Published by Random House on January 26th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, General, Science Fiction, Romance, Suspense
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How far would you go to find THE ONE?One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others...A psychological thriller with a difference, this is a truly unique novel which is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.
(Note: Previously published as A Thousand Small Explosions)
Have you ever read a book and just known it was going to stand out from all the other books you’ve read? Let me introduce you to The One by John Marrs. It started its life as a self-published e-book by the name of A Thousand Small Explosions, until it was picked up by the fabulous folks at Ebury (who I may or may not be trying to butter up as they have proofs of the new Rowan Coleman *wink wink*) and I knew as soon as I received the proof copy, along with my very own vial for my DNA that this was going to be a special book, and this was an astounding novel. I rarely give thrillers a full five stars, because they rarely satisfy me, especially with their stupid endings (you will see this sentence in every single thriller review I write, because thrillers writers cannot write endings to save their bloody lives). However, this book ticked all of the boxes. It was thoroughly entertaining, it was the kind of book you keep putting down just so you can savour it, the whole premise was spot-on, and the ending was pretty amazing.
You’ll have to have your wits about you when you start reading The One, because at first there are a lot of characters to keep up with, all who have been matched with Match Your DNA, a service that promises you’ll be matched, at some point, with someone who shares a specific strand of DNA, that only you have. The catch? It could literally be anyone – any age, any race, any sex, but that’s the risk you have to take. You can still fall in love the normal way, or you can leave it up to fate. It actually reminded me of that How I Met Your Mother episode where Ted goes to a company like Match Your DNA to try and find “the one”, but y’know, without the DNA part. It’s an incredible, fascinating concept, one that isn’t too far-fetched, let’s be real, and could well be a look into our future? WHO KNOWS. It really works, because it introduces you to a range of characters, who all just want to find their soulmate. What could be simpler? (HA, don’t even ask.)
Obviously it isn’t as simple as that. For example, Jade’s soulmate, Kevin lives in Australia, while she lives in Sunderland (SHOUT OUT TO THE NORTH EAST!!!!); Nick is in a relationship with Sally and doesn’t want to risk the fact they may not be each other’s match (boy, are you in for a surprise), Christopher is…. well, you’ll have to read the book because it’s better kept as a surprise; Mandy just wants to find her soulmate, and her story is both poignant and weird and Ellie is a business woman, who doesn’t think she has time for love… Until she meets Tim. It all sounds so rosy, doesn’t it? So perfect. So rom-com. But there is so much more to it than that, and to say any more than that will actually spoil it, because you need to go into the book with little to no information, so that when you discover all the amazing little plot twists, you’re surprised. The one that got to me the most was Ellie and Tim. It was the one I was rooting for, most of all. And that properly surprised me.
The One (which really should have just been called Match Your DNA, because that’s an epic title, and they should also have a real live website to go along with it because what a cool thing to have) was such an incredible read. How this wasn’t picked up before John Marrs self-published it is baffling to me, because it’s such a unique read, without been overly far-fetched. The writing is real, the chapters are short and to the point and leave you hanging for more, and that’s the key. You will literally just keep reading until you’re done, because it is captivating. I need ALL the John Marrs books in my life, because he really is an incredibly talented storyteller. To be able to tell five stories in one book, with so many intricate ties and webs and threads and not drop the ball is an immense effort that I applaud. It’s a book like this that makes me wish my imagination were better. I could see this being a movie, this would be an INCREDIBLE movie. If you read just one thriller this year (actually, read two because Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land is also incredible) make sure you pick up The One, because you won’t regret it and you’ll find yourself hankering for more. I honestly could have read about these characters all day long. Thank you, John Marrs. And please WRITE MORE BOOKS.