Ones We Re Meant To Find – Joan He, a novel about sisterhood, memory, and identity. We picked up this novel in part because of the beautiful cover by Turkish artist Aykut Aydoğu. We were pulled out, but we stayed on a wild science trip. Let’s jump in.
About two sisters, Si and Kay, who want to find each other. Si wakes up on an island, free of her mind and a speech robot to help her. He remembers almost nothing, but he does know that he has a sister named Kay, who he wants to find. Kei knows that Cee loved the world outside of her hometown in heaven, but she didn’t know how far Cee would go to leave her. Kay reunites with someone from Si’s past to learn more about her missing sister, but she’s not prepared for the answers she’ll find. JOAN He has another novel,
Ones We Re Meant To Find
But yes, Mary, that was a great summary of the book. I say that because this is one of those books that is very difficult to describe in detail without spoiling it. So I commend you for getting so much information about the book! But as you said, we can’t promise to move forward! We’re now getting into the spoilers.
The Ones We’re Meant To Find: Book Review + Author Interview
Very real about climate change. In fact, the world is overcrowded and polluted, making life on Earth nearly impossible. Instead of continuing to live in a dangerous, uninhabitable world, people took to the skies in flying cities. People who can
Leaving Earth, that is. Although Kei and Xi’s family have the money and power to live in a floating city, many people do not, and through no fault of their own.
Every person in the world has a rating of how much they or their family pollutes the earth. People with the smallest carbon footprint get advantages that others don’t, but sometimes, as we learn later in the book, people with enough money can hide their mistakes. It’s creating a huge class divide around the global climate crisis, which is… uncomfortably real. There are a lot of climate change books out there, but what makes this one stand out? Did this plot work for you?
Emily: So one of the things about this setting is I think it’s the way the class system works and the moral judgment that is attached to the different ratings. This is not far from our current view of things. People make assumptions (unfair) about lower class people and their choices. And people think they are morally superior for a variety of reasons. So Kay/Casey has a lot of moral skepticism, but he seems to be doing the right thing for humanity and the environment. But there is this part of his plan, like, some people deserve to live because they will do good things for the planet. Some people naturally want to do things for others, so they don’t deserve to live. You know, I’d be lying if I said I’ve never felt this way before. I certainly thought to myself, “You know what if we killed everyone in the world? Then the rest of us could do shit.” But I guess that’s okay? No. I don’t know if I understand. Are you following?
The Brilliant, Sublime Ache Of The Ones We’re Meant To Find
Mary: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense to me, and I think we all do at one point or another. It’s “if it’s not easy…?” Part of thinking. This is not the case
, and I don’t want to do it, but my mind wanders when things get really frustrating. I think the morals in this novel are really complex, and it’s a wonderful thing to see that unfold. Casey is definitely a bit amoral in the book. He doesn’t think about who his actions will hurt, and he even looks at things in a strange way. Throughout the novel, I think Casey is very much the “big picture” and Celia the “small picture.” Casey wants to make a world-changing impact and Celia wants her loved one and herself to be happy.
A few things I loved about this story: the storytelling style and the twists and turns. These two things are related, I think. Chapters jump back and forth between Kay and Si, giving readers a sense of what’s happening with each sister. Readers learn that as Kay searches for Celia, absorbing her Interface memories, he searches for a way back to his sister on Sea Island. Instead, we learn of the middle novel, where the two sisters are separated by a large time gap (nearly 1,000 years), and Si is not really Kei’s sister, but a robotic replica of her. It all sounds bananas, and it is. I was shocked when I read it, which surprised me because I usually find the twists in YA novels pretty easy to figure out. What really surprised me about this book was how effective the trick was. It didn’t feel like a free spin to me.
Emily: Yeah, that was a great twist, and I wasn’t expecting it at all. I also really liked that when the twist was revealed, the chapters were really short and we fast-forwarded between presenting Cee’s plan in the past and the future, where Cee realizes she’s not human. he was programmed to find Kay. The back and forth swaps are so fast that it almost gives you whiplash at best. I will say, though, that my main problem is figuring out when the drama really escalates, and in a truly dramatic move, Si refuses her fate and leaves Kei to die. He returns to the island and leaves Kay behind so he doesn’t end up alone. From there the pace slowed down and we still had 100 pages to go. So, it just felt a little…weird to me? What did you think of the overall pacing of this story?
Book Review: The Ones We’re Meant To Find By Joan He — Your Tita Kate
Mary: It felt weird to me too, and the ending felt very anticlimactic because I felt like I knew everything that was revealed, but somehow it worked for me. I wasn’t disappointed when I finished the book, I really enjoyed it. Many YA novels these days are written with the understanding that they will become a series, so all the drama and action must lead to readers wanting more in another novel. I liked it
Fully self-contained, which gives readers a bit of a critique, winds up at the end of the novel and wraps around their soft ends.
The other big twist in the book is that Actinium (what a name) is actually the sisters’ neighbor who killed her parents and the girls’ mother in the same horrific accident. Hoping to prove a point to her mother, she sent bots to replace her. Instead, he took the convenient route of faking his own death and leading another life. For some reason it came as a shock to me too, and it worked again! It’s definitely a little edgelord-y, the sisters’ long-lost neighbor, but at the time it seemed to make sense the way the story was going.
Emily: I was surprised by that too! But like I said with the Kay/Si twist, it’s not like it’s an empty twist. I was surprised by that, but it didn’t seem impossible. We even get a moment where Casey looks back and remembers that there’s a tell-tale sign that should link him to the fact that the dead man’s version was actually a bot. Yes, Actinium is a strange name. This book contains several questionable titles. This is definitely one of those sci-fi books where the author says, “Yes, people will have weird names in the future.”
Carina’s Books: The Ones We’re Meant To Find Blog Tour: Review + Spotlight
Mary: Look, I like weird names, so I can’t say anything. I laughed when we got one that looked like it, and yes, it was named after the scientist who discovered the compound actinium, a cure for diseases.
Want to talk about romance in a book? How does the ending foreshadow this romance?
Emily: Okay, so Cee is alone on this island, until a boy shows up with no memory. He is trying to kill