The Special Ones

The Special Ones

eBook - 2017
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Esther is one of the Special Ones: four young spiritual guides who live in a remote farmhouse under the protection of a mysterious cult leader. He watches them around the clock, ready to punish them if they forget who they are--and all the while, broadcasting their lives to eager followers on the outside. Esther knows that if she stops being Special, he will "renew" her. Nobody knows what happens to the Special Ones who are taken away from the farm for renewal, but Esther fears the worst. Like an actor caught up in an endless play, she must keep up the performance if she wants to survive long enough to escape.
Publisher: Harcourt Childrens Books,, 2017
ISBN: 9781328699039
Call Number: EBOOK AXIS 360
Characteristics: text file,rda
1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Baker & Taylor Axis 360


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The book I read for November was The Special Ones by Em Bailey. I would classify this book as a suspenseful thriller suitable for young adults, due to mature themes such as mentions of graphic violence and strong language. The plot of the book follows a young teenager named Esther, who is living in isolation from the rest of society under the strict rules of an individual known only as 'Him'. However, horrifying secrets lay under her everyday life, and Esther must play her part to perfection whilst uncovering the truth. Personally, