THE ONES by Daniel Sweren-Becker


From the "Ones" series, volume 1
Age Range: 14 - 18
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In a near-future America, intolerance against genetically engineered citizens takes a violent turn.

For the past 20 years, 1 percent of all babies born in America have been part of a National Institutes of Health study. Their genomes were manipulated to keep some of their parents’ traits and remove others. Known as the Ones and for some reason identically engineered to be “tall, sturdy athletes with perfect facial features,” they are now coming of age—and having a much bigger impact on society than expected. So society rebels against the Ones, and Congress passes the Equality Act. For Cody and her boyfriend, James, both Ones and both white, it means becoming second-class citizens. At least it does for James—in a nonsensical plot twist, Cody is revealed to not be a One. Yet this doesn't protect her when the peaceful protest they run at their school goes very wrong. The only question becomes what the Ones are willing to do to stand up for their rights and how the government will respond. Not that readers will care all that much, given the flat, lifeless characterization and tell-don't-show plotting. Simplistic logic doesn't come close to exploring the meaty ethical dilemma at the core of the novel. (Among other “unfair advantages” that Cody points out are not being legislated against, she includes “having a parent at home who has time to read to you” but not race.)

The interesting concept is utterly foiled by pedestrian writing. (Dystopian thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-250-08314-2
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Imprint
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2016


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