Author: John Marrs
Genre: Thriller, Fiction
Publication Date: May 4, 2017
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
How far would you go to find The One?
A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner—the one you’re genetically made for.
That’s the promise made by Match Your DNA. A decade ago, the company announced that they had found the gene that pairs each of us with our soul mate. Since then, millions of people around the world have been matched. But the discovery has its downsides: test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships and upended the traditional ideas of dating, romance and love.
Now five very different people have received the notification that they’ve been “Matched.” They’re each about to meet their one true love. But “happily ever after” isn’t guaranteed for everyone. Because even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking than others…
The One is unlike anything I’ve ever read before, and it blew me away. John Marrs takes us through the ups and downs of five very different individuals who have just been DNA Matched with their soulmates:
- Jade, who has just traveled halfway across the world to meet her Match and soon realizes their online relationship may have skirted over some crucial details.
- Nick, who is quite comfortable and secure with his long-time girlfriend, only to be blindsided to find out she’s not his soulmate … his soulmate is a man named Alexander.
- Ellie, who has built up walls around her heart and strict rules about dating as a byproduct of her busy life as a CEO, but she just might be willing to take the leap for true love.
- Mandy, who feels like she’s watching everyone else find love and happiness while they elude her … especially when she tracks down her Match only to be just in time to attend his memorial service.
- Christopher, who revels in being a psychopath and serial killer and is thrilled to up the stakes on his double life when his Match comes into the picture, but he isn’t quite expecting the impact she ends up having on him.
Nick’s journey was by far my favorite, but I became so invested in all of the characters’ storylines, even the ones I didn’t particularly care for at the beginning or the ones who made decisions along the way that I didn’t agree with. Ellie, in particular, truly grew on me, and with Christopher, I couldn’t believe Marrs had me nodding in sympathy for a serial killer at certain points. We cycle between perspectives each chapter, with plenty of those chapters ending in bombshells that made me eager to get back to a certain character’s point of view … only to be distracted by someone else’s compelling arc in between. Marrs did an excellent job of caging all of his characters into impossible situations that I don’t envy one bit, and it really makes you empathize with their struggles.
The One has all the hallmarks that draw me to thrillers in the first place: short, impactful chapters, characters with secrets and hidden motives, and plenty of twists and turns, but it’s not a thriller in the traditional sense; in fact, I’d be hard-pressed to call it anything more than a light thriller overall. But I couldn’t put the book down by the end, and I was blindsided so many times that I eventually stopped trying to guess what was going to happen and just let it sweep me along for a wild ride.
Marrs makes you think by highlighting so many uniquely problematic scenarios that could arise if DNA-Matched soulmates were actually the norm. As I mentioned before, each character is faced with decisions that range from difficult to impossible … what would you do for true love?
This was such a creative novel about the nuances of the concept of soulmates, and I’m so glad I picked it up. I can’t wait to read more from John Marrs in the future!