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Book Review: ‘The One’ by John Marrs

Hello everyone and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all well. Today, I’m going to be posting my review of John Marrs’ brilliant, unique novel ‘The One’, which was released earlier this week. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this, so thanks so much to Stephenie from Ebury Publishing for that! Keep reading to find out my thoughts…


How far would you go to find THE ONE?
One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.
A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…
A psychological thriller with a difference, this is a truly unique novel which is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.

‘The One’ was released earlier this week (26th January 2017) as an eBook, and will be released as a paperback on 4th May 2017. John Marrs is the author of three novels: ‘The Wronged Sons’ (2013), ‘Welcome To Wherever You Are’ (2015) and ‘The One’ (all of which were originally self-published). He has worked as a freelance journalist in London for many years and has written for many different publications.

‘The One’ is shaping up to be Marrs’ biggest hit yet, and has been called “A compelling, dark read that gets you thinking” (The Sun), “A fantastic read if you enjoy an unpredictable story with twists and turns” (OK! Magazine) and “A thrilling eBook!” (S Magazine, Sunday Express Newspaper). It was previously self-published with the title ‘A Thousand Small Explosions’, and has now been bought by Penguin and re-released.

‘The One’ is an outstanding Psychological Thriller, and I cannot recommend it more. The narrative essentially follows a group of characters who have newly taken the fictional DNA test to find their true love, or “The One”, and all the problems that arise from finding their new matches. It’s a thriller full of twists and turns, and was a truly compelling read.

The thing that originally drew me to reading this novel was the sheer originality of the plot. The blurb fascinated me right from the beginning, and I thought the ideas behind the novel were pure genius. I’ve never read anything quite like this; I love Psychological Thrillers, but I’m much more familiar with Crime-based or “truth-seeking” plots. In this novel, Marrs creates a very interesting ideal for the future – one which is expertly crafted and highly believable.

The narrative is told in the third person, and follows a group of characters: Mandy, Christopher, Jade, Nick and Ellie. This is a fairly large cast of characters, and at first it was slightly difficult to distinguish between each character, and to remember what had happened to them previously. But I soon got used to the structure of the novel, and thought this was a highly effective choice.

I don’t want to give too much away about the characters or their matches here, so I’m only going to go into the very basics. My favourite, in terms of interesting, character was definitely Christopher. He’s dangerous and is a criminal, but finds himself unexpectedly falling in love with his match, and struggles to cope with the changes this has on him. It was really interesting to gain an insight into a criminal life and the motives behind his actions, and I found that I was compelled to keep reading in order to find out what happened to him next.

Mandy has been matched with a man she thinks is perfect for her; but he’s definitely not the man Mandy, or the reader, may first think he is. Jade has been matched with a man who lives on the other side of the world in Australia, and upon visiting him, she finds out some unexpected news. Nick is already in a relationship and takes the test to see if him and his partner really are made for each other; and of course, many difficulties arise from this. (Also I LOVED the descriptions of Birmingham, UK, which is my hometown – why are no books set in Birmingham?!) Ellie is the founder and owner of the Match Your DNA company – but when she finds her own match, things go disastrously wrong.

The Match Your DNA system certainly has its flaws, and not everybody who’s matched has a happy ending. The system brings about many different problems, as the characters now live in a world where it is believed that only your Match can bring you true happiness; and if you decide to be with somebody who isn’t your Match, you are ultimately not going to live the dream life.

Marrs’ writing is truly fantastic. He is able to create believable characters, who are all interesting and relatable, but places them in this highly plausible futuristic world. I loved the fact that, at the end of each chapter, there’s a cliff-hanger – it really sucked me into the world of the book, and I soon became obsessed with reading it. There are so many different twists and turns in this novel, and I found myself in a state of disbelief multiple times whilst reading.

The ending for each character was very different; as some found their happy endings, and some did not. There’s a massive revelation about the Match Your DNA system, which I definitely did not see coming. Everything fits together in the end, and the novel draws into question the themes of truth and beliefs. The novel raises some important questions, and it provoked me to ask myself just how far I would be willing to go to achieve “true happiness”.

Overall, this was an extremely interesting read, and I would highly recommend it to all of you out there who love Thrillers. It’s full of shock and excitement and suspense – all the things you could want from a good Thriller. I can definitely guarantee that you won’t have read anything quite like this before! I truly think that this novel is genius, and I’m definitely going to keep a close eye on Marrs – I’m excited to see what he comes up with next!

Sound good? Click here to purchase your copy!

Happy reading 🙂

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