Book Review: The One by John Marrs

“If you’ve got the opportunity to love someone as much as they love you, then grab it with both hands and hold on to it for dear life.”

John Marrs‘ 2018 book, The One, is set in a future where a simple DNA test is all it takes to find ‘The One’. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner the one you are genetically made for. That’s the promise made by Match Your DNA. A decade ago, the company announced that they had found the gene that pairs each of us with our soul mate. Since then, millions of people around the world have been matched. But the discovery has its downsides: test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships and upended the traditional ideas of dating, romance and love. Now, five very different people have received the notification that they’ve been “Matched”. They’re each about to meet their one true love. But “happily ever after” isn’t guaranteed for everyone. Because even soul mates have secrets, and some are more shocking than others.


The One is my third book by John Marrs and is another instant favourite. Modern, masterful, and brilliantly crafted, Marrs transports you to a world where it all it takes to find your soulmate is a simple blood test. But can it be that simple? It’s John Marrs, of course not!

Although the concept focuses on love and relationships, this is in no way a romance. Sure, I connected with the characters and was desperate for some of the relationships to work out, but it wouldn’t be a John Marrs book if there weren’t a few darker twists along the way.

Full to the brim of suspense, The One is an intelligent and fast-paced thriller that will have you constantly saying “Just one more chapter”. With short chapters told through five narratives, it took me a little while to get used to all of the names but this structure soon becomes the book’s best quality as it leaves you incapable of finding a suitable place to stop reading.

Although I guessed one of the story’s twists because of its link with Passengers, the book goes off in so many tangents that I was expecting. Just when I thought I knew where the multiple stories were going, Marrs stopped me in my tracks yet again with his whopping cliffhanger twists. I should have known better than to expect things to be straightforward, but this is why his books are so addictive.

The One not only explores a variety of relationships and circumstances, but it also observes a diverse range of individuals and perspectives, some of which you never would have imagined to include in a story that should be all about happily ever afters.

“There were others out there like him, which meant that Christopher was normal, just a different type of normal.”

Marrs explores each of their different mindsets and dynamics exceptionally well, looking at how we react differently to life-changing obstacles, at how we can be easily influenced, and at how far we will go to find the one thing that matters most to us – finding someone with whom you have a genuine connection.

Although the way the story develops gives the story structure and a satisfying conclusion, I could easily read a whole series based on this concept with even more characters and situations. I just didn’t want it to end. At least we have the Netflix series to look forward to!

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