YOUR ONE & ONLY
BY ADRIANNE FINLAY
Adrianne Finlay’s debut novel YOUR ONE AND ONLY was a thought provoking science fiction romp through a very real dystopian landscape. I found myself overwhelmed by the world Finlay created, and intrigued by the questions she brought up within the pages.
Three-hundred years in the future the human race has been eradicated by the Slow Plague, we’ve been replaced by clones. Perfectly crafted to behave a certain way, do a certain job and look a certain way, every seven years nine sets of ten are born and no more. Reproduction is done through science, names are numerical designations, patterns are repeated over and over again to form a perfect society. But, there is something wrong. Copies of copies slowly degrade…and along the way, things are lost. The story focuses on two characters a clone called Althea-310 and a human that the clones created as an experiment, Jack. Jack’s different looks and odd behaviors set him apart in the community, and violent reactions begin to happen with both Jack and the clones. There is also a bit of fascination from some of the clones, including an Althea clone who never quite felt like she was exactly like her sisters. This forces the community to view Jack as a failed experiment.
The writing of Your One and Only was spectacular, Finlay knows how to craft a sentence and deliver an idea. It was an enjoyable read and I found myself drawn into her unique way of portraying a scene. I think Finlay’s idea will make you think and also feed your need for romance and angst. I did find some of the ideas a bit shallow and contradictory at times, because the science background was not quite there. Again good ideas, but there was only a surface delivery of the world. There was a lot of distinction between clones and the human Jack, and other human experiments. Which were technically clones of pre-existing humans from the past, so they too were clones, just not as modified as the nine clones. There was also contradictory issues, the eradication of music which was supposedly taken from the existing clones, but it was mentioned that they couldn’t narrow down exactly what it was, or what gene held music. Things like that which makes this a read to enjoy but don’t think too hard about it kind of book. This is usually typical in the young adult genre, more focus on the emotions and not the science. Yet, with this one, it’s not a huge focus on the relationship either, even though the synopsis hints that this is a romance. The main focus of this book is more about what makes us human and how the sanctity of family and relationships effect us as humans.
Overall, I enjoyed this book, but I didn’t get the science I wanted out of it or the titillating romance that would have compensated. The ending was also a little rushed, the scenes just brushed over with an abstract HEA hinted at. This book could have been so much more. I would recommend reading this one for the idea. It was certainly a good idea and I look forward to reading more from this author.
For the Parents: There is sexual activity in this book, but it is nothing graphic or explicit. Clones have “Pairing” ceremonies where they engage in what is assumed to be sex, but not discussed in detail. Jack the main character participates in these pairing ceremonies, and has more of a love reaction because of it, but the clones treat it as more of an entertaining act, instead of an act of love. Recommended age range 14+
Your One & Only by Adrianne FinlayPublished by HMH Books for Young Readers on February 6th 2018
Source: Amazon Vine
Jack is a walking fossil. The only human among a sea of clones. It’s been hundreds of years since humanity died off in the slow plague, leaving the clones behind to carry on human existence. Over time they’ve perfected their genes, moving further away from the imperfections of humanity. But if they really are perfect, why did they create Jack?
While Jack longs for acceptance, Althea-310 struggles with the feeling that she’s different from her sisters. Her fascination with Jack doesn’t help. As Althea and Jack’s connection grows stronger, so does the threat to their lives. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?
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