One of my definite favourite reads this year was The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He. It’s a wonderful story that features the undeniable love of two sisters and a world that could be our own (if things keep on going downward). Thanks to Paola I get to be a part of the The Ones We’re Meant to Find blog tour!
Before we start, I’d like to mention that I’ll be keeping this review spoiler-free so that you can get a taste of the book without knowing what is going to happen!
about the book
Title: The Ones We’re Meant to Find
Author: Joan He
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication date: 04 May 2021
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Synopsis: 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 awoke on an abandoned island three years ago. With no idea of how she was marooned, she only has a rickety house, an old android, and a single memory: she has a sister, and Cee needs to find her.
STEM prodigy Kasey wants to escape from the science and home she once trusted. The eco-city—Earth’s last unpolluted place—is meant to be sanctuary for those commited to planetary protection, but it’s populated by people willing to do anything for refuge, even lie. Now, she’ll have to decide if she’s ready to use science to help humanity, even though it failed the people who mattered most.
get the book
I would love to start this review with sweeping words about the story, but to be honest – I don’t know whether this will convey the emotions that are swirling through me. I am still absolutely in awe about the work Joan He put into this and the amazing outcome of it. She is an amazing writer (I’ve also read and loved her debut Descendant of the Crane, which you should definitely read, but even more so if you are into historical fiction) and once again completely blew me away with The Ones We’re Meant to Find.
I need to point out again that Joan’s writing style is exquisite. She can transform scientific information into easily understandable, but still amazingly beautiful sentences. More than that, she is a genius when it comes to complex twists while maintaining a heart-wrenching story about the love of two sisters. You can easily see the love between the siblings from their two points of views. Each of them shows her love in a different, but credible way. Something I’d love to see more of in novels as an older sister myself. I felt that connection between the main characters and knew that I’d make most of their decisions myself if faced with the circumstances.
Which is fantastic, since the main characters Cee and Kasey couldn’t be more different from each other. They are fully fleshed-out characters with different goals and understandings of life. Still, I could easily connect with both sisters, understanding their emotions and wishes – mostly those about their sister, but also their view on the world.
A world that could very well be our own in some years, if everything goes downward. I loved to see this dystopian / sci/fi setting of the book. At the point of the story, Earth is almost completely inhabitable with only a few territories still on the ground, while citizens with a higher rank in the hierarchy live in eco-cities floating in the sky. Even with advanced sciences and technology, humanity was not able to salvage their planet.
The whole setting of the book is both eerily melancholic and at other turns almost whimsical. Throughout the main part of the book, I was not sure what to expect – in the absolutely best way possible. There were so many twists and turns – at the beginning more subtle, almost non-noticeable until it focused on bigger reveals toward the end of the book. And let me tell you – I was not expecting how the story ended. And the ending broke me – it was so beautiful, but breaking my heart at the same time. I am pretty sure that I shed a few tears during reading. Joan He is a master when it comes to twisting your emotions into so many directions, that you’re not sure what exactly you’re feeling. And she does this from the very first page until you close the book. And even after finishing, you will still think about the story in the most unexpected moments.
Trigger warnings: terminal illness, suicide, violence (including choking), death, death of parent (off page), vomiting, large scale natural disasters and mass casualties, some gore
This list of warnings is taken from Joan’s website.
Tags: Japanese MCs, strong sibling love, dystopian, sci/fi
You can also read my review on the following pages:
Because I’m a very visual person, I also decided to put together a Pinterest Board for The Ones We’re Meant to Find – something I only do for my favourite reads, as it takes some time to put it together. Other than that, I decided to do something new and create a small moodboard for the book. If you like it, you can download it and use it as a wallpaper!
Joan He 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 storytelling was her favorite form of expression. She studied Psychology and East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Pennsylvania and currently writes from a desk overlooking the Delaware River. Descendant of the Crane is her debut young adult fantasy. Her next novel, The Ones We’re Meant to Find, will be forthcoming from Macmillan on May 4th, 2021.
other tour hosts
I’d like to shine a spotlight on the other The Ones We’re Meant to find blog tour stops of today. They also came up with amazing posts and it’s wonderful to hear about their thoughts!
Trinity @Allegory of Word
Jenna @Jenerally Reading
If you want to, you can also check out Paola’s Launch Post to see many more amazing book bloggers, booktubers and the like, who are taking part in this amazing blog tour!