Review: The One by John Marrs @johnmarrs1

So after hearing so many good things about this book, and it having sat on my kindle unread for quite some time I decided to bite the bullet. Yes … I downloaded the audible and listened to it on one of my frequent jaunts around the country. Not quite the read I had planned but the same result in the end. So what did I think? Well I’ll tell you that in just a mo. First up the all important official book bits.

TOThe Official Book Blurb

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…

Oh good god. If ever there was a book which confirmed that my decision to remain single was undoubtedly the most sane one ever made by a human being, then this one could be it. I have to be completely honest and say that this book played into every single one of my convictions regarding relationships, including that most people cannot be trusted and the idea of finding ‘the one’ by pure coincidence is a complete crock of … Well you know what.

Never having been interested in close human entanglement, I’ve often wondered how anyone can declare they have found their ‘soul mate’ or ‘the love of their life’ unless they had met absolutely every person on the planet. What if there was another ‘one’ out there? How can you possibly know. You’ve simply met the most compatible ‘one’ of all the people you had met up until that particular point in your existence surely? Do go and meet the remaining several billion people on the planet and prove me wrong by all means… Yes folks. I’m truly as romantic as herpes.

So… This book takes all of my cynicism regarding love and kicks it up a notch (apparently that is possible). The result is a book which is often humorous, sometimes poignant, occasionally cloying (romance – yuk), tense, thrilling and completely and utterly compelling.

I listened to this book in a single day. Centred around several singletons and even some couples, this is what the world would look like if and Amazon got married, cross bred and had lots of little internet-dating/world-dominating genetically engineered babies. Some bright spark has identified a genetic marker which signifies a couple as being the perfect pair, the ones who are meant to be together, revolutionising not only internet dating but the whole concept of love as we know it. Causing rifts in seemingly perfect families and matching complete strangers from across the globe, it is almost taboo to be in a relationship which has not been genetically engineered. And here is where our story begins.

From the woman who finds her perfect match only to have her dreams crushed by tragedy, to the couple who are certain they are meant to be and yet are not genetically matched, even down to the text sharing lovers separated by the entire globe, there is no denying the power of finding ‘the one’. There is no pairing too taboo, no boundary, either religious or financial which cannot be transcended, and the evidence for the success of this genetic matching is compelling. And yet not everyone is happy. Is it truly possible that relationships are based purely on nature and not nurture?

Perhaps part social commentary on the need for perfection in everything in life, it is certainly a concept which takes the challenge and uncertainty out of dating, that opens up the door for the ‘less desirable’ in life to find their dream match, however seemingly unlikely. But would it remove the fun too? If you know you are meant to be together because your genes dictate it. Is not the fun in the chase, the uncertainty and the steady blossoming of a fledgling romance?

Don’t be fooled by the premise of the story. This is not all blind romance and gushing luvviness. There is a lot of tragedy within too, as well as deception galore. No matter what genetics dictates, this is a story of human beings after all and lord know we’re a race that excels at conning and controlling each other. Some deception is with the purest of motives, some by misguided love and some, worst of all, by the need for revenge. Along side all of the relationship drama, a rumbling undercurrent of unease, the certainty that something is not quite as it seems, keeps the interest levels high, for me at least.

This is a very clever book. Perhaps not for all, but I loved the writing style and to be honest the story definitely lends itself to the audio format. All of the disclaimers read out relating to the things that the company ‘Match Your DNA’ could not be held accountable for which were read out at the beginning set the tone of the rest of the book and certainly meant I left the end of my street already with a smile on my face. From moments of great tension as the story wound to it’s conclusion, the satisfaction of guessing what one of the characters nefarious intent was, to the need for one of the most star-crossed pairings to finally get their happy ending, it had everything I needed in a book. Yes – I got a bit mushy with that last one. I’m anti-relationship for me, I’m not inhuman. Everyone had to at least want that one to work out. I can’t tell you why but I really did like Nick and hoped he got his happy ending.

And then there was Christopher. Now what to say about Christopher. He was probably the most and yet least likely person you would expect to see on this particular dating app and if you read the book you’ll understand why. Now don’t shout at me for this, the guy is not someone you should really like, and I don’t really know why but of all the characters, I really did like him. Perhaps because his inclusion is so out there compared to the other stories of people looking for love but then his match is just so ironically amusing that it makes you smile. The guy is twisted but if the concept of ‘the one’ is correct, there really is someone for everyone, no matter how wrong they may be. And this pairing is so tantalisingly incompatible and completely wrong that it is also very, very right.

Loved this book. Loved the styling. Loved the audio. Go on and try it. You might like it.

** Disclaimer ** I still have absolutely no faith or belief in the concept of ‘the one’. I do not endorse travelling the entire globe meeting all 7.4+ billion people in order to test my theory out, nor do I accept any responsibility for any disease, injury or death resultant from such a fool hardy quest. You’re on your own there kids. Just stick with what ya know. Ignorance can be bliss. Don’t believe me, read this book.

The One is available to purchase now from the following retailers.

Amazon UK |  Amazon US | Kobo | Waterstones

17 thoughts on “Review: The One by John Marrs @johnmarrs1

  1. Thanks for your review – which I enjoyed a tad more than the book. For me, the improbability of a scientist working out this miracle gene and its application – and then building up an empire in a matter of years, rather than decades was a step too far. But, taking it as a Sci-fi it was OK. I’m with you regarding Christopher, one of more entertaining and ghastly examples of OCD.

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  2. Hahahaha, loved that review. I don’t believe in the whole romance and “the one” thing, I’d rather spend my time reading than walking the Earth trying to find a guy! But I loved reading this book and I did wonder whether I’d take the test for fun. It would probably say I have no match! I’m perfect on my own :p

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