The Ones We’re Meant to Find

Roaring Brook. May 2021. 384p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250258564.
Gr 9 Up–If you tossed Lost, Black Mirror, and The 100 in a blender, you’d pour out something similar to He’s sophomore novel. This science-fiction thriller pits the deep love of a sibling bond against the high stakes of Earth’s impending climate disaster. Stranded on an ominously abandoned island for three years with a strange case of amnesia, Cee sleepwalks every other night closer and closer to the sea—and her sister. She knows Kay is on the other side of the ocean, if only she can find a way to cross it. Kasey lives in an eco-city, one of eight clean energy bastions against the environmental disasters that plague the landlocked territories, leaving her stasis pod only when necessary and living primarily through the virtual reality of her Intraface. While Cee fights for a way free of the island, Kasey grapples with the politics of the sky-built eco-cities and the ranking system that brings refugees in from the toxic land below. At turns whimsical and gut-wrenching, He’s writing drives home the high stakes and unreliability of our narrators, setting the stage for a tense and twisting plot. Her characters are crafted with distinct voices and arcs, and must confront the best and worst of the human condition. Kasey and Cee are Asian, with more diversity included in supporting characters.
VERDICT A first purchase for library collections. He grafts deep moral and ethical questions to a page-turning premise, making this sci-fi standalone an excellent book club selection.

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