The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He

Published: 4th May 2021Goodreads badge
Publisher:
Text Publishing
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Genre: Young Adult
★   ★   ★   ★ – 4 Stars

Two sisters. An unputdownable story.

Cee woke up on the shores of an abandoned island three years ago with no idea how she got there. Now eighteen, she lives in a shack with an ageing android, and a single memory: she has a sister, and she has to escape to find her.

From the safety of the eco-city floating above Earth, now decimated by natural disasters, sixteen-year-old Kasey mourns Cee whom she’s sure is dead. She too wants to escape: the eco-city is meant to be a sanctuary for people who want to save the planet, but its inhabitants are willing to do anything for refuge, even lie. Is Kasey ready to use technology to help Earth, even though it failed her sister?

Cee and Kasey think that what they know about each other and their world is true. Both are wrong. If you loved We Were Liars or Black Mirror, you’ll love The Ones We’re Meant to Find, a clever, inspirational scifi thriller with a dash of Studio Ghibli.

Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher

Having not seen Black Mirror my only hint about this story going in was We Were Liars which I loved so I entered this knowing it was dystopian and there will be The Unexpected. I’m pleased to say He delivered on both fronts. Even the Studio Ghibli reference made sense in the end, I’d even throw in a little Wall-E. The story told is one about love, hope, technology, and humanity – both its failures and its hopefulness.

The futuristic dystopian world is well constructed; it is rich and detailed and despite there being a lot to process and uncover it makes sense and there is depth and history that gets explored through the plot. As we follow Kasey we gain an understanding of the past, the present and the system and failures that led humanity to their current lives.

The story is full of surprises and suspense, and there is a great mystery throughout that branches out into so many other plot points and I loved how He brought this all together. The alternating chapters offers two side by side storylines that reveal so much and so little. The tiny revelations throughout add more to the mystery but as we start to piece it all together He stops us in our tracks by throwing to a different POV and forcing us to interact with another experience and delay finding answer to cliff hangers and huge revelations. It is masterfully well done and beautifully frustrating.

Kasey’s life of trying to recover from her sister’s disappearance and also bear witness to the destruction of humanity is a powerful perspective to read. Through her eyes we experience the present and how society is full of technologies that help day to day life, but at the same time the literal world crumbles around them or poisons them if they aren’t privy to the securities other have. The merit based class system was an interesting concept and it was fascinating to see how humanity shifted from rising sea levels to a city in the sky and the different rights people are afforded.

Cee on the other hand, is trapped on her island with no memory and only one thought of finding her sister. I loved her chapters because while Kasey’s gave us the wider story, Cee’s experiences were individual and her challenges and growth was enough to capture my curiosity and set my mind working about what was happening and where she was. As the story goes on, Cee offers more in way of plot but the stark contrast between a dying world and a tranquil deserted island was amazing and watching them blend together was fascinating.

The two different points of view are superb contrasts and the tiny details and minor references have huge meaning behind them. It’s through these that you try and piece together this world He has created. The little details could mean something or nothing, my own theories ran through my head trying to conjure up scenarios for What It All Means.

Overall this is a fantastic story. It’s complicated and important, and it has a message but manages to not be preachy about it. The creativity and the intricacies of the story are divine and He has told a beautiful story about human capabilities and the lengths they’ll go to with the right motivation.

You can purchase The Ones We’re Meant to Find via the following

QBD | Booktopia | Book Depository

Dymocks | WorderyAngus and Robinson

 Fishpond | Amazon | Amazon Aust

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Janelle
    May 12, 2021 @ 07:59:59

    I loved this book, great review 🙂

    Like

    Reply

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