Leigh Ann Kopans
Paperback/ebook: 374 pages
Publish Date: June 11, 2013
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 is 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.
You can find our more about Leigh Ann Kopans and her writing by visiting her website.
We follow the story of Merrin Grey, a One, with an ability to float but a desire to one day fly. The novel is almost like an uncensored diary into Merrin’s thoughts and feelings, and her journey to discover where she fits in.
In many ways Mer is your typical sixteen-year-old. She’s self-absorbed, bratty, and melodramatic at times. But she is also passionate, loyal, and fiercely determined. The voice in this is just so authentic I found myself screaming at the pages when Mer would do something impulsive, but also getting butterflies along with her when her feelings for Elias start to grow. Ms. Kopans really nails the wide range of teenage emotions and makes Mer believable.
The relationship between Mer and Elias is sweet and full of first love emotions and insecurities. I didn’t find that it was the “insta-love” you see sometimes when two people look at each other and suddenly fall in love. Mer is actually the opposite. She ignores Elias’s flirtations at first. She’s guarded because of her past experience with a boy at Superior High, and her own insecurities not only about being a One, but the typical issues most teenage girls wrestle with. It takes her some time to give in to her feelings and start to trust Elias. So when she does say the three magical words, I believe her easily. Plus, they are sixteen. A few weeks in the world of a teen is like years as an adult.
Elias grows more complex as the story progresses. There is so much more to him than just his Oneness. You really understand who he is through the relationship he shares with his parents, and the bond he shares with his sisters. While his original intentions towards Merrin may not have been as pure as the reader hopes, he is easily forgiven when you learn the “why” behind his actions.
The supporting characters are complex, each having a tie of their own to the hidden mission at the Hub. I enjoyed discovering the past each of the Ones shared, although didn’t necessarily remember. I especially liked the sibling relationships between Mer, Max and Michael, as well as Elias, Nora, and Lia. Leni and Daniel are loyal friends, and while we do get a few bits and pieces about who they are I definitely want more. I’m guessing we will see each of these characters again.
Ms. Kopans consistently weaves in mystery and surprises to keep you on your toes. The links between the characters go much deeper than expected. As a reader you will keep guessing as to how much each person knows about what’s really going on at the Hub. You will agonize with Mer about who to trust, you will feel her world crumble when she finally learns the truth, and you will cheer on her strength and determination when she won’t give up hope.
One is a great foundation to a world where Supers and Normals try to coexist and trust each other. Adding Ones to the mix makes it all that much more intriguing. Ms. Kopans has set the stage for an epic take down of those who will sacrifice anything in the name of scientific advancement. I look forward to Mer, Elias, and crew continuing their journey.