[561]: The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis

18369372 The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis
Disney-Hyperion | September 8th, 2015
E-ARC via Net Galley & Disney-Hyperion
Young Adult Fiction
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

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.

It’s tough to review a book that I sort of like and sort of didn’t like. When I can’t reconcile how I really feel for it that I’m left precariously straddling that line. The One Thing could’ve been so good. But I felt that its two major flaws are simply insurmountable that I can’t give it a rating higher than 3 stars.

The summary succinctly gives you the bulk of the plot. Maggie was once a rising soccer star before she went blind. She had meningitis. Ever since then, she’d pretty much shut out the world and wallowed in self-pity and misery. Upon meeting 10-year old, Ben, however, she realizes she can see. But only Ben and his immediate surroundings. Like a halo of light.  Ben, who has been in crutches his whole life because he was born with spina bifida. 

Hanging out with Ben has some benefits, to be sure. For one, he’s funny, smart and the seeing thing is a bonus. Also, Ben’s brother just happens to be the lead singer of her favourite band, Loose Cannons. But Mason Milton wouldn’t give her the time of day. He thinks she’s faking her “blindness”. He thinks she’s taking advantage of his younger brother, and that she’s nothing but a rabid fan who’s using Ben to get to him. He’s wrong, of course. Maggie only ever wanted to feel like normal again and the precocious Ben gives her a semblance of that.

There is a reason why she can only see Ben and not the rest of the world. For Maggie, the gravity of that reason may be just as difficult to accept as the loss of the life she used to have.

I’m the type of reader who accepts any unimaginable scenarios in fiction. I don’t care how far-reaching the plots are. If you make it believable, I’ll read it. After reading this book, I found out that yes, I do have a limit. And Maggie’s ability to see certain people without biological or medical relevance just didn’t cut it.

I also couldn’t buy into the eventual romance between Mason and Maggie. Mason has that arrogance that was not at all endearing, to be honest. I understand that he’s protective of his brother, but his attitude became intolerable too fast. Their relationship just didn’t work for me. I thought they would’ve been better off as friends who had Ben in common. I think the problem is that there wasn’t enough time for their relationship to develop. Maggie spent a lot of time with Ben, dodging her therapist, and harbouring hurt feelings toward her parents. I get so frustrated with people who can’t express their feelings easily. And Maggie did a lot of suppressing hers that it became too much for me at times.

Over all, this book has been getting so much love. I feel like such a schmuck for not loving it just as much. I think that if you can forgive  the things that makes the plot a bit ridiculous, then you might just enjoy this book.

  • Well, unlike you I do need there to be a decent level of reality for the thing, whatever it is, to be belivable- I enjoy fantasy most so possibly this isn’t often an issue. But in a contemporary book, magical realism and I don’t often get along and that is, a lot fo the time, because I just can’t believe in it. It sounds like I’d have the same issues here, especially as the means of her sight sound really vague. And if it was an issue for you where it isn’t generally, then I’d say I’m right in my line of thought. It does sound interesting, though, so I’m sorry it didn’t work out! Nice review anyway, Joy. xx

  • Gorgeous review Joy. <3 I'm glad you liked this one. But aw, so sorry it was disappointing : And ugh, not feeling the romance is the worst thing. I'm sorry : but glad it didn't make you hate the book, lol 🙂 The rest sounds interesting. Thank you for sharing your awesome thoughts about it sweet girl. <3

  • If the romance interest isn’t likable than the romance doesn’t work for me either! I noticed this is from Disney-maybe that’s why the being able to see Ben is in the story as a bit of the supernatural? Everyone has their own opinions of books, some like them, some don’t-don’t beat yourself up about it-your review is your opinion-that’s all 🙂

  • The way you described Mason is making me 100% sure I won’t like him or the romance. Luckily this book was never on my “must read” mental list!

  • I was actually disappointed when my ARC request for this one was not approved. But it looks like maybe that was a good thing. Yeah, I am not sure if I could believe the whole only being able to see one person thing. That’s a bit weird. Sorry this one didn’t work out more for you.

  • Hm, I can understand why you had hard time rating this one. It sounds like a really intriguing read. I’m really curious how the author explained why she only saw certain people, but I also think I would be bothered by the same issues if it wasn’t belivable enough.

  • Jazmen

    Hmm, I seen this one in passing but never bothered to see what it was about. Sounds like one I might just pass on, but maybe I won’t. I’m confused lol.

  • I always feel like the black sheep! Sounds like an intriguing plot that didn’t have enough power to carry itself. Great review!

  • We can love all the same books, right? Happens to me all the time, but this book is on my radar and I’m going to see what all the fuss is about. Lovely review! 🙂

  • She can only selectively see, and there was no medical explanation for her miracle? Err, no. When it comes to contemporaries, you need that certain amount of realism, and not even having a created explanation would annoy me. Which is shame, because it sounds like something I’d generally enjoy otherwise. I don’t know why she’d want to involve herself in a quick romance with someone who wouldn’t believe she was blind, but then again, she could apparently see the light selectively.

    Awesome review Joy, can’t imagine I’d be reading it any time soon though unfortunately <3

  • Mmm, I don’t know if I’d be able to suspend my disbelief. Sounds like an interesting concept though.

  • kindlemom1

    I know exactly what you mean about straddling the line. These type of reads are dang hard to review because of it.
    I think you did an amazing job though!

  • I’m currently reading something like this: entertaining but haven’t crossed the “I like it” line yet.

    I thin it’s the romance that made you not like this as much. Sometimes a good story can be great without it. I hope the editors and authors realize that

  • Hmm… I don’t think this romance is for me either, Joy. And it does seem really far fetched and I think overall I would have a hard time with this book.
    Thanks for the review, Joy!

  • Jenny @ Supernatural Snark

    Hm. Like you Joy, I’m able to suspend disbelief pretty well when I read, as long as a story is well done I’m willing to roll with whatever happens, but I think in select cases I need a little more convincing before I can do so. This sounds like one of those reads and it’s too bad the believability comes up short. Still, I’m glad you found some things you liked about it as well!

  • Hmm, sorry to hear you didn’t feel the romance, and that you couldn’t really buy into her reasons for sight. I too struggled a bit with that, but I loved Ben and Maggie’s friendship so much I could still overlook

  • A shame you didn’t like this read Joy, and that it was a bit too far fetched for you… next time!

    Naomi @ Naomi’s Reading Palace

  • I wonder if I could forgive

  • You had me sold at the part where she was blind and I thought it might be one of those really diverse books which shed a bit of light on being… well, blind. But then I learned about her seeing only one person and I think I am with you when you say that is a tad too far fetched. I am curious to know more about this book but I feel like it might be difficult to stretch my beliefs that far.