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 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. (Goodreads)
Publication Date: May 4th, 2021 (Roaring books)
Genre: YA, Sci-fi, dystopian
Trigger Warnings: mentions of blood, death of a loved one, violence
The Ones We’re meant to find is a sci-fi dystopian which is full of twists and surprises and is rightfully compared to Black Mirror as reading it gives you those exact vibes and creeps. This book is told in alternating narratives of two sisters, one who is stranded on an island trying to get back to her sister and the other sister is tasked to save humanity.
The Plot and Story
The story of the book follows two sisters- Cee and Kasey. Cee is the one who finds herself stranded on an island with no recollection of her memories. The only thing she remembers is her sister Kasey and that she must find her way to her. Kasey is a STEM prodigy who resides in one of Earth’s eco-city and who may be able to help humanity from impending doom. This book revolves around a mystery while also discussing the themes of capitalism, climate change and sisterhood.
The story was intriguing to say the least. It always keeps you interested enough to read what’s going to happen next. I loved how all these themes were woven into the story and it was done so well that it left me highly impressed. The twists and reveals were top-notch. They leave you with a sense of awe with how it all comes together.
The second half of the book was better than the first half for me. The first half was kind of sluggish in pace in the sense that it felt dragged in parts. I really wished it was a little fast paced to keep up with the tone and atmosphere of the book. This kind of hindered my experience in the start but the second half the book more than made up for the book.
As I mentioned before, the second half was absolutely thrilling. After crossing the first half, I finished in just a few hours. It all comes together and it was done so so well. It was executed brilliantly and it made this a truly enjoyable book for me. Though slow paced books don’t always work for me, this one did due to the characters and the second half.
Both the main characters Cee and Kasey were intriguing. I loved reading about them. There was some mystery around both the characters and there was a certain sense of innocence in both the characters which made them compelling. The side characters were also good and overall the characters kept you engaged. I don’t want to say more in case of spoilers but I loved the characters!
The World Building and Themes
The world building was good as it presented a terrifying future of the earth where there are eco cities and the less privileged do not get to experience that. I loved the various themes Joan He has talked about it in the book. She has touched upon capitalism, climate change and environmentalism along with discussions of humanity’s greed and selfishness and morals. It talks about how institutions fail to protect and provide resources and how its almost always the less privileged who are worst affected by this.
There are a lot of thought-provoking questions and themes and I truly enjoyed this so much because a dystopian sci-fi which discusses the evils of capitalism while also touching on topics such as human morality and behavior. I may seem divided in my opinion of the book but I did end up loving it a lot.
Overall, The Ones we’re meant to find was an enjoyable read and although the first half was just okay the second half was amazing and left me impressed. If you’re a fan of or searching for a dystopian sci-fi with Black Mirror vibes and mysterious atmosphere with compelling characters which discusses hard hitting themes and climate change, then you MUST pick up The Ones We’re meant to find. The first part is admittedly slow but if you can, pushing through is absolutely worth it and will definitely make it a good read.
Thank you the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with an eARC. All opinions are my own.
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