Thursday, September 1, 2016

ARC Review: The Ones by Daniel Sweren-Becker

The Ones
Author: Daniel Sweren-Becker
Series: The Ones (Book 1)
Publication: Imprint (September 6, 2016)

Description: We are not all created equal.

Seventeen-year-old Cody and her boyfriend, James, were two of the lucky ones randomly selected before birth to receive genetic engineering.

Known as the Ones, this one percent of the population is healthy, beautiful, and talented…and to some that's not fair. Mounting fear and jealousy of the Ones’ success leads to the creation of the Equality Movement, which quickly gains enough political traction to demote Cody, James, and others like them to second-class citizens.

Cody knows even before the brick smashes through her window that it's going to be bad. As their school, the government, and even family and friends turn against them, Cody begins to believe they have no other choice but to protect their own. She draws closer to a group of radical Ones led by the passionate and fevered Kai, and James begins to question just how far she is willing to go for the cause…

Themes of justice, discrimination and terrorism mix with actual science to create a frightening version of our near future in this pulse-pounding thriller.

My Thoughts: THE ONES is a fast-paced science fiction dystopia that will leave the reader with lots to think about. The United States National Institute of Health instituted a project to correct the genetics of one of every ten babies born in the United States. Babies were chosen at random and now those first babies are in college. Public sentiment has changed toward the project. Now the public is convinced that those children who make up one percent of the population have an unfair advantage. The Supreme Court agrees.

This story is told from the view point of two high school seniors. Cody is from a lower class family and her boyfriend James is the son of a scientist. They react differently to the court ruling and the various things that the Ones are then forced to do. They need to wear identification badges. They are removed from their sports teams and other extra-curricular activities. They are forced to take part in humiliating "public service" projects.

When a list is leaked giving the names and addresses of all Ones, Cody is surprised that her name is not on it. Her mother had just told her that she was a One without it being true. This changes Cody's view of herself but she is still opposed to the things that are being done to the Ones. She organizes a peaceful protest that is taken over by more radical Ones and as a result she is taken away by the government and tortured for information that she does not have.

When she is rescued by James's father, she has become radicalized. She has lost all her faith in her government and lost hope for a sane response. She comes to believe that violence is the only possible solution. She is especially concerned with doing violence to those who had tortured her. James who began as a much more moderate person gradually finds himself becoming more extreme too.

This was an interesting story that was so plausible that it was scary. Fans of science fiction and fans of dystopias with enjoy this one.

Favorite Quote:
"Unfair advantages?" Cody repeated. "That's nothing new. What about being born into a rich family? Being delivered by good doctors in a fancy hospital? Having a parent at home who has time to read to you? Pretty nice, I bet. Should the court make laws so that none of that is unfair?"
I got this ARC from Macmillan. You can buy your copy here.

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