“I’m not a fan of the bouquet.”
*I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Seventeen-year-old Maggie Sanders is blind. She lost her sight after battling an extreme bout of Meningitis seven months ago. She went from soccer superstar of her high school to committing an illegal prank at her new high school (for the blind). Now she has a probation officer. But her whole world changes when she meets her probation officer’s nephew, ten-year-old Ben. Ben has spina bifida, rendering his legs paralyzed and useless. He gets around using crutches. And Maggie can see him – actually see him, and anything within a small radius of him. Ben is overeager to befriend Maggie, and Maggie is more than happy to hang around Ben if it means she can have her sight back, even limited and temporary as it is. Plus, how could she resist Ben’s adorable wit and charm? Not to mention his mysterious older brother who just happens to be the lead singer of her favorite emerging local band. But when Maggie discovers the reason why she can see Ben, everything comes crashing down all around her once again, and she is forced to reevaluate the future she stopped believing in months ago.
I was very hesitant going into this book. I thought, how am I supposed to read a 300+ page book about a blind girl? Kind of harsh, probably, but I just couldn’t imagine how I was supposed to read about her world and surroundings when she couldn’t even see them herself. Lucky for me, she hangs around Ben a lot, so we do get to read a lot about the magic of her sight returning (albeit momentarily). Plus, it was interesting to read how she got around and did things when she was totally blind, and I tried to imagine myself doing the same things blind, and it was overwhelming and scary. I have a new-found appreciation for sightless people.
I pretty much guessed right off the bat why Maggie could see Ben, and I was correct. That didn’t take away from the story, though. It was still really interesting to read about her life, her struggles, and her thoughts. Maggie was an amazing narrator. She was humorous and tough, and even thought she detested receiving pity, I couldn’t help but get enormous feels and wish I could crush her in a hug of sympathy.
Ben was undoubtedly my favorite character in the novel. He’s only ten, but he’s exactly who I would want as a best friend. He’s smart, funny, charming, kind, and just a good person all-around. Ben’s older brother seemed like an douchecanoe at first, but he sounded gorgeous and talented and eventually made me swoon. I shipped him and Maggie so hard.
The writing was fantastic. The One Thing is Marci Lyn Curtis’ debut novel and it is spectacular. I read a lot of books (a lot lot) and I can see the difference between good writers and great writers. Curtis falls into the great category. She’s a great storyteller with a fabulous imagination. Her words were very relatable – I highlighted a handful of quotes both touching and outright hilarious. I hope to see more novels published in the future!
I wasn’t immediately hooked by the story, but the further I read, the more I liked the story. It was heartwarming and cute, with a few moments guaranteed to make you tear up a little. The One Thing is a great YA contemporary that I encourage you all to pick up.
Favorite Quote(s): “This woman could ruin a morning like Hitler could ruin a mustache.”
“The rough waters of the Estrogen Ocean were not easily navigable.”
“After all, circumstances don’t change us. They reveal us.”
*I read and reviewed and ARC edition of the novel – if anything is misquoted in comparison to the published version, please let me know.