the others as much as him it would definitely have been a 4 star read for me.
      And it’s full of twists and surprises… I’m not sure how John Marrs kept track of it all!

      Liked by 1 person

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