by Leigh Ann Kopans
To be published on June 11, 2013
Source: e-ARC from the author. Please see my full FTC disclosure on the right sidebar.
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Summary (from Goodreads:) 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.My take: I've been seeing a whole bunch of YA superhero/superpower books lately -- books like Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, Transparent by Natalie Whipple, Dark Star by Bethany Frenette, and Invisibility by David Levithan and Andrea Cremer.
Okay, don't laugh, but I'm not all that plugged in to the whole superhero thing. I was not the kid reading comic books and watching Justice League. I was the kid reading Nancy Drew and watching Scooby Doo.
Despite being a superhero newbie, I really enjoyed One. It's a little bit superhero, a little bit sci-fi, and definitely a little bit paranormal romance. (But don't worry -- no love triangles here.)
Merrin was a unique and appealing main character. She's very into chemistry and also a drummer, which I thought was super-cool. I loved the book's Nebraska setting. I've never been there, but this book describes the landscape in way that made me want to remedy that. As the book explains, the so-called "mutants" were exiled to Nebraska after a group of them made an attempt on the president's life. When Merrin is finally able to fly, she looks down on her home and sees the beauty in it.
But let's back up a bit. Before that, Merrin really struggles with the fact that she's a One. In the story world, there are the Supers -- those who have cool powers, like flying. Then there are the Normals, those with no powers. And then there are the Ones, those with a single, cool-but-essentially-useless power. For example, Merrin can levitate a little, but she can't fly. After Merrin never becomes a Super, she finds herself at Nelson (aka "Normal") High, feeling pretty dejected.
Some readers may feel that the romance has a bit of an insta-love feel, but the instant connection between Merrin and a guy she meets at school is pretty central to the story. When Merrin first touches Elias, she feels an electrical current. Together, the two of them can fly. I did like the relationship between them and the fact that their negotiation of the combined power thing served as a nice parallel for their relationship. But One isn't only about teenage love -- there's a lot of action in the book too. Before long, Merrin and Elias involved in trying to stop some nefarious stuff going on at The Hub. And it looks like there will definitely be a sequel!
I asked Leigh Ann if she minded answering a few questions….