Dystopian Sci-Fi Young Adult

The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He Review

In a climate-change ravaged future, two sisters will stop at nothing to find their way back to one another. Joan He’s dystopian YA novel The Ones We’re Meant to Find is one part climate sci-fi adventure and one part ode to the unshakeable bond of sisterhood, and is bound to remain with you long after the final page.

The year is some time in the not-so-distant future. The place is the world we know, but not as we know it. Most humans (especially those who’ve endeavored to save the planet) have fled what remains of the continents (after sea levels have risen) to eco-cities that hover above the sea in the sky. Here they live protected from mega quakes and a world that has become toxic.

Of course, humans rendered the world uninhabitable — polluting and depleting the environment without regard for future generations. Sound familiar? This world that sisters Cee (marooned on an island) and Kasey (cloistered away in an eco-city) find themselves living in is a world that could await us (a version of it surely will), and He paints a haunting picture.

“None of us live without consequence. Our personal preferences are not truly personal. One person’s needs will deny another’s. Our privileges can harm ourselves and others.” 

Joan He

The driving action of this novel is the question of humanity’s survival. Mega quakes are increasing in frequency. Mere exposure to the air without a special suit can be a death sentence. It’s introverted science-whiz Kasey (who often feels isolated because emotions are somewhat strange to her) who may hold the answer…  if it didn’t go against the world’s code of ethics. Still, Kasey will stake not just her own survival, but humanity’s on her solution and the return of her outgoing sister (her opposite in so many ways). And this marks the core of The Ones We’re Meant to Find, the indelible connection between Cee and Kasey — a bond with the power to overcome oceans and find who we’re meant to be.

Bonus: the sci-fi elements (like the futuristic eco-cities where people, to reduce their footprint, spend much of their time in virtual-reality pods), an enemies-to-lovers romance, and the absolutely gorgeous way He has brought the complexities of this world and its characters to life.


Book: The Ones We’re Meant to Find
Published: Razorbill
Pages: 384
Publication Date: May 4th, 2021
Age Range: 13 – 18
Stars: 4.5/5

Books Forward kindly sent me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion, rating, or the content of my review.

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