Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Joan He’s sophomore novel: The Ones We’re Meant to Find, hosted through Xpresso Book Tours.
I am so excited to share my review of this amazing book about sister, climate change, and finding one’s purpose.
You can the full schedule for the tour here.
About the BookThe Ones We're Meant to Find by Joan He
Published by Roaring Brook Press on May 4, 2021
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.
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.
About the Author
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. She is the author of the critically acclaimed YA fantasy Descendant of the Crane, as well as the scifi The Ones We’re Meant to Find.
The One’s We’re Meant to find is a YA climate fiction, sci fi novel tackles issues of climate change and environmental preservation in a whole new way.
The story unfolds in two alternating perspective. The first POV is that of Cee, trapped on an island and completely alone, all she knows is that she has to get off the island to find her sister Kay. In another world, high above the earth in one of eight eco-cities, Kasey is determined to understand what happened to Celia, who sailed away and never returned.
At the center of this novel. How exactly did Cee end up on the island and what will Kasey’s investigation unearth. I found Cee’s devotion to her singular goal intriguing and as she grows throughout the novel and found her changing motivations compelling. Kasey’s wrestling with her lack of feeling towards certain tragedies in her life also resonated with me. As someone who doesn’t always feel things as intensely as other people, I felt seen.
One of the two primary themes I found incredibly prescient was the idea that everyone in the world was required to conduct business, school and recreation virtually through a stasis pod. It was super interesting to see the eco cities, their structure and the classical, racism and poverty that perpetuated, even in a future hypothetical where humans have become hyper conscious of environmental conservation and their carbon footprints.
The other theme I found incredibly thought provoking wasp the idea of ethics behind artificial intelligence development and if a machine can be sentient. Ever since reading books by authors likes John Marts and found this discussion the morality of artificial intelligence super interesting. Who has the right to govern the morality of technological advances like self driving vehicles? I was not expecting this idea to come into play in the novel but I was presently surprised and think The Ones We’re Meant to Find contributed cogently to the ongoing discussion.
At this point, I have to admit to liking the second half of the novel way more than the first half I felt like the first half kind of dragged as we were introduced to the world, along with the science and technology behind it all. That’s not to say I dislike the book. In fact, because of the second half, I ultimately gave this one 4?. It was not at all what I expected and I mean it in the best possible way.
I would recommend this standalone to fans of Neal Shusterman’s Arc of Scythe trilogy and Scott Reintgen’s Nyxia triad.
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What About You?
Have you read The Ones We’re Meant To Find? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!