Monday, September 2, 2013

One by Leigh Ann Kopans

One
by Leigh Ann Kopans
Read: August 3 - 4, 2013
Published: June 11th 2013 (self)
Source: Kindle purchase
Category: Paranormal Romance, Superheroes, YA
Series: One Universe book 1


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. (From Goodreads)
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Merrin Grey lives in a world with two types of people in it: those with superpowers and those with none. People born with superpowers always have Two, because it's useless to be able to make fire without indestructibility. If you didn't have the latter, you'd burn yourself every time you tried to use your ability. Unforunately, Merrin falls into the little discussed in-between category of having One superpower, without it's essential mate. She can float about 3 feet off the ground, but doesn't have the ability to make herself move in the air. Merrin longs to fly, and practices for hours hoping that the ability will come. But so far, she's had no luck.  

At sixteen, it's unlikely that Merrin's second power will ever show up. She's tired of being useless at the Superhero High School where her classmates are using their powers in amazing ways. This year she's determined just to be Normal, transferring to the regular town high school. But as much as Merrin tries to fit in there, she still feels like an outsider. That's when Merrin meets Elias VanDyne, another One. Together Merrin and Elias discover they can do something together that they'd only dreamed of on their own. They also begin to realize that not everything in their world is what it seems, nor is the truth about their powers. 

I really like that this book had to do with superheroes, and that their abilities came in pairs. I thought that the science presented in One was complex and believable, and pretty fascinating. One takes place in a future United States, and the explanation for how part of the population got their powers was well thought out, which I greatly appreciated. Although it wasn't the main focus of the book, there were also some political and social ramifications of people with powers vs those without, and it all served to flesh this world out well. I really like when the science-fiction/fantasy aspects of a book are tempered in reality, especially when they take place in an America that looks like our own. A book like this only works for me if there is some sense behind it, and I definitely found that here. 

I could also sympathize with Merrin's desire to fit into her world. Her struggle over being a One and feeling trapped between two places - the world of regular people and the world of superheroes - was believable and relatable. I like that she played the drums and listened to heavy metal music. Fun, personal details of her life that we don't often see in YA heroines. Merrin also loves science, especially Organic Chemistry (I know, crazy!), and a major part of the plot in One involves her quest to work for the big Superhero research facility, the Biotech Hub. 

When Merrin meets Elias they have an instant attraction to each other. I know some of you are checking out now. But for me, this is a case where a quick connection did not bother me, because there was a reason behind it. There were a few instances where I thought things moved a bit quickly between them - mostly because of some of Merrin's past experiences and how that's affected her trust, but for the most part I was easily able to connect in with them. I can imagine Merrin feeling like she'll never fit in, then finding someone like her and wanting to cling to that. It was really fun to see what these two discovered about themselves and each other once they were together. 

The main struggle I had with this store is that the conflict in the plot was largely based on characters not telling each other things. On secrets. Not just between Merrin and Elias, but their parents and others weren't always forthcoming. A lot of problems could be solved, or at least figured out sooner, if they had just communicated with each other.

But overall, One was a fun book. I read it on the car ride home from vacation and it was the perfect story for that journey back to reality. I'm also looking forward to its sequel Two, which I believe is going to be from Elias' point of view.


Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Low. The second book, Two comes out in October. I believe it's going to be in Elias' POV (or maybe a split?) It has another gorgeous cover. 



19 comments:

  1. Groan-I hate when books feature characters not communicating and that causing problems. It just makes you want to reach in and knock some heads together...or at least it makes me want to do that! I do like the idea of superpower books but am still not quite sold on this one...will see if I can get it on sale or something.

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    1. Because book TWO is coming out soon, I bet this will go on sale again. I think it was $1.99 recently. You should keep checking on that! I agree, miscommunication is annoying for sure, but overall I did really enjoy this one!

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  2. Sounds like a good car ride book! I'm liking the cover and the whole concept of superpowers coming in two...or one, as the case of the heroine. I especially like that she's a smart cookie, loving organic chem and all that fabulous science-y stuff!

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    1. This was the PERFECT book for a car ride. It was more fun than heavy and the superhero concepts were pretty cool. Yes, I really liked Merrin. She has some unique interests that set her apart, but I could also sympathize with her struggles in this book.

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  3. For some reason, I haven't seen a lot of positive reviews for this. It must be because of the insta-love. I really like the concepts behind this one, but I have a feeling I'd struggle with the romance. I do think the covers are gorgeous and I'm curious to see what you make of the sequel. Great review, Lauren!

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    1. Yeah I think it's the insta-love and poor communication. Despite all that, I think ONE was a lot of fun, and the science/world building was well done. However, I'm not sure if there's enough for you to read it at this point. But I'll for sure tell you how the sequel is, because if that ROCKS, it may be worth this book.

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  4. BABYGIIIIRRLLLL!!! I love those #TeamAdam icons:) Heh. I see that you're reading lots of superhero stuff right now. Are you excited for Thor 2? Have you seen Thor 1? I'm so excited lol. Ok, on to your review.. I'm glad that the explanation of how it all came to be is done well. Btw, the premise sounds awesome! I hadn't even heard about these so much. I've seen the cover a few times, but nothing more. I'm glad that the romance and the chemistry really worked for you in this case:) That not telling things is similar to Soul Screamer's book one. Frustrating as hell! I'm glad that you were still able to enjoy this one though and I hope that you'll enjoy the sequel even more:)

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    1. THANK YOU!!! I am gearing up to defend ADAM...or possibly to crash and burn horribly if the book doesn't go as I hope.

