I’m so thrilled and excited to be bringing you my stop on TBR and Beyond Tours’ The Ones We’re Meant to Find book tour. This beautiful, gorgeous book released today and is available in bookstores online and in-person, so if you’ve not yet picked up a copy for yourself, I highly suggest and enthuse you to do so.
The Ones We’re Meant to Find
by Joan He
Published by Roaring Brook
Released on May 4th, 2021
YOUNG ADULT FICTION—-Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Mystery
TRIGGER WARNING(S): terminal illness, suicide, violence (including choking), death, death of parent (offpage), vomiting, large scale natural disasters and mass casualties, some gore
One of the most twisty, surprising, engaging page-turner YAs you’ll read this year—We Were Liars meets Black Mirror, with a dash of Studio Ghibli.
Cee has been trapped on an abandoned island for three years without any recollection of how she arrived, or memories from her life prior. All she knows is that somewhere out there, beyond the horizon, she has a sister named Kay. Determined to find her, Cee devotes her days to building a boat from junk parts scavenged inland, doing everything in her power to survive until the day she gets off the island and reunites with her sister.
In a world apart, 16-year-old STEM prodigy Kasey Mizuhara is also living a life of isolation. The eco-city she calls home is one of eight levitating around the world, built for people who protected the planet―and now need protecting from it. With natural disasters on the rise due to climate change, eco-cities provide clean air, water, and shelter. Their residents, in exchange, must spend at least a third of their time in stasis pods, conducting business virtually whenever possible to reduce their environmental footprint. While Kasey, an introvert and loner, doesn’t mind the lifestyle, her sister Celia hated it. Popular and lovable, Celia much preferred the outside world. But no one could have predicted that Celia would take a boat out to sea, never to return.
Now it’s been three months since Celia’s disappearance, and Kasey has given up hope. Logic says that her sister must be dead. But as the public decries her stance, she starts to second guess herself and decides to retrace Celia’s last steps. Where they’ll lead her, she does not know. Her sister was full of secrets. But Kasey has a secret of her own.
*I WAS PROVIDED A DIGITAL GALLEY FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS TOUR. THIS DOES NOT AFFECT MY OPINION*
With the immense amount of hype this book was receiving pre-publication, I will admit, I was a bit nervous going into it. But in the end, I ended up binging this book in two days. TWO. DAYS.
“The Ones We’re Meant to Find” is the dystopian novel I didn’t know I was missing. In a world where science is everything and provides so much to the ones living in e-cities, you can easily fall in love with the world-building Joan He expertly crafted and detailed throughout the book. I will admit though, I was spellbound by the island more than the e-cities, surprisingly enough.
Cee is a complex character. She’s determined to find a way off of the island she’s been stuck on for the past three years, and just when she figures out a way and a plan, something holds her back. It was easy to empathize with and understand her character and her emotions, thoughts and feelings. You wanted to mourn with her at each foiled attempt of escape, and you rooted for her each time she started again.
However, while Kasey is also complex, she’s an interesting and infuriating character too. Personally, I didn’t like her at all–and I say this with good meaning. The author wrote her character in a way that made you dislike her, but you can also understand her opinions and thought processes by analyzing the story behind her decisions.
I’ve spent the last two months in school studying dystopia and the effects they’d have on society, and I have to say that Joan He has not failed to prove a point in this book: living in a futuristic dystopia has its benefits, but there are so many negatives that can and/or will outweigh any of the good bits. With the ease in which the society was bit and shattered in “The Ones We’re Meant to Find,” it’s so clear and mind-numbing to see the impact of each decision someone in a higher power makes for “the good” of everyone. And with that, we also see its domino effects those same decisions can have on the people directly affected by them.
I really enjoyed this book, even more so than I originally thought I would. My only dislike of it was that the beginning wasn’t a very strong hook as I’d have preferred, and in other parts of the book, I did feel like it dragged a bit. But overlooking those things, I really am happy and so grateful to have had the opportunity to read and share about this book.
For that, I rate this book 4 stars. This was my first book from Joan He, and I think it’s safe to say I’m desperate for more from her. I highly suggest picking this book up if you’re a fan of complex and detailed sci-fi with a mysterious twist woven in.
Joan was born and raised in Philadelphia but still will, on occasion, lose her way. At a young age, she received classical instruction in oil painting before discovering that stories were her favorite kind of art. She studied psychology and Chinese history at the University of Pennsylvania and currently writes from a desk overlooking the city
waterfront. Descendant of the Crane is her young adult debut.
For updates, please sign up for her newsletter: http://eepurl.com/c5rvdL. For business related inquiries, please contact her literary agent, John Cusick of Folio Lit.
Up for grabs is ONE (1) finished copy of The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He! This giveaway is open to US residents only and will run until May 10th. To enter, click the button below!