Tag Archives: 20 Books of Summer 2020

Review: The One by John Marrs

The One

Instead of swiping left or right to meet your Match, what if you swabbed the inside of your mouth and got paired with the person who is genetically coded as your ideal match?

For the past decade, Match Your DNA has been doing just that, slowly building up a database of potential matches and pairing couples together. And while there has been a rise in successful marriages, there have also been side effects to pairings from discrimination against those who aren’t matched yet to the breaking up of long-term relationships when the results reveal that they aren’t genetically meant to be.

John Marrs’ The One explores the lives of five people who have all recently received their results and the impact — both expected and unexpected — it has on their lives.

Cycling between each character, chapters are short, impactful, and always leave you wanting to come back and find out what will happen next to each character, though I will admit some of the story lines grabbed my attention with more urgency than others. The most intriguing is Christopher, a serial killer who is using another dating app to choose his next victim and working toward thirty victims. Into his life comes Amy, who it turns out is a policewoman investigating the series of murders that Christopher if committing. The give and take as Christopher tries to reach his deadline while balancing his relationship with Amy makes for some of The One‘s most intriguing and compelling moments.

We also meet Nick, who is happily engaged to Sally until his results reveal his match is a man named Alex. Then there’s Elle, a successful businesswoman who hasn’t really connected with anyone in her past but has just paired with a new man who might just sweep her off her feet. There’s also a woman who’s match is dead but she connects with his family, to the point that she’s willing to go to extraordinary lengths to make a connection and the woman who travels across the world to find out her match isn’t what was advertised.

Marrs juggles all of our various characters in a clever, entertaining fashion, giving us one development or revelation per chapter to set the hook and then keep you wanting to come back for more. However, the later the novel goes, some of the twists feel a bit like piling on or having anther twist for the sake of having another one. Of the five stories, I found Christopher and Elle’s the most intriguing and I will give Marrs credit that he doesn’t give in to the temptation to have all these stories intersect at some point.

I also see that this novel has been picked up a series for Netflix. Given the episodic nature of each chapter, adapting it into a compelling series designed for binge-watching should be a straight-forward affair and I have to admit I’m looking forward to seeing it.

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Audiobook Review: Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallero and Emily Henry

Hello GirlsLucille Price and Wynona Olsen met the night they headed to the local police station to turn in various family members for a variety of crimes. Realizing that going to the cops will probably make things far worse than better, the duo decides to head for a local dive-bar that won’t look too closely at their fake IDs for a few G&Ts.

That night a new friendship is born. Each girl has someone (or multiple someones) they want to escape from. Wynona’s is her controlling father, the popular, enigmatic weatherman Stormy Olson. Stormy keeps Wynona on a short leash, saying he’s saving her from becoming like her drug-addicted mother who passed away a decade ago. Stormy cultivates an image of the perfect family and life, all while abusing Wynona and keeping her rich grandfather carefully under his thumb. Continue reading

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Audiobook Review: The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen

The Rest of the StoryEmma Saylor expected the three weeks following her father’s wedding to be filled with lazy days by the pool with one of her best friends, Gretchen, trying to catch the eye of cute twin-brother lifeguards. But a health emergency in Gretchen’s family leaves Emma and her father scrambling to find somewhere she can stay (their new house is under constructions and her Nana’s apartment is being renovated).

The last place Emma Saylor expected to land was North Lake, the area her mother grew up. Divorced from her father a decade ago and then overdose five years later, Emma has always felt a bit of a hole in her life when it comes to knowing who her mother was and where she came from.

Could three weeks give her some answers or possibly begin to fill in The Rest of the Story? Continue reading

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