Title : The Ones We’re Meant to Find
Author : Joan He
Genre : YA sci-fi
Release Date : May 4th, 2021
Publisher : Roaring Brook Press
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. Determined to find her, Cee devotes her days to building a boat from junk parts scavenged inland, doing everything in her power to survive until the day she gets off the island and reunites with her sister.
In a world apart, 16-year-old STEM prodigy Kasey Mizuhara is also living a life of isolation. The eco-city she calls home is one of eight levitating around the world, 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 as the public decries her stance, she starts to second guess herself and 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.
“Logic ended where love began”
Joan He’s debut, Descendant of the Crane, was one of the best book I read in 2019. So naturally, when she announced that she had more books coming, I couldn’t be more excited. I’ll be frank, sci-fi isn’t my favorite genre ever. I often have hard time imagining scenes and such due to a lot of futuristic tech references. If The Ones We’re Meant to Find wasn’t written by Joan, I think I’ll be hesitant to pick it up. Fortunately, it is written by Joan, and she doesn’t disappoint. While I still enjoyed DotC more, TOWMTF is still amazing, and definitely more twisty.
The Ones We’re Meant to Find, above anything else, is a tale of two sisters and their journey to find each other. Set in the future, Earth now has ‘eco-city’ that float in the sky due to ongoing natural disasters. However, not everyone can live in the eco-city, and it all depends on how much you and your family contribute on reducing carbon footprints and restoring Earth. As the daughters of eco-city’s architect, Kasey and Celia definitely has priority. Their life is far from perfect, though, and each sister has secrets of their own.
I’ll admit first and foremost that it took me quite a while to really understand this book. It was told in both Kasey and Celia’s POV, but they move in different timelines. Kasey’s POV was set 3 months after Celia’s disappearances, while Celia’s was set 3 years after she woke up in an island–alone and without memories except about Kasey. Throughout the book, their path slowly but surely move toward each other and the truth of what really happened. The book peaked at around 50% mark, where suddenly everything is explained and clear and you just went ‘OH’. After that ‘OH’ moment, I honestly couldn’t stop reading until I finished this book, bawling my eyes out.
All in all, The Ones We’re Meant to Find is an enthralling book about two sisters in a world on the brink of disasters. The dystopian setting also focused on climate changes and what would happen if we didn’t start living sustainably, and how not even technology–no matter how advanced–can save us. Combined with Joan He’s lyrical and gorgeous writing, you definitely don’t want to miss this book.
“Because it was possible to love someone without fully understanding them. Possible to love parts of them, and not their whole.”