Review: The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He

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Cee has been trapped on an abandoned island for three years without any recollection of how she arrived, or memories from her life prior. All she knows is that somewhere out there, beyond the horizon, she has a sister named Kay, and it’s up to Cee to cross the ocean and find her.
In a world apart, 16-year-old STEM prodigy Kasey Mizuhara lives in an eco-city built for people who protected the planet―and now need protecting from it. With natural disasters on the rise due to climate change, eco-cities provide clean air, water, and shelter. Their residents, in exchange, must spend at least a third of their time in stasis pods, conducting business virtually whenever possible to reduce their environmental footprint. While Kasey, an introvert and loner, doesn’t mind the lifestyle, her sister Celia hated it. Popular and lovable, Celia much preferred the outside world. But no one could have predicted that Celia would take a boat out to sea, never to return.
Now it’s been three months since Celia’s disappearance, and Kasey has given up hope. Logic says that her sister must be dead. But nevertheless, she decides to retrace Celia’s last steps. Where they’ll lead her, she does not know. Her sister was full of secrets. But Kasey has a secret of her own.

This book is going to be such a difficult one to review, purely because I don’t think I’ve read anything quite like this before. Following similar themes to one of my favourite films, Weathering With You, this is a science fiction novel looking at climate change and how the world may adapt to such extremes. This book is kind of set in a possible future where floating eco-cities exist, and follows two sisters leading completely different lives across this world.

I really appreciated how Joan He didn’t patronise us as readers at all, and managed to throw us into this world without explaining what was going on at all. I found it surprising how I didn’t feel daunted or overwhelmed by this world that felt so alien in many ways, and I really enjoyed reading about and visualising the world they resided in.

None of us live without consequence. Our personal preferences are not truly personal. 

I loved how this followed two sisters, but I must say I much preferred Cee’s chapters over Kasey’s. I think this is mainly because Cee’s chapters are not only a little more relatable due to how far she lives away from the floating city word Kasey lives in. But I also think this is because Cee’s chapters were written in first person, whereas Kasey’s were written in third person. It took me a while to realise this was why it felt so jarring to jump between characters, and also why Cee’s chapters felt like being wrapped in a warm blanket after Kasey’s. I just found her chapters so much more enthralling and easy to read, but are supported well by Kasey’s part of the story.

I also loved the plot of this book, although the ending felt slightly…murky to me. This book was quite fast paced and also kept me on my toes throughout. I could never predict where the plot was going and there were a lot of situations that shocked me just as much as our main characters!

One person’s needs will deny another’s. Our privileges can harm ourselves and others.

Although this one wasn’t quite a 5 star for me, I did still really enjoy this and I feel like I could enjoy it even more upon a reread! I also only just realised this is the same author of Descendant of the Crane, which has been on my TBR for a long time but I’m even more excited for now.

4 out of 5 stars


May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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One thought on “Review: The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He

  1. Pingback: August Wrap-Up – The Books are Everywhere

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