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Your One & Only

Review

Your One & Only

Adrianne Finlay is a debut young adult novelist originally from Ithaca, New York. A college professor of creative writing, composition and literature courses, she has a plethora of writing experiences to offer her readers. She currently resides in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

YOUR ONE & ONLY is an innovative dystopian and science fiction novel set in 2407, a time where humans, having died off from a plague, have been cloned through three centuries and have struggled with retaining aspects of humanity. This model city called Vispera is home to nine model clones each having a new generation every ten years. Althea-310 does not quite feel like her sisters. When her generation is introduced to the only human on Earth, Jack, recently brought to life by the clones as an experiment, Althea-310 must grapple with her changing feelings and whether or not what she has always known is indeed the best for the future of her people.

"Finley’s debut is full of surprises, socially relevant ideas and captivating insights into our own society....The plot never took a break and always seemed to be at some high point."

Finley’s debut is full of surprises, socially relevant ideas and captivating insights into our own society. I was worried that this novel would possess the predictable and recycled dystopian tropes that have become overused in young adult literature, but I was pleased by its unique take on human existence. The plot never took a break and always seemed to be at some high point. The world of this story is a terrifying one, but it does not seem incredibly far-fetched from the technology that we already see today. The writing style is one that shocks the reader into gradually grasping the nuances of this odd world. Told in alternating points of view, this narrative is relayed in the voice of a lonely human and a confused clone. In this book, this juxtaposition truly is an award-winning combination.

Jack was achingly complex and strikingly human. He is able to retain so much of humankind’s past that the clones have lost along the way. His early life was heartbreaking, and he offered a bit of a refresh to Vispera and the way things seem to have always been done. Althea was a riveting rebel in her own right, desperately trying to connect with her people but also discover what is missing from their lives. Althea and Jack together made a messy and most human pair possible. Samuel and Nyla were critical in offering hope for the humanity of the clones and were excellent additions to the story as side characters. Through their striking inherent differences, they were able to bring out the best traits in each other. The most outlasting part of the reading experience of this book is how insightful it turns out to be regarding our present day societal trajectory.

I would recommend this novel to readers who love frighteningly futuristic and unpredictable plots. While fans of sci-fi are sure to enjoy YOUR ONE & ONLY, readers who are looking for something refreshing in their to-be-read pile may want to pick this book up. Overall, reading this book was a nail-biting and whirlwind journey that I will not soon forget.

Reviewed by Grace P., Teen Board Member on February 27, 2018

Your One & Only
by Adrianne Finlay

  • Publication Date: February 6, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult 13+
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 0544991478
  • ISBN-13: 9780544991477