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Your One & Only Hardcover – February 6, 2018
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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Delirium and Warm Bodies, because woven into this fast-paced and romantic sci-fi is a thoughtful look at what it really means to be human."—Justine Magazine
"...Finlay has created a thought-provoking tale that explores conformity, individuality, and what it means to be human...With imaginative, vivid world building, this should appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver’s Replica (2016)." —Booklist
★ "Like the works of Ursula K. LeGuin, inside this lyrically written, suspenseful tale is a deeply humane thematic core."—Kirkus Reviews, starred Review
"Readers will feel fully immersed in this new reality. A great choice for lovers of postapocalyptic story lines." –School Library Journal
"Haunting, moving and provocative, Your One & Only asks questions that will linger after you're finished reading—Adrianne Finlay is a debut to watch."
—Amie Kaufman, New York Times bestselling co-author of Illuminae and These Broken Stars
"This is such a fascinating, clever story, with characters I truly grew to love and a plot that never stopped moving! As soon as I started reading, I found myself turning pages furiously, so excited to see what would happen next. A truly original and inventive story for my fellow lovers of sci-fi."
—S.J. Kincaid, New York Times bestselling author of The Diabolic
"Fans of Kiera Cass’s series, The Selection, will enjoy watching Jack and Althea-310’s relationship grow into a love only humans could experience."--VOYA
"In this consistently well-structured world, Finlay weighs the cost of conformity verses rebellion, and the narrative's gracefully restrained style amplifies the story's profound underlying emotions."--Publishers Weekly
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But the writing style compliments the story- in a dystopian future, a disease has killed all humans and the only beings left are clones of a group of scientists who came together to try and save mankind before humans were eradicated completely. Each generation of clones has "tweaked" the recipe a little bit, so by the time the story takes place, the clones are basically robots- every part of them has been perfected so that personality quirks (kindness, spontaneity, etc) are just bland features like a whimsical knob on a kitchen cabinet and don't affect the clone's life much at all. The clones all function as a programmed society, and each has a role, and can only function within that role.
Enter Jack. Jack's an asthmatic teenager from the original series of "clones" that didn't make the cut over time. But for some reason, his model was brought back to "life". However, since Jack didn't have decades of "tweaking" done to his model, he's considered very primitive. His breathing problems and his love and passion for music (which the clones only hear as noise which displeases them, since music has no practical function in a programmed society that operates like clockwork) and his quick anger make his ability to integrate with the rest of the clones almost impossible. While all of these "flaws" seem repulsive to the other clones, they awaken something very "human" in Althea-310- compassion, longing, confusion, and frustration at her civilization.
I feel that in a book with so many "clones" and so many events going on like clockwork, this book could have stood a lot more description to fill in the blanks. But I suppose that it was the intent of the author to keep the writing as clipped and sterile as a reflection of the society. However, the book really comes alive in Chapter 19 (I'm pretty sure I'm remembering it right) when the author suddenly delves into life *before* the clones, and what happened to precipitate the clone experiment in the first place. The chapter hints at what happened right before the end of "humanity" as we know it and it was an enthralling chapter to read.
I fervently wish that entire chapter would become a book- it was interesting and captivating and a little mind-blowing compared to the formality of the rest of the book. I am desperate to know what happened across the globe before civilization went extinct and the clones "rebooted" humankind. If this turns into a series, I can't wait to read the prequel. I'm actually giving the book five stars based on this chapter- it demonstrated to me the author can really *write* and the clipped, dry nature of the rest of the book may have been intentional.
Another reason I am giving this book five stars is because when I finished it, I wanted more. Like I said, I don't know if this is going to be a series, but I want to find out what happens next. The end of the book reminded me a lot of when I finished "Station Eleven"- more, please. I don't want to fill in the blanks- I want to get a sequel.
So I recommend this book- just understand that it's not a deeply lush, moving story about high emotions.
The story is set in a city known as Vispera that has been the home to a group of clones for 300 years since the end of human life due to a plague. Before the humans died out they perfected the ability to produce clones in hopes that some small part of them would live on.
The clones have existed for the past 300 years by creating a new generation of themselves every ten years. Each generation consists of 9 different types of clones with ten of each type. Their names come from those that created them with a number denoting their generation and number of that model, for example Althea-310 comes from the 31st generation and is 0 out of her 10 sisters.
Jack was created by the clones in an attempt to bring back human life but he doesn’t fit into the world that they inhabit. A set of clones have raised him to be as human as possible but this makes him an outsider to the clones of his age but unlike the other clones Althea-310 finds herself curious about the human boy.
Your One & Only was a story that started off with a slow build as the author set the tone of the world in which the story takes place. The further I read into the book though the more I fell in love with her world building and creativity with this book. This one certainly seemed like an unique idea to have this world of clones existing for so long and how a human would fit in with their customs and traditions.
The further you get in this story the deeper it takes you becoming one that is full of action as the plot progresses. I was a tad concerned in the beginning that it might be a little confusing with the characters sharing such similar names but it was easy to understand as you get to know the few main clones that are featured in the story it was no different memorizing the number after the name than remembering completely different names for characters.
By the time I was finished with this one I actually kind of hoped that the author might consider continuing the story on as a series to see what happens next in this futuristic society. When finished I’d rate this book at 4.5 stars but I would also warn future readers that this one should be for the older teens as there are sexual situations incorporated into the story.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
Most recent customer reviews
To be honest, I'm not huge on clone books in general, but this one won me over, largely due to our characters.Read more
I love a good Dystopian novel. And this was no different.Read more
I liked Jack and Althea 310. Some of their parts were very interesting and some not.Read more