Title: The One Thing
Author: Marci Lyn Curtis
Release Date: September 8th, 2015
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I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Disney-Hyperion.
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 infuriatingly attractive 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 tells us the story of teenager Maggie who has been blind for six months due to a complication with meningitis. She is struggling to come to terms with her blindness and to adapt to her new way of living. Maggie soon meets ten year old Ben who has spina bifida but is so full of life that she is quickly drawn to his infectious personality. But there is also the small matter of her being able to see him and a small area surrounding him. She doesn't know if she's somehow getting her sight back or if she's just going crazy but either way she loves spending time with Ben. She is also surprised to learn that his brother, Mason, is the lead singer of her favourite band.
I really liked Maggie. She has a very sarcastic humour which I related to well. She has spent her life working towards her dream of being a professional soccer player, following in her mother's footsteps, and having to give up on that has left her feeling a bit lost. She's lost her friends and her college ambitions and doesn't quite know what to do with herself. I liked that she didn't let people get away with being asses and told them exactly what she thought of them. It was easy to respect her in those situations.
Ben was undoubtedly the highlight of the book. He is so adorable! He doesn't let his disability get the better of him and is just so nice to everyone. He's a little bit quirky but has a good heart and tries to make everyone around him happy. Everyone should have a friend like Ben!
Mason is a bit of a love/hate character for me. He was incredibly moody at the beginning and was so quick to judge Maggie without taking the time to listen or talk to her. I found it annoying that she was still so infatuated by him at those times when he was just being an idiot. I did love his protectiveness over Ben though. It was really sweet how he looked out for his brother.
Despite the fact Mason is the love interest, the romance isn't an overbearing element of the story which I liked. It was slow and often in the background to allow other things to take precedence. I'm glad about that as it was much more interesting to see Maggie's friendships with Ben and Clarissa develop as well as see her begin to embrace her blindness.
I didn't really get the point of Maggie being able to see Ben. I won't spoil the reasons for it but I did guess it very early on. We find out why she can see him but it's not really explained in great detail. I think the book would have worked perfectly without this element as Maggie and her relationships with the other characters were so great. I don't think she needed to have seen anybody at any point; I think she could just have easily made those relationships and come to terms with her blindness without the added element of her being able to see Ben.
Overall, I did enjoy reading this book but a couple of elements did bother me. Ben and Maggie are both interesting characters to read about but the added, almost supernatural, element didn't really work for me. I did enjoy Maggie's development throughout the book and I was pleased with the way things ended.