Saturday 7 September 2019

Book Review: The One by Kaneana May

The One
Kaneana May

Publisher: Harper Collins Australia 
Imprint: Mira
Publication date: 17th June 2019
Genre: Romance
Pages: 405
Format read: Paperback
Source: Courtesy of the publisher

On the wrong side of thirty, Bonnie Yates wants a happily ever after. Problem is, she keeps choosing the wrong guys. When an ex returns to town with a fiance in tow, history and temptation collide. Unable to shake her inappropriate feelings Bonnie flees, becoming an unlikely contestant on popular dating show The One. Will she find what she's looking for?

Working behind the scenes, Darcy Reed is a driven young producer, dealing with a tyrant of a boss. Despite being surrounded by love at work, her own love-life with long-term boyfriend Drew is floundering. Producing a flawless season is her best chance at a promotion. But with the unrelenting demands of the show, how will she save their relationship while making that shot?

Penelope Baker has relocated to a small seaside town to hide away with her secrets and nurse a broken heart. But with The One beaming across the nation's televisions, she can't seem to quite escape the life she left behind...

I will start by saying I’m a bit of a Bachelor tragic. I like getting right into the drama of the show and trying to guess who will be going home each night, checking Twitter every few minutes to see what other viewers are thinking, which contestants everyone likes or dislikes. We viewers have very distinct opinions about everything that is said and done on the show.

I originally rated the book 4.5 stars because, for me, there wasn’t enough viewer participation in the story. However over the next few weeks I kept talking about The One to anyone within earshot and especially while I was watching episodes of The Bachelor. Which made me think this is definitely 5 star worthy.

The One follows three women during the screening of a reality TV series where an eligible bachelor dates a number of carefully chosen women, eliminating one each episode until he is left with ‘the one’ he chooses to spend his life with.
Darcy is a producer on the show, Bonnie a contestant and Penelope a viewer.

I loved all the behind the scenes producing of the show and all the drama between the contestants. It was exactly as I imagined it would be.

This is a cute and funny RomCom that highlights the ups and downs of love and the strain of long distance relationships and shows all we really want is our own happily ever after.

Kaneana May touches on topics of miscarriage, IVF and cancer with deep sensitivity.
The three main characters were very relatable. Darcy hides behind her work rather than taking the time to re-evaluate her relationship with boyfriend Drew. Bonnie’s anxiety and self loathing cause her to run rather than stand up for herself. Penelope shuts herself off from people as she has already suffered too much pain and loss.

The One is a romantic novel that reminds us that love may be where you least expect it. A story that had me laughing out loud and surreptitiously trying to hide my tears as I read the last few pages in a busy coffee shop.

I am eagerly looking forward to seeing what Kaneana May comes up with next.


My rating  5/5

This review is part of the Book Lover Book Review Aussie author challenge
and book #29 in the Australian Women Writers challenge

Photo credit: Harper Collins
Kaneana May studied television production at university, graduating with first-class honours in screenwriting. She went on to work in television, including roles as a script assistant on All Saints, a storyliner on Headland and a scriptwriter on Home and Away. Since becoming a mother, Kaneana has turned her attention to fiction writing. Kaneana loves to read—mostly YA, romance and women's fiction—and also loves watching TV and films. Writing, boot camp, coffee, chocolate and champagne are just some of her favourite things. Kaneana lives on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales with her husband and three children.




  1. I'll admit, I chuckled when you mentioned being Bachelor fan. While I'm not necessarily a reality show viewer, this review makes this sound like a book I might enjoy! Also, I notice if I wait a day or so with assigning a "final" review star that it will shift (usually down). It makes me happy to see that happens to others too!

  2. Thanks so much for your lovely review. It makes me really happy to know that you were thinking about The One after you finished reading it. I really appreciate you posting about it and recommending to others. Happy reading!