It's London in the mid-noughties before Facebook, iPhones and ubiquitous wifi.
Zara has just moved to London for her first real job and struggles to find her feet in a big city with no instruction manual. Penelope works night and day in an investment bank with little or no time for love. At twenty-eight she is positively ancient as far as her mother is concerned and the pressure is on for her to settle down as the big 3-0 is looming. Charlie spends night and day with his band who are constantly teetering on the verge of greatness. Richard has relocated to London from his castle in Scotland in search of the one, and Alyx is barely in one place long enough to hold down a relationship let alone think about the future. One? follows the highs and lows of a group of twenty-somethings living in leafy SW4.
A group of twenty-somethings living together and looking for the One. The blurb made me think of a British version of Friends, which would be fine with me. A few laughs and some fun characters to get to know. Well, there are a few chuckles here and there, but the story lacks the heart I was hoping for, and the characters are likable enough but need some development. The book had potential and trimmed down, I think I would've enjoyed it more. As it stands, it's wordy and repetitive, and there is a lot of spoon-feeding the audience. Too many times, we're given explanations for things that have already been covered in dialogue between the characters. Grammatically, the book would be good except for the overuse of ellipses and exclamation points. Either these characters are extremely excitable or they were shouting. I don't really think either was the intention, but that's how it came across to me. As far as ellipses, they do have their place, but not to the extent that they are used here. They're used on nearly every page, and in some instances, there are two or more per page. I'm not sure of the reason behind them, but the result proved to be distracting. Punctuation aside, what it boils down to is that One? just failed to engage me. I actually set it aside several times and came back to it, hoping for a better outcome, but it wasn't to be. I do think this author has potential, and the premise here was good, it just needed a bit of polish on the delivery.
❃❃ARC provided by the author.