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

TitleThe Ones We’re Meant to Find

By: Joan He


Pages: 384

Published: May 4th, 2021

By: Roaring Brook

Genre: YA – Science Fiction – Dystopia – Mystery

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One of the most twisty, surprising, engaging page-turner YAs you’ll read this year—We Were Liars meets Black Mirror, with a dash of Studio Ghibli.

Cee has been trapped on an abandoned island for three years without any recollection of how she arrived, or memories from her life prior. All she knows is that somewhere out there, beyond the horizon, she has a sister named Kay, and it’s up to Cee to cross the ocean and find her.

In a world apart, 16-year-old STEM prodigy Kasey Mizuhara lives in an eco-city built for people who protected the planet―and now need protecting from it. With natural disasters on the rise due to climate change, eco-cities provide clean air, water, and shelter. Their residents, in exchange, must spend at least a third of their time in stasis pods, conducting business virtually whenever possible to reduce their environmental footprint. While Kasey, an introvert and loner, doesn’t mind the lifestyle, her sister Celia hated it. Popular and lovable, Celia much preferred the outside world. But no one could have predicted that Celia would take a boat out to sea, never to return.

Now it’s been three months since Celia’s disappearance, and Kasey has given up hope. Logic says that her sister must be dead. But nevertheless, she decides to retrace Celia’s last steps. Where they’ll lead her, she does not know. Her sister was full of secrets. But Kasey has a secret of her own.

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“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.”

I really wanted to love this book and I fervently thought I would, but my reading was full of confusion and it wasn’t entirely what I expected, so far from wanting to give a negative review I’ll talk a lot about some things that just aren’t for me and some complications I had reading it. Certainly, the concept of the book is great, and the plot twist is very good and unexpected, I also liked some settings and scenes. But to be honest the whole book wasn’t for me.


It’s been three months since Celia’s disappearance, and Kasey has given up hope. Logic says that her sister must be dead. But nevertheless, she decides to retrace Celia’s last steps. Where they’ll lead her, she does not know. Her sister was full of secrets. But Kasey has a secret of her own.

It’s never my intention, nor will it be to trash a book with my reviews, so this one will be shorter than usual, I simply don’t have many positive things to say, but I prefer to go to the point of what I don’t like and leave it there. Of course, it’s not my intention that you don’t read the book either, this is my personal experience and I think it’s also super valid to share it.

SO CONFUSED. This book is very confusing from moment one, which isn’t something that’s always negative, because I’ve read very confusing books in the beginning that ended up being amazing, but this time I didn’t stop being confused…. EVER. I feel like the book tries so hard to be super unique, out of the box, intricate, and super clever, but it ends up being just plain confusing and messy. I really see what the author wanted to do, I get it, it just didn’t work for me. First of all, I didn’t know it would be so heavy on the sci-fi and dystopia part, elements I like, but this time I didn’t expect them, this is totally my fault I should have checked before, but I thought it would be more of a contemporary story of two sistersThe sister story is there, and it’s well thought out, I liked it, but it wasn’t enough to love this book.

For those who know more or less what I usually read, you’ll know that heavy sci-fi books aren’t usually my cup of tea, even less when there are new terms, and a technological construction in general, SO confusing to understand, maybe this book is too smart for my brain or something lol, I just think it wasn’t necessary SO MANY new terms and ideas for situations that weren’t intended to be focused on that, in fact, this kind of details are positive when you put them in the right measure and at the right time, here technology is literally everything and it’s everywhere, so no matter if it’s a deep moment with emotions there’s always some techno in the middle that has nothing to do with it, and it’s super annoying since it cuts the intention of the scene itself. I don’t know, I just didn’t like this factor in the book it was exhausting to read for me, it makes it even denser and heavy if that’s even possible.

On the other hand, I do want to highlight some constructions within the world, as I believe that their scientific weight and idea behind them could even be used in real life at some point in time.

I’m really surprised and not in the best way, that there’s almost no world development here, we have some ideas there and here, but nothing specific about how humans came to live there, what else is out there, I don’t know, I need more or just something at least, you can’t just throw out some ideas and pretend that we create everything else ourselves and fill in the blanks, you knowThe ideas of interfaces and those super technological things, even if I mentioned that they’re too annoying at times, they can work and the idea itself isn’t bad.

Cee and Kasey as main characters didn’t do much for me, I liked Cee’s story more as such, and I didn’t believe for a moment in Kasey, she’s a character that doesn’t resonate with me at all and I got bored with her chapters, at least I felt that with Cee something was happening. On the other hand, once you know the truth about their stories and everything starts to take better shape, you understand better why these characters are built in this way, their actions and so on, but this happens in like 80% of the book or more, so I can’t feel totally happy about it when I come from not enjoying the first part at all, it’s unfair if just one twist changed my whole concept of a book, I know I didn’t like it, I’m 100% sure of it, but I can say that maybe the final twist will work for other people and even lead you to re-read the book.

