The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He is an amazing global warming science fiction, an incredible ecological and ethical SF novel, and a very close narrative to its protagonist. It explores feelings of loss, grief and incredible love between two sisters who are so very different.
I can’t say I wasn’t swayed by the cover. When I saw it, so beautiful, I wanted to crack open the book to see what was inside. It was such a promise. I must admit the beginning felt a little cold. It’s told in first person, from Cee’s point of view. She is a funny, confident, and very opinionated girl stranded on an island. And then it switches to 3rd person for Kay who is that sister living in the echo city. They are looking for each other one desperately trying to reach her sister. The other convinced her main support, her best friend, her sister, is dead. The personality of each is extremely different and so very well done. We really believe in them. And like usual I must say I like when works explore borderline personalities.
There are many themes which are taken on in this futuristic work, and I’m sure a few people will feel lost in the first 2 or 3 chapters. This book was advertised as young adults, but I think it might be a bit hard to follow to people who are used to the recent trend of linear and formatted YA books. This to me really read as an adult novel, and I do think the main characters could’ve been quite a few years older than the 16 and 18 years of age. They really could’ve been in the mid-20s, even in their 30s and it would have still rang very true. Maybe they were a little too mature for their age.
The themes explored are wonderful, the plot twists are really really good, foreshadowing just enough to know something is not quite as it seems. There are all the hints about but in such a subtle way that you are not hit with the answers straightaway, because I always find it a little annoying to have smart characters blind to what is obvious to readers, here this is not the case.
This book is amazingly well created, one of those science fiction books that’s here to make you think about the future, exactly like every science fiction book should. The novel makes you question some choices and some events that happen and what you would do and what you believe the world should do in the same situation.
More than that, the emotional impact of this book is powerful. The ethical dilemmas are very interesting and thought provoking. The actual love between the two sisters is extremely touching. And this is what makes this novel truly unforgettable. I highly recommend it. If you like Blade Runner, the Matrix and want a similar experience I really really recommend that you give a try to The Ones We’re Meant to Find.