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The One is a book by author Danielle Allen. The story follows Zoe Jordan, an independent young law student who is struck by a case of cold feet prior to taking the bar exam. Wallowing at a cross roads, Zoe feels like she is suffering a quarter life crisis when a friend's joke turns into a "reality."
Zoe's been approved as a contestant in the reality dating show The One.
Although this independent woman generally has a negative view on dating shows and their portrayal of women, The One serves a purpose as it turns out to be a timely solution to a problem. All she needs to do is stick it out for an episode or two. Unfortunately the contestant, songwriter and musician Julian Winters, speaks to her soul and is all she's ever wanted in a man. If only they hadn't met on a TV show where love is meant to go by script and everything is staged for maximum ratings.
I've only read one other reality dating show romance, so I went in with some idea of what to expect: a lot of manipulation, cattiness, and jealousy. While these were all present and a part of the story, they were fairly mild, and I'm not sure if that was a good or a bad thing for me. I expected serious drama, but what I read was predictable and low on surprises. I pretty much knew what direction the story was headed from the moment the two characters met. And I mean the moment they first met. The One lacked the twists and surprises that would have and should have kept me riveted. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the book was poorly written. Because it was written well enough, it just lacked the sizzle and nuance that a book about dating shows from the point of view of a WOC, should have had.
The characters for me were also mild. Nothing really stood out about them. Julian Winters was sweet and charming and romantic. Zoe was smart, beautiful, poetic, and a feminist at heart. She fit character traits but didn't stand out for me as a memorable character. They were the perfectly matched couple. A bit too much.
My Final Thoughts
So how do I rate this book. It was just okay. If you want an easy read after work on a stressful day this will fill the bill. It isn't a terrible book, but it failed to have any type of impact on me. Because I read so many books I want to be pulled into a story and be captivated by it. The One was good enough for me to give the author's other books a try. I recommend the one to fans of reality TV who would love to see a WOC who actually has a chance in the competition as opposed to being the show's token representation or as a stereotypical joke. I'm giving this 3 out of 5 stars for being just okay.
*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review*
Keep an eye out for tomorrow's guest post from the author of The One!