      I actually haven't read many superhero books, except for these two recent ones. This one was lots of fun, and I liked it better overall than THE BROKENHEARTED. I want to read SOUL SCREAMERS still, but I don't know how I'll handle the mis-communication. It's definitely one of my dreaded book themes. UGH. It makes me insane. Anyway, despite that, I hope you read and enjoy this one.

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  5. The covers of this series are so stunning! Subjectively, the covers alone are enough to pull me in. But I'm not the type to purchase a book merely by the cover alone. So... learning about the strength of the world building will certainly sway me into putting these on my wish list. Still, I'll wait to see how you fare with the sequel. :)

    Out of curiosity, how is the writing style? Does it flow well? Are the voices for the main character and her love-interest authentic? And what rating would you give this one? I'm not a fan when secrets are the main driving force of a plot. But I can look passed it if everything else about it works. :)

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    1. I know, the covers are gorgeous, aren't they! I mean, with a cover like that, you really want the book to be good!

      I read this book fast and really enjoyed it. I thought it was well written and a lot of fun. I also liked Merrin a lot, and the insta-love didn't bother me that much. If I was going to rate it, I'd say 3.5 overall. But that's a mostly positive rating. I'm really looking forward to the next book too! This one was on sale recently for 1.99 or something, so it may drop again before TWO releases. May be worth keeping an eye on if you're not certain you want to purchase it at full price.

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  6. Oh, YES! I won this book in some recent giveaway and was planning on reading it next month but your review is really making me want to drop everything and pick this baby up. I love superhero book (I know, Shocker!) but I haven't found any good ones. I love that Merrin loves OC (I do too), that makes her so awesome in my list. lol Great review, Lauren! I can't wait to start this book now :)

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    1. YAY! I'm glad you won ONE. It is fun for sure. The author does a good job with how she explains superheroes. I love how their talents work in pairs, and the social, political implications of it all. I hope you like this one when you get to it!

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  7. The cover is absolutely gorgeaus and your review has me a bit intrigued. I like the whole idea with the super powers thing. I think i might a few days before the second one comes out to read it first and then immedatly read the second so i won't have to wait inbetween books. Great review Lauren :)
    Lily @ Lilysbookblog

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    1. Thankfully, TWO comes out this fall, so you won't have too long to wait. But I think they will flow into each other, so it's a great idea to read them close together. This book was a lot of fun, and I hope you think so too. The author did a great job with how she set up the superhero powers.

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  8. I've got this on my kindle and I've been meaning to read it, but it drives me crazy when characters don't talk to each other. LIKE SERIOUSLY CRAZY. Stuff like that has happened to me a few times in my life, but now I either tell people, or decide I don't care. It is ridiculous to torture yourself with secrets. Also, I want a floating boyfriend.

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    1. I KNOW what you mean by feeling CRAZY about characters who don't communicate. That is one of my biggest pet peeves. I'm like, if you all just sat down and TALKED about what is going on, most of this would have been avoided. However, I will say that despite all that, I actually did like this story overall. It is lots of fun, and the author did work really hard on her world building. But goodness, a boyfriend who floats? That sounds fun for sure.

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  9. This sounds like a really interesting premise! It reminds me a little of this one Disney Channel original movie, although I'm sure this is better presented and thought-out. Unlike you, however, I'm not necessarily a fan of my fantasy/sci fi being tied down to our world now. I guess it's due at least in part to my love of high fantasy. So while I can totally understand how certain elements would work well in this book, I don't think this will be a book I'll be reading. I'm glad you were able to mostly enjoy it, however!

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  10. "People born with superpowers always have Two, because it's useless to be able to make fire without indestructibility. If you didn't have the latter, you'd burn yourself every time you tried to use your ability." <-- Interesting! I hadn't seen this part of the world explained on other reviews, and I love that the author thought of this aspect because it's most certainly missing in most super hero stories o.O.

    I'd want to fly too. That'd probably be the superpower I most longed for :O. Do you have one?

    The Superhero High School. Ha. I love that. I'm not usually a fan of HS narratives in the YA except in special circumstances, but I bet that would be fun to read about. At least their classes. Oooh, but I guess you don't find out? Since she transfers. D'awww Elias and Merrin - that sounds like quite the formula for a cute love story.

    Oooh, I want to know what the explanation for the powers were and the science part. That always interests me 'cause I feel like very few YA books do just that. "I really like when the science-fiction/fantasy aspects of a book are tempered in reality, especially when they take place in an America that looks like our own." <-- Agreed. It makes it easier to slip into the world and feel the consequences. Makes the world actually seem plausible.

    DEFINITELY CRAZY. ORGANIC CHEMISTRY omg was such a nightmare o.O. Merrin must be super smart. And playing the drums is definitely not something you see often in YA heroines. The instant attraction sounds like it could work quite well for the kind of story and world situation that's presented, which I think is often absent in other novels, or you'll get the explanation for the insta-love a bit too late for you to care. Ohhhh the frustration of a lack of communication resulting in plot twists. It's true that that happens in real life, but in fiction it's hard to read without getting frustrated just the same as you'd feel in RL too.

    Sounds like fun :). Hope you enjoy TWO!

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  11. I ave got to check this book out, I know that Asheley has talked about it too. I love superhero stories--I'm totally a superhero nerd--the Superfriends cartoon that used to come on Saturday mornings? TOTALLY my fave (you're probably too young to remember that L;)
    I'm bumping this one up on my TBR:) And yes, I LOVE those covers--especially the cover for Two:)

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