Friday, July 5, 2013

Becky's View: One by Leigh Ann Kopans

One by Leigh Ann Kopans
♦release date: June 11, 2013
♦paperback, 374 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: One Universe, book 1
♦source: from author for honest review
When having two powers makes you a Super and having none makes you a Normal, having only one makes you a sad half-superpowered freak.

It makes you a One.

Sixteen-year-old Merrin Grey would love to be able to fly – too bad all she can do is hover.

If she could just land an internship at the Biotech Hub, she might finally figure out how to fix herself. She busts her butt in AP Chem and salivates over the Hub’s research on the manifestation of superpowers, all in hopes of boosting her chances.

Then she meets Elias VanDyne, another One, and all her carefully crafted plans fly out the window. Literally. When the two of them touch, their Ones combine to make them fly, and when they’re not soaring over the Nebraska cornfields, they’re busy falling for each other.

Merrin's mad chemistry skills land her a spot on the Hub's internship short list, but as she gets closer to the life she always wanted, she discovers that the Hub’s purpose is more sinister than it has always seemed. Now it’s up to her to decide if it's more important to fly solo, or to save everything - and everyone - she loves.

Review: In the ever-growing world of self-pubbed books, I've been lucky enough (and picky enough) to really find some outstanding gems. One is definitely one of those.  There are things I look for: an author who puts herself through all the same unending and hellish rewrites and edits that a traditionally published author would go through, one that goes through the trouble to get test readers and fellow authors and mentors to read it before letting her work go out into the world, and yes, one that gives us a gorgeous cover to draw us right in.  Yes, I'm shallow like that, but lets face it, lots of us YA readers (not all, of course) are suckers for some pretty cover eye-candy and when an author puts together a cover that looks like it came out of one of the Big 6, it shows she's done her homework as to what sells.  I found all this and a really intriguing synopsis with Leigh Ann Kopans' book and I couldn't wait to read it.

I blew through One; the story is immediately engaging, the main character's voice is easy-going and real, like talking to a friend. She has an inner dialogue that is hilariously honest (her first encounter with the character Leni is a perfect example!).  Merrin is bright and determined, something you know right away by her refusal to give up on the development of her powers. She's being sent to a "normal" high school because her superpower never fully developed and after a few rough first days, she meets Elias and his group. I love that she doesn't immediately fall all over him, but keeps her guard up, and slowly discovers that she can trust and connect with these three new friends.  Another thing I loved were the sibling relationships, both with Merrin and her younger twin brothers and Elias and his two older twin sisters.  I'm always drawn in by close but realistically-written bro and sis ties and in this case, they were actually an integral part of the story, which made it even better.

Superpowers can often strike me as cheesy, especially flying, but I was really happy with the way the author wrote them, almost as an extension of the character.  Merrin has this great inner struggle: she loves flying with Elias but she has an intense need to someday, somehow develop her own powers so that she didn't need to depend on him to fly---I felt this really defined her character and her actions throughout the story and kept this from really revolving solely around a love story, which is refreshing. It gave her character a good dose of stubbornness and back-bone. :)  Still, the love story was good and romantic, but I did find that somewhere in the middle, it was what slowed the pacing for me just a bit.

A great series-starter, full of action, betrayal, discovery, and heroic rescues.  I'm excited to see where this story goes next!
Find Leigh Ann Kopans online: Website  •  Twitter  •  Facebook

Purchase ONE: Amazon  •  BookDepository  •  Indiebound


  1. This is one of my most anticipated books of the year. I'm so happy that it didn't disappoint! Merrin sounds great. I hope I get the opportunity to read this and love it as much as you do :)

  2. The cover is what caught my eye on this one, then i saw what it was about and really truly hoped that you liked it...and you did!!! This SO on my TBR list now. Fan-friggin-tastic! Thank you so much for putting this on my radar!!!

  3. I'm really selective of the self-published books I read nowadays, but One is definitely on my TBR list! Hahaa I actually really love superpowers so hopefully I'll like this :) I'm so glad you liked this !

  4. Wow, I never would have realized that this was self-pubbed just by looking at the cover. You are definitely right when you say that it looks like a cover from the Big 6! I might just have to check this one out. I'm glad the superpowers aspect isn't cheesy like it so often can be. Thanks for the heads up on this one! :)

    Julia @ That Hapa Chick

  5. I've seen this book a lot around goodreads and I got really very interested in this one. And now you made all excited about this book and I cannot wait to read it. :)

  6. I too loved this book and blew through it. It was very well written in my opinion. Great review.

  7. Great review Becky! I love what you said about the author doing rewrites, testing, etc...shows real dedication. I have this book in my TBR pile, looking forward to reading it!

  8. I am in the with the cover. I'm a real sucker for them. I also think its really cool that this is self pub. Its really hard to find good ones that are which is sad because I think the whole self pub thing is awesome.

    Awesome review! Will have to add this one goodreads!