This review is written with thanks to Ebury Publishing, Penguin Random House UK and Netgalley for my copy of The One.
matchyourdna.com is a multimillion pound dating site, where by providing just one sample of DNA, you can find “the one” – the person whom your DNA dictates is your ideal life partner. For five users of the site, their match has been found. But when they meet, will their matches be all they had hoped for?
The One follows five different characters who have all found their DNA match on matchyourdna.com: Mandy, Christopher, Jade, Nick and Ellie. These characters have very different lifestyles, and Marrs tells each chapter from the perspective of one of the characters. This gives the reader insight into each character’s life and allows us to understand their thoughts and feelings throughout the match process. However, the frequent alternation of perspective made the beginning of the novel quite confusing for me as I tried to get to grips with the characters, and it was not until about half way through that I felt I really had a sense of what made each person tick. As the novel progressed, the quick changes in perspective also caused the novel to lose momentum in places: the characters switched as their story became interesting! I appreciate that this technique is designed to build tension, but with five characters to rotate, I found the build up a little too slow.
At some point in their lives, most people have used, or know someone who has used a dating site. This makes The One very relevant to the contemporary reader, and the plot is an interesting interpretation of current dating trends. However, despite being in a long term relationship myself, I don’t subscribe to the idea that “the one” is out there for everyone, and this made some aspects of the plot feel unrealistic to me.
As the relationships between the couples develop, there are several twists and turns, and at the point where these are revealed, The One becomes a thrilling rollercoaster ride. This only really happened for me in the final 20% of the novel, and I found the majority of the plot to be fairly mundane. In view of this, I finish The One slightly underwhelmed, with a nagging feeling that whilst it was easy to read, and gripping in places, it could have been so much more.
The One is available from Amazon.