ARC Review: The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He

Man y’all, when I saw that Text Publishing had The Ones We’re Meant to Find available on Netgalley as read now for the US even though they’re based in Australia, I jumped on it because this has been one of my most anticipated books for a while now! It releases today, May 4th, so if you haven’t already grabbed it or picked it up from your library or talked to a friend about borrowing it from them when they’re done reading it, you need to get on that ASAP!

The Ones We’re Meant to Find 5/5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads:

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.

This book is like the perfect kind of sci-fi because it’s great for people who aren’t normally into sci-fi and people who love it will love so many of the finer aspects of it. It’s told in alternating points of view between Cee and Kasey and at first you’re not 100% sure what’s going on, but as the chapters go on, you start to piece together that Cee must be Kasey’s sister Celia and Kasey must be the Kay that Cee is looking for. The information from each chapter is given to you in such a great and detailed way that you don’t really realize how important something might be until a chapter or two later when it clicks and you’re like OMG that just happened! I loved the way Joan He tied her characters together and she explored class structure and privilege in such a nuanced way that really forced you to think about how often times, privileged people don’t even realize how much power they hold. For example, I vividly remember one scene where Kasey’s friend Meridian yells at her about how she probably hadn’t even tried to help get Meridian’s family’s petition to become part of the eco-city approved and Kasey is shocked that it even strike her to try and help. It just further cemented the fact that people forget the power they hold. The world and scientific discoveries that He had integrated into Kasey’s chapters contrasted with the deserted island and pretty much the wasteland it had become were such interesting foils to each other and I loved reading those chapters one after the other. In terms of plot and pacing, I thought The Ones We’re Meant to Find did a really good job in keeping me engaged and interested throughout without feeling like I was ever confused (in a bad way, there was always good confusion that made me want to figure out what was going on) or bored. Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone- it’s definitely one of my top reads of 2021!

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