We Were Liars & Black Mirror are two of my favorite things, so it’s a shame I didn’t like this book since it’s a bit of a mush up between the two, but hey, I guess it’s just one of those moments when the book isn’t for youI thought several times about putting it down, but I thought I would regret doing so because it was honestly one of my most anticipated books and I wanted to at least have a very clear idea of what I thought of it so I pushed myself to read it to the end. Talking about that ending is VERY WEIRD, I understand again what it’s about, but at the same time, I think it doesn’t even make sense, it seems like another chapter that’s just there, so honestly, I’m still a little upset, I’m sure I’ll get over it, but OMG, I wanted to love this book so bad!

Would I recommend this book? Honestly, no. Obviously, you can tell by now that I didn’t like it very much, the plot is a good idea, the execution on the other hand is another story, the characters aren’t strong or interesting enough to hook me, the world-building isn’t even there, the sci-fi elements are too heavy for me (I think this factor is super personal, though), the romance I didn’t even want to mention and the plot-twist was simply not powerful enough to carry the whole plot over its shoulder. It just wasn’t my kind of book and I’m sorry to have to bring you this kind of review, but it’s also my commitment, to be honest with you. I hope that even though it’s not my cup of tea, you’ll enjoy it if you decide to read it, even with all this said I’ll be giving the author another chance in the future, I feel she deserves another chance from me, so I can find out if it was just this book or maybe it’s her style that doesn’t resonate with me.


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31 thoughts on “Book Review | The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He 🌊

  1. I’m sorry to read that this one didn’t work for you Sofii 🥺 I still absolutely LOVED reading your review and seeing what didn’t work for you. I personally love the unique sci-fi/dystopias and that’s what keeps on keeping me interested about this book (also the sister dynamic). Though I’ll be honest, all the hype is keeping me from reading this one right away. But, perhaps I’ll get to it at some point this year? Hope your having a great reading month Sofii 💕

    Liked by 2 people

    • I feel sorry too, I wanted to love it so bad!!!! 🥺 But well, that can happen. You’re so sweet, thank you SO much for taking the time to read the review. ❤️ I’m glad to hear you’re interested in reading it, I know the hype can be a little scary, I’ve been there, but if you enjoy usually strong sci-fi and tech elements, I’m sure you can adjust better with the reading, and the dynamic between sisters is always a great addition. Thanks, lovely! Hope you’re having a wonderful month 🥰🥰🥰🥰

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you SO much! No doubt, the promise of the book and the idea is super intriguing and unique, but the lack of several factors and the over-exploitation of others made it so dense, it’s not my kind of book but if you get to read it I really hope you enjoy it ❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    • Totally, it was actually one of my biggest anticipations of the year, so I’m still kind of sad that I didn’t love it, but I understand that this is something that can happen and there will be books in the future that will be for me. 🤞🏻✨
      Thank you so much, beautiful! You’re so sweet, I hope you have a wonderful day and if you do get to read the book, I hope you enjoy it ❤️❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. oh no sofii, i’m terribly sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy the ones we’re meant to find! i personally loved it but you raised some valid points i agree with! truly the turning point of the book was quite late and the confusion at the start irksome, but i overlooked that for the themes and twist! great review sofii and i hope you find better reads! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I also feel SO bad for not loving it!!!!! 😭 Still super committed to giving the author another chance, I feel like maybe another type of story might resonate with me more.☺️ It really makes me happy that you enjoyed it, I know my opinion this time is kind of unpopular, and I also understand that it has a lot of factors with incredible potential. 👏🏻
      Thank you SO much for taking the time to comment, beautiful, have a lovely day! ❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      • no you are allowed to feel what you feel! ❤️ but i would recommend giving joan he another chance with her debut descendant of the crane as the writing style, storyline and all feel vastly different! i know of friends who loved DOTC but not TOWMTF so hopefully you will too if you get the chance! 💕

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I can relate to your review so much. This book was truly confusing and the heavy and dystopia mix was a little too much for me as well, but I enjoyed some parts of it (the character relationships and interactions mostly) and even found it somewhat thought-provoking. But it’s just way too messy and unnecessarily complicated, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m SO glad I’m not alone with my thoughts, it’s certainly a pretty heavy book in some aspects, I’m still glad you were able to enjoy parts of the story, I think a lot of this idea has great potential, even if it didn’t work for me, I can totally see that 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your review is PERFECT because I felt exactly the same way!! I was confused from beginning to end. I also didn’t expect it to be as sci-fi heavy as it was and that’s not something I particularly like reading about so the confusion never stopped. I think my expectations were too high and even the bond between the sisters wasn’t what I expected. I didn’t even care much for the characters by the end and simply wanted to finish the book. There are so many questions that were not answered and I think the story lacked emotions and feelings. Everything felt robotic. You articulated wonderfully how I felt! 😔💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • OMG, you don’t know how relieved I am that we both have similar thoughts on this book, I thought I would be completely alone with my opinion since it’s super unpopular. 🥺🥺🥺
      I think my expectations were also too high and that somehow didn’t help either, it’s a shame I really LOVE the cover, it’s the best part of the book for me. 😅
      Still, I’m sorry you didn’t get to enjoy it and I hope you find yourself with amazing reads this month. ❤️❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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