Review of The Ones We’re Meant to Find, by Joan He, narrated by Nancy Wu

The Ones We’re Meant to Find

by Joan He
narrated by Nancy Wu

Tantor Audio, 2021. 11 hours.
Review written February 1, 2022, from a library eaudiobook
2021 Cybils Finalist, Young Adult Speculative Fiction

The Ones We’re Meant to Find tells two parallel stories in alternating chapters. One story is of Cee, who’s been living for three years on an abandoned island, trying to build a boat so she can go look for her sister, Kay.

The other story is about Kasey, a socially awkward scientific genius who lives in the next-to-the-top level of an eco-city built above the clouds, designed to be safe from all the disasters that have overtaken planet earth. Kasey’s sister Celia went missing three months ago, and everybody thinks she’s dead.

The two stories do come together, but not at all as we expect they will at the beginning.

Before they come together, Cee tries to set out to find Kay, but her boat is swamped by a storm. She washes up back on the island. Not long after that, a boy washes up on the beach, and life on the island changes.

Meanwhile, with the help of a hacker, Kasey finds Celia’s brain interface, which she had removed before she disappeared. Kasey can access Celia’s memories and find out why she left. Oh, and the world faces more disasters for everyone outside the eco-cities.

The set-up is intriguing, and we want to learn about how they connect. For me, several details toward the end stretched credibility, but I can’t list those things because it would give away the big reveal. However, it’s a nice speculative fiction book about how people might respond to manmade disasters threatening to make earth uninhabitable and the kind of dilemmas people might face. A book that makes you think, while providing engaging characters facing difficult decisions and trying circumstances.

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