Jennifer Cahill

One? is the first book in a contemporary fiction trilogy, looking at finding ‘the one’ in the modern world and how relationship models are shifting in the most innovative period in living history. The story starts in 2005, and spans ten years following the characters from the challenges of their twenties into their thirties. 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.

Welcome back everyone, I hope you enjoyed reading about my first book box last week. This week I’m back to an author requested review, and I never know what I’m going to get with these ones!

Writing Style

I really wasn’t a fan of the way Jennifer wrote this one. So much so, I wrote to her letting her know the issues I was having with her writing style. My main problem was that it was too stilted and formal for how people really talk.

Not to mention, having the characters thoughts written out word for word rather than summarised or hinted at kept interrupting the flow of the story. But what made the flow worse for me was that we’d change character perspectives with no break to signify there’s a change.

Most books that I read that change perspective will have say a line going between the paragraphs, or one of those cute little images (say, a leaf). Or at the very least, a much bigger gap between the paragraphs. This didn’t have that, so it was just suddenly, I was following someone else.

This one is probably very minor if you’re British. But being an Aussie I don’t know the postcode system over there and Jennifer was using the postcodes as a way to signify where we were landmark wise in the story. I was left going “what is SW4? What is EC1?” because to me they mean nothing. It feels like me saying to you “o you should totally check out the Ferris Wheel at 3008!”

Seriously, how many of you know what I’m talking about right there?

Minor problem if you’re British, bit of a waste of space if it’s not explained; which it’s not but Jennifer has said she’s open to feedback and will be writing the sequel slower so it’s less stream of thought and more structured so it’s not difficult to read which is awesome! Being her first book, I think she’s done a pretty good job if my only problems are things an editor can fix!

My Thoughts

I already mentioned that all my problems with this book stem from a lack of editing. Other than that, I had some fun reading a very Sex in the City style book set in the early 2000s rather than the 90s. Given I was born in the 90s, this made it much more relatable to me.

Something else I really liked was the way Jennifer openly discussed the pressures women feel to get married, have kids but still hold a highly successful full-time career. We might be getting to really seeing that part (possibly?) but she’s hinted at it and we see and hear it in all of Penelope’s thoughts.

I especially connected with this because I personally have started to feel the pressure because I don’t want kids, but I do want my career. And I hate that people do that. Getting married, having kids and having a career are all very personal choices that every individual should be able to make without feeling judged. So, I love that this theme is starting to come through, whether it was intentional or not I’m not sure.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing the third instalment of The Time for Alexander series, Son of the Moon by Jennifer Macaire.


Don’t forget to let me know what you think in the comments below!

This review contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link I, or the author, will receive a small commission from the sale. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Other reviews you may be interested in

Leave a comment

6 Replies to “One? – Jennifer Cahill”

  1. Great review, always appreciate honesty about a book’s issues to a reader. I have this on my list, I was meant to get to it last month but I had so many eARCs thrown my way last minute. It’ll be interesting to read the different post codes, might have google maps up so I can see out of curiosity where they’re at!

    1. That will definitely help! Although Jennifer has mentioned that it only seems to be the Aussies who have that issue? Maybe it’s because we don’t really use post codes for anything and we’re so far away we don’t know theirs lol

  2. I always hate it if a book is really enjoyable but the writing style makes it really hard to follow or annoys you in certain ways. Thank you for this great review, honesty is always appreciated!

    1. Thank you 🙂 I’m hoping book two will be better and I’ve offered to be a beta reader to help smooth out some of those issues for international readers which Jennifer has accepted! Yay!

  3. This is a great review to read for anyone who is new to author request for reviews. I am very new to this and doing it for the first time over the summer and really am not at all sure what either author expects of me, to be honest… or how to handle it if I don’t like the book? So hearing how you communicated with the author is a big help. Thank you!

    1. I always approach the author first if I have a problem with the book that’s big enough for me to put it in my review. I also send them a copy of my review before hand so they can be prepared and we can openly discuss what I didn’t like. I think that’s really important to ensure we keep our relationships with authors open and honest (because how else are we going to get ARCs?) without being too negative. In this case I offered to help by being a beta reader so some of those things an international reader would need could be included. Personally, if an author takes your feedback badly (assuming you’ve been nice, polite and constructive) then it’s not worth working with them. Every author I’ve worked with has been amazing at taking on feedback and understanding that everyone sees and takes away different things when they read a book 🙂 wow that was a long reply! Sorry!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

Cookies Collected!

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. To find out more check out my Privacy Policy. By continuing you accept these terms.