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.