I went into The One Thing knowing nothing about the storyline and sometimes, that's the best way to go into a book since you have no preconceived notions about the genre, characters or potential plot twists. This book isn't necessarily one of the ones that you're better off going into blind, - although it was a pleasant experience for me nonetheless - so I will give a brief synopsis so you get a feel for the book.
Maggie is blind. She lost her sight a few months ago after a serious case of meningitis and her life hasn't been the same since. After ditching her friends, having her whole house organised and covered in braille and learning to walk with a cane to get her from A to B - Maggie has pretty much given up on life. The one thing she won't accept, however, is pity and her sharp, strong-willed personality led her to carry out a prank on her school, resulting in Maggie having committed a criminal offence. Whilst in the office of her probation officer, she meets Ben, a bright, smiling ten-year-old who she can see. Amazed and confused by her sudden sight, she finds herself drawn to Ben and begins spending more and more time with him, as when he is not around, her sight disappears.
The One Thing is an emotional rollercoaster, that's for sure, but I really enjoyed reading it, despite a few YA novel cliche's dotted along the way. Firstly, the characters. I loved Maggie, Ben and Maggie's grandfather. The last two slightly more than Maggie. I found Maggie relatable, but slightly self-centred and whilst I understand this was a character flaw that the author had intended, it felt difficult to read at times. Ben was my absolute favourite character - represented by the "light" and sight that he brought into Maggie's world, he was just an adorable, genuinely good person and the kind of young boy I'd like my son to be. The friendship that blossomed between Ben and Maggie was enviable and it was so pure, it made my heart hurt to read about. Gramps was also one of my favourite characters, being so open and blunt from the beginning, his relationship with Maggie was lovely to see, although this did slow towards the end and we saw less of him, which was noticeable. Finally, I can't talk about characters without mentioning Ben's older brother Mason. I hated Mason's character at the beginning and grew to love him by the end - but he was a typical YA boy character in that he was stand-offish and didn't like Maggie, then by the end we had seen his softer, lovely side and grew to love him. Whilst this is a very overused character type in YA lit, I still enjoyed him as a character and found him pretty swoonworthy. In general, the Milton family were lovely to read about and whilst Maggie's family were dysfunctional and had their own issues, it was nice to read about Ben's family who were all kind and loving towards one other - it balanced out the two families.
To say much more about the plot or the emotional rollercoaster of the last few chapters would spoil the story, so I will leave it by telling you that this book is a great read. It was entertaining, well-written and had lovable characters. However, if you're tired of the typical YA cliche's, this one probably isn't for you.
This review was originally posted on Blogger's Bookshelf