Good morning mortals! For those interested, I’m writing this blog post months and months in advance of me actually publishing it, which feels appropriate when reviewing science fiction. What will the world be like when I publish this I wonder? Can it have got any worse? Has the thing I’m dreading happening happened? I’m married (I really hope I’m married…) so that’s exciting. But one thing is for certain. Today my review of Your One and Only is up on the blog!
Jack is a walking fossil. The only human among a sea of clones. It’s been hundreds of years since humanity died off in the slow plague, leaving the clones behind to carry on human existence. Over time they’ve perfected their genes, moving further away from the imperfections of humanity. But if they really are perfect, why did they create Jack?
While Jack longs for acceptance, Althea-310 struggles with the feeling that she’s different from her sisters. Her fascination with Jack doesn’t help. As Althea and Jack’s connection grows stronger, so does the threat to their lives. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?
I actually don’t agree with this summary wholeheartedly. Mainly because it puts so much of the emphasis on the romance plot which could be off putting to some people, it certainly would be for me.
While the romance is undoubtedly important (I mean just look at the title) what made me love this book was the world building (incidentally, people who read more science fiction than I do, is it still world building or is that a fantasy term?). This post apocalyptic commune of clones was so well put together and simultaneously perfect and terrifying. With only a few tweaks this could have been a truly horrifying novel. For my sensitive self I’m glad it went down the more romantic route but there are some chilling elements.
I thought the way that this book played with ideas of humanity, perfection and things within and beyond our genes was clever and also very simple. You don’t need a degree in microbiology to appreciate the notions explored here but you might need to look into some ethical thinking afterwards to wrap your head around it.
Another great part of this book was the character development, Althea 310 at the start of the book feels very flat, as she should as one of the clones, by the end she’s a believable three dimensional character and, most importantly, you can see how she got there rather than it being a sudden and nonsensical change.
Another thing I gained from this book was another word to add to my list of ‘Words YA novels have used instead of just saying sex’ in this case ‘pairing’. Still not as funny as ‘yoking’ but nice to lengthen the list.
If you’re into light science fiction and a little romance this is definitely a book for you. It tackles some interesting themes, equally if you wanted to explore these issues in a classroom setting I think this could be a great book for libraries, English and Ethics lessons.
My rating: 5/5 stars
Your One and Only publishes on the 6th of February so preorder if you don’t want to wait!
By the way, I received a digital advanced review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
What say you? Is this on your TBR? Let me know in the comments below.