Review: The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis

(I received an early copy of The One Thing from Disney Hyperion in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis follows recently blind Maggie Sanders, a teenager struggling to come to terms with her loss of sight and soccer dreams. Her blindness and her anger toward it fuel a school prank which lands her with a probation officer… whose nephew is Ben Milton.

Whom she can see.

The rest of the book follows Maggie’s relationship with Ben and his older brother, Mason, as well as her healing process. It’s hilarious, angsty, and has a happy ending, so it’s basically everything I look for in a contemporary. I give The One Thing 7/10 stars for the humor, good ol’ teen angst, and happy ending.

Things I Liked:

  • The writing, particularly the humor, is phenomenal. I cannot tell you the amount of times I laughed out loud at Maggie’s sarcasm or Ben’s quirks. In general, it’s important to me that books are funny, whether they’re existential teen crises books or adventurous dystopian novels. The One Thing definitely passed that test.
  • Another thing that’s ridiculously important to me in books is minor characters, and The One Thing delivered on that as well. Maggie’s parents, Ben and Mason’s mom, Clarissa, Samantha, Gramps, Lauren, Sophie… this book had a wonderful, complex cast. I love it when minor characters are just as real and struggle just as much as main characters.
  • My heart has a soft spot for the disabled, so I loved reading a book about blindness. I’ve even had a blind girl in my group before at a special needs camp I volunteer at. I am all about any sort of diverse representation, from race to disabilities.
  • I also loved the way music weaves its way into the story. As a musician, I loved reading about The Loose Cannons, songwriting, and Maggie rediscovering her piano talents.
  • Maggie’s character development is wonderful. She can definitely be a pain, but by the end of the story, she grows so much and I was so proud of her. Her perspective and her attitude improve 110%, and she works on both herself and many of her relationships. Go Maggie!
  • The ending is unexpectedly happy. I was prepared for angst and sadness, and I ended up grinning like a goofball. All’s well that ends well, and The One Thing definitely does.

Things I Didn’t Like:

  • I know I literally just said Maggie’s character growth is spot-on… but let’s go back to the “she can definitely be a pain” part. At times, it was challenging or irritating to read her complaints or struggles. I just wanted to grab her by the shoulders, shake her a bit, and yell at her to just talk to her mom.
  • It’s a little predictable at parts. [Minor spoiler alert] I knew from the description on the back cover that Ben was dead or dying. That just felt a little too obvious.

Favorite Character:

  • Because this book has such strong minor characters, it was hard to pick just one, but I had to go with Ben. He’s quirky, funny, and adorable. What’s not to love?

That’s all for The One Thing! Thanks for reading this review; I hoped you liked it!


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