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A Reader of Fictions: Review: One

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Review: One

One
One, Book 1

Author: Leigh Ann Kopans
Pages: 287
Publisher: Self-published
Read: June 10, 2013
Source: Author for review

Description from Goodreads:
When having two powers makes you a Super and having none makes you a Normal, having only one makes you a sad half-superpowered freak.

It makes you a One.

Sixteen-year-old Merrin Grey would love to be able to fly – too bad all she can do is hover.

If she could just land an internship at the Biotech Hub, she might finally figure out how to fix herself. She busts her butt in AP Chem and salivates over the Hub’s research on the manifestation of superpowers, all in hopes of boosting her chances.

Then she meets Elias VanDyne, another One, and all her carefully crafted plans fly out the window. Literally. When the two of them touch, their Ones combine to make them fly, and when they’re not soaring over the Nebraska cornfields, they’re busy falling for each other.

Merrin's mad chemistry skills land her a spot on the Hub's internship short list, but as she gets closer to the life she always wanted, she discovers that the Hub’s purpose is more sinister than it has always seemed. Now it’s up to her to decide if it's more important to fly solo, or to save everything - and everyone - she loves.


First Sentence: "Most nights, and some mornings before sunrise, I sneak to the back of the shed, and I practice."

Review:
When I was younger, I had these recurring dreams of flight. Well, not so much flight as hovering, with limited ability to move any direction but up. This is what Merrin Grey can do, her one power, where two are needed to be considered Super. She's just a One. Leigh Ann Kopans debut is a fun read for anyone who enjoys superhero stories as much as I do. Give me humans evolving to have superpowers and I'm generally a happy girl.

Kopans puts an interesting spin on the basic superhero formula through the idea that one power alone does not a superhero make. Logically, I don't really see how one power is useless, but, conceptually, it's a neat idea, a sort of paradigm shift. At any rate, there's always the self-fulfilling prophecy side of it: since the Ones are told that one power is useless, they probably won't investigate enough to see if that's really true.

In fact, most Ones do give up on their powers. Not so Merrin. Even though she's transferring from the high school for Supers to one for Normals, she's still convinced she will fly someday, that she'll develop the second power she needs to do so, propulsion or the ability to manipulate winds. She refuses to give up, because she believes her dreams of flight will come true. Meanwhile, she channels all of her anger and sadness at not having developed properly into her studies of organic chemistry, the better to someday cure herself of One-ness, and playing the drums, which soothes her rage.

At school, Merrin is instantly befriended by a super cute boy, Elias, who brings her into his little group of friends. Skeptical at first, Merrin realizes these are her people, when they reveal that they are all Ones, and all determined to keep using their powers. On top of that, they put together that, much like Captain Planet, their powers combined can make great things happen. Kopans does not skimp on the action sequences or the use of powers, which tends to be the number one downfall of superhero stories. What's the point of powers that don't get used?

Kopans also peppers One with references to classic superheroes, which will be sure to delight comic book nerds, though I imagine many of them went over my head. For the most part, One is fairly light and comedic, but, towards the end, things get darker. I really liked the upped stakes as the novel progressed, the amount of danger everyone was in and how hard it is to tell who to trust.

Merrin and Elias are very cute together, if a bit sappy at times. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get particularly into their romance, since they seem to have fallen in love much too fast. Now, I will say that I'm not sure how long it actually took them to fall in love, because I found the pacing in the novel confusing. What seemed like three consecutive days would be hinted at as being actually much longer. Essentially, I couldn't follow the passage of time, so it was hard to tell whether they instaloved or fell in love over the course of a few months. It also seems a bit over-convenient that the four Ones all are paired up to fall in love and complete one another, so I'd like to see further complexities added to those relationships later in the series.

Fans of Heroes, The Incredibles, or classic comic books will not want to miss Kopans' One. Though the series is as yet untitled, I do believe Kopans is planning additional books in this universe, and I would be curious to finding out what happens next.

Rating: 3/5

Favorite Quote: "I've known Elias for a week and a half. I am sixteen years old, and he is handsome and kind, but if someone told me he was my other half, I would throw up."

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13 Comments:

Blogger Ellis said...

Flying dreams ftw! Mine were a bit different in that I was doing the breaststroke in the air. The only times I used it was when going down the stairs -_-
The concept sounds intriguing, but I always hate it when characters are conveniently partnered up, so we'll see.

June 12, 2013 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I totally forgot about the convenient partnering when I was writing my review. I really did love this book though. I'm a sucker for superhero books too!! I'm glad that you enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to see where it goes since the end got a bit crazy! Fab review chicky!!

June 12, 2013 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger Ashley @ The Bibliophile's Corner said...

I love flying dreams! They are my favorite. I haven't had one of those in years. :(

This book always intrigued me. I don't know when I'll get around to reading it, but I would very much like to.

June 12, 2013 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Haha, such a weird recurring dream to have. Look at me floating and then sort of swimming through the air but not very far. Most people get to legit fly.

June 12, 2013 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

It felt a bit like love saves the day, and I hate deus ex love. I do not know the latin word for love. BUT maybe there will be some breakups. Haha.

June 12, 2013 at 1:35 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I don't get them much anymore either. Funny that.

Hope you have time!

June 12, 2013 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger Megan K. said...

Developing plots are the best! I love how you were able to see that in One, and even though I wasn't quite a fan of The Incredibles, I think this is something I might enjoy. Too bad about the insta-love, though. Great review!

June 12, 2013 at 7:57 PM  
Blogger Eileen said...

I've seen a lot of positive—like three/four star reviews—for this one so I think should check it out sometime in the near future because this is totally creepy but I had this dream that I was a superhero and that I was in this superhero league, like Merrin is with Elias and his friend, but instead of actually flying without any real problem I kind of just floated in the air and had to swim in the air to fly, so this is like some creepy similarity. And then sometimes I have a dream where I float like three feet above the air and I'm in school and to move I have to swim around like I'm in water. (You can tell I have a weird obsession with water and swimming)

Shame about the romance, though, I hate when everybody just ends up perfectly with one another, what happened to the single YA characters? But I'm glad that the superhero references were in there, too!

So it totally sounds like I didn't read your review because I started talking about my dreams, BUT I SWEAR I DID! I'm just bad at commenting lol ;D Fantastic review!

June 12, 2013 at 9:59 PM  
Blogger Lyn Kaye said...

Weird! I never heard of this book, and now I see it everywhere!

I am really tempted by the premise. If you recommend it to comic geeks, then it should be for me.

June 14, 2013 at 12:05 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I'd say it's got a bit more in common with Heroes, really.

June 14, 2013 at 12:38 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

And I wouldn't exactly call it instalove, just that it sometimes felt that way because the timing was so unclear.

June 14, 2013 at 12:39 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Hahaha, that dream is awesome. That's sort of what my dreams were like. Totally seems like you read it. No worries, Eileen!

There really aren't enough single characters. Third wheel was my existence in high school, okay?

June 14, 2013 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Would be curious to see your thoughts! I'm not a true comic geek, much as I wish I was. I think it would, but what do I know!

June 14, 2013 at 12:44 PM  

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