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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

[ARC REVIEW] The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis

The One Thing

Author: Marci Lyn Curtis
Genre: YA Contemporary
Expected Publication: September 8th 2015 by Disney-Hyperion
ARC Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Purchase from: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble
Maggie Sanders might be blind, but she won't invite anyone to her pity party. Ever since losing her sight six months ago, Maggie's rebellious streak has taken on a life of its own, culminating with an elaborate school prank. Maggie called it genius. The judge called it illegal.

Now Maggie has a probation officer. But she isn't interested in rehabilitation, not when she's still mourning the loss of her professional-soccer dreams, and furious at her so-called friends, who lost interest in her as soon as she could no longer lead the team to victory.

Then Maggie's whole world is turned upside down. Somehow, incredibly, she can see again. But only one person: Ben, a precocious ten-year-old unlike anyone she's ever met.Ben's life isn't easy, but he doesn't see limits, only possibilities. After awhile, Maggie starts to realize that losing her sight doesn't have to mean losing everything she dreamed of. Even if what she's currently dreaming of is Mason Milton, the infuriatingly attractive lead singer of Maggie's new favorite band, who just happens to be Ben's brother.

But when she learns the real reason she can see Ben, Maggie must find the courage to face a once-unimaginable future...before she loses everything she has grown to love.


Rating

My thoughts

*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Netgalley and Disney-Hyperion.*

I've already read a book with deaf characters and one with a female protagonist who doesn't speak. Now, here's a book with a visually-impaired female MC. I'd say my reading horizon is constantly expanding, especially on books with physically-challenged characters. And hear me, dear readers, because YOU NEED THIS BOOK IN YOUR LIFE! The One Thing is a heartfelt, hilarious, and hopeful debut novel. Marci Lyn Curtis is a new author to watch out for.

The One Thing started off really strong. Maggie's personality – with all her glorious snark and wit – was all over the place, you wouldn't miss it. The pacing is really good because the author doesn't drag us through unnecessary chapters. By chapter two, there's Ben already, bringing fresh character and getting the plot rolling. And the story's really interesting! It's contemporary, but there's a supernatural(?) touch to it, owing to the fact that Maggie is blind but suddenly could see one person.


I really loved the characters. They're so unique and authentic. Maggie's voice was totally real and spot-on. She's independent and hilarious and really strong despite her disability. What I liked about her is that she doesn't make a big deal out of her blindness. She experienced drastic changes in her life, but she did not dwell on self-pity. Sure, she sort of isolated herself, but Maggie still remained Maggie. Sarcastic, funny and sassy. It was fun being inside her head. I love reading characters like Maggie because this is real teenage voice, people. She's not always kind but admit it, that's how teenagers are. I have no problems with goody good shoes MCs, but I can relate more to characters with bite.
That's the thing about being blind: you see people as they really are.
And don't get me started with Ben! This kid is just a genuinely good character, I just can't help but love him. He matches Maggie's humor and sarcasm, and he's pretty mature for his age. He's funny and kind and smart. I love this kid. (Did I say that already?) What a heartbreaker. And Mason! He's not the typical book boyfriend. Like what Maggie said, what makes him larger-than-life is that he doesn't try to be larger-than-life. He just is. He's a bit judgmental, though, but I liked how protective he is of Ben. Mason definitely wins at being a big brother. Not to mention that he's in a band. :)

Now let's talk about the relationships in this book. I found Maggie and Ben's friendship odd and refreshing because it's not every day that I read a book with this kind of friendship. I don't know about you guys, but when I was 16, I didn't have 10-year-old friends. And that's really nice and cute. I love their banterings, the fact that Maggie learned a lot from Ben and the way she changed because of him. Their friendship is the center of this book, and that's satisfyingly different from romance-focused YA. Speaking of romance, I was kind of meh about it. I mean, I don't mind it being there, but I could also do without it. I liked that it's not insta-love, though, because duh Maggie's blind so there's no love at first sight crap here.
You can't stave off life. Sometimes life just happens, no matter how careful you are.
Maggie's relationship with her parents, specifically with her mother, was something to read, too. It was painful to see that kind of interaction between a family with a blind daughter. Good thing there's Gramps. He's a cool and funny character too, and I loved how he takes care of Maggie. He's not touchy-feely, but he's caring in his own way. Aww...

Other things I'd like to highlight, but won't say much about for fear of being spoilery:
* Maggie's character development. It was remarkable. Not only did she learn things about herself, but she also came to terms with her relationships with other people.
* When Maggie discovered her Thing. It was pretty awesome and somehow surprising.
* When the mystery behind Maggie's condition was revealed, I was like,
* That ending! I'd love to gush about the ending, but all I can say about it is that it made me so happy. ^__^
After all, circumstances don't change us. They reveal us.
Heartwarming and right in the feels! The One Thing had me crying, snorting and grinning like crazy, sometimes all at the same time.
I went from this:
to this:


I know you get this from me a lot, but seriously, this book goes straight to my favorites list. The One Thing is a mixture of heartbreaking and happy, of friendships and family, of love and passion. With an excellent writing and a story that will tug at your heartstrings, you won't go wrong with this. It is a beautiful book.

(Please note that the quotes shared in this post came from an eARC and should be checked against the final copy.)
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Julie @ Books and Insomnia

Julie is a Filipina blogger who pretends she has insomnia so she can stay up late reading. When she's not buried in books, she can be found watching anime, drinking chocolate-flavored instant coffee, lurking on the internet, daydreaming and talking about herself in third person. She loves purple and anything sweet!

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