The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He

I really liked this book… but I’m kinda still trying to figure out why. I attempted early in the book to see the big picture, to put it all together… but, what I really needed to do was focus on the chapters. If I could understand the individual chapters, I could start to put it together. Separated by time, location, and at times, style, these chapters are challenging puzzle pieces.

Set in the midst of Earth’s push-back against the population’s abuse, sisters Cee and Kay are miles and miles apart. Cee is stranded on an abandoned island with only a dictionary-obsessed bot to keep her company. Kay is still living in their quarters in one of the eight floating cities… free from contaminates but tied up in her own secrets and feelings.

Cee spends her days trying to get back to her sister. Surviving on food she grows and building a boat out of parts she finds on the little island. It’s tough work but it’s cleansing.

One-third of Kay’s life is spent in stasis to reduce the population’s drain on planetary resources. This is fine with Kay as she is the more introverted of the sisters. She’s torn. Inside she believes that there’s no way her sister could have survived, but public sentiment pushes her to hope… sometimes a dangerous idea.

I was pulled in by this gorgeous cover and challenged by He’s secrets and the vast differences in the settings. One filled with sand and blistering sun, the other with hermetically sealed stasis tubes and the loss of Earth. A sisterly love story that is only slightly marred by some slow pacing at the beginning.

4 out of 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley, Macmillan Children’s Publishing, and the author for an advanced copy for review.

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