Book Reviews

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

I could not stop reading The Ones We’re Meant to Find. I mean it. I read 60% in one sitting. And then I finished it the next day. The Ones We’re Meant to Find is thrilling and thought provoking. I’d say that the first 2/3 is pure thrill, mystery, and the best kind of confusion. Whereas the last 1/3 still has these revelations and twists, but also this thought provoking SF quality. Keep reading this book review to hear my ranting!


Cee awoke on an abandoned island three years ago. With no idea of how she was marooned, she only has a rickety house, an old android, and a single memory: she has a sister, and Cee needs to find her.

STEM prodigy Kasey wants escape from the science and home she once trusted. The eco-cities—Earth’s last unpolluted place—are meant to be sanctuary for those committed to planetary protection, but they’re populated by people willing to do anything for refuge, even lie. Now, she’ll have to decide if she’s ready to use science to help humanity, even though it failed the people who mattered most.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: terminal illness, suicide, violence (including choking), death, death of parent (off page), vomiting, large scale natural disasters and mass casualties, some gore

I finished The Ones We’re Meant to Find and immediately needed to re-read it. Joan He is an autobuy author for me after her stunning debut and her second book only cements my love for her. It’s rare I find the need to dive back into a world, into a story, immediately after finishing but I do. It’s like watching those great movies that capture you completely. The Ones We’re Meant to Find is five stars for pure thrills and thought provoking quality. And I want to go back to the beginning and unravel it all over again with a fine toothed comb.

SF and Environmental Destruction

He’s world building is spectacular. It’s a world of mass climate change and environmental destruction. A world where we have to live parts of it in holoworlds for the future of our world. Where we are haunted by the sins and mistakes of our past. A time where robots are common place and the technology we’ve seen in SF books comes alive. Not only that, but He subtly and slowly brings a thoughtful-ness to this world. We are forced to examine the destruction we have wrought. Furthermore, we must contemplate our own future.

I can’t say more without spoiling the true masterpiece of The Ones We’re Meant to Find. The ways in which He asks us if we are entitled to a place in the future. To a world which our histories are destroyed. And how do we become worthy of this? Where are the lines of ethics in this new and dangerous world? Will we evolve to a world where we lose touch with what makes us “us”? With the pieces of humanity we deem as necessary today? Who deserves to be saved, at the end of the day?

Characters and Thrills

Even more emotional, The Ones We’re Meant to Find has one of the best sister relationships. I went into this book having heard the keyword of sisters, and I am just so thoroughly impressed. He exposes the differences between them, the ways we feel compared and lackluster, but also the strong love between them. In this dual POV book, their memories and emotions are exposed to us. He’s second book examines the people who come into our lives like pieces of puzzles we never knew.

What begins as subtle tension and mystery, propels readers through The Ones We’re Meant to Find until we’re wrapped up in a tornado. By halfway through, you won’t be able to stop reading. Prepare to cancel your plans and just snuggle deeper into your chair. I cannot stress enough that around this time, my notes for this book were just pure screaming.


The Ones We’re Meant to Find is a book that I’ll need a while to process. It also demands not only to be read, but to be re-read. It is a complex book about loss and struggling with people’s decisions we do not understand even as we love them. True love is defined by free choices and open hands. But family complicates it all. It’s a book about the future, agency, and protection. Please read this book, especially if you love science fiction and or sisters. Find The Ones We’re Meant to Find on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite SF thriller?

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4 thoughts on “Review: The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He

  1. I think this might be my favorite as well! I’m about a quarter of the way finished and Joan He is pretty much on my favorite authors of all time list by now. Her writing is so beautiful; I’m excited to talk to people about this book.

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