*I received a free copy of The One Thing from Disney Hyperion via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *|
Maggie Sanders might be blind, but she won't invite anyone to her pity party. Ever since losing her sight six months ago, Maggie's rebellious streak has taken on a life of its own, culminating with an elaborate school prank. Maggie called it genius. The judge called it illegal.
Now Maggie has a probation officer. But she isn't interested in rehabilitation, not when she's still mourning the loss of her professional-soccer dreams, and furious at her so-called friends, who lost interest in her as soon as she could no longer lead the team to victory.
Then Maggie's whole world is turned upside down. Somehow, incredibly, she can see again. But only one person: Ben, a precocious ten-year-old unlike anyone she's ever met.Ben's life isn't easy, but he doesn't see limits, only possibilities. After awhile, Maggie starts to realize that losing her sight doesn't have to mean losing everything she dreamed of. Even if what she's currently dreaming of is Mason Milton, the magnetic lead singer of Maggie's new favorite band, who just happens to be Ben's brother.
But when she learns the real reason she can see Ben, Maggie must find the courage to face a once-unimaginable future...before she loses everything she has grown to love.
The One Thing is one of the sweetest and most strangely heartbreaking stories I have ever read!
My The One Thing review:
As soon as I started reading The One Thing, I knew this story was different. And so it was, on every level, too. Maggie was a character I didn’t exactly loved at the beginning, but she sure did intrigue me from the start. What could a blind girl have done to actually have a probation officer? I quickly fell completely in love with Maggie though, both because of her sarcastic wit and because while she was kind of trying to wallow in her blindness, sad about not being able to play soccer anymore, she proved that she had a big heart.
When she met Ben, she could see him, and even if he was a ten-year old boy with crutches, she started hanging out with him. Both because he permitted her to see again – at least just around him, and because he had a crush on her and was really funny. As The One Thing moved forward, it proved to be a very deep story, about loss and learning to live with it. About finding that one Thing, which might not be a thing at all, and how difficult it can be to adjust to a new reality. This difficulty was keenly felt both by Maggie and the people close to her.
When I realized that music was also important in The One Thing, I have to admit I happy-dances just a little. Maggie loved this underground indie-band that only had concerts without any advance publicity. Clues could be found on their web-site, and she was combing through post after post to find it. When she found out that lead singer in her favorite band was Ben’s older brother, it made things rather complicated for her, as Mason thought she was faking being blind so that Ben would feel sorry for her and introduce her to Mason…
Beautifully written in first person point of view, past tense, The One Thing was a truly tender and (excuse the pun!) eye-opening story. Maggie developed tremendously as a character, and I loved getting to know her and her strengths as well as her weaknesses. A must-read debut if you have the smallest inkling of like for contemporary young adult stories!
Some of my favorite The one Thing quotes:
I swallowed and let my eyes fall downward. I didn’t know what I was expecting to see, but it surely wasn’t… myself. My blindness had caused me to doubt my own existence, made me believe that I’d evaporated into nothingness – a ghost of a person.
It wasn’t as though I hated dogs, exactly. I’d just prefer they were smaller, calmer, and cleaner. With a long, skinny tail and a meow rather than a bark. That would be the perfect dog.
Now, I was generally opposed to health foods. In my experience, the tasted like either dirt of air – like something nasty or like nothing at all. Also, I figured the preservatives in my diet would keep me alive longer, just by virtue of the fact that they were, well, preservatives.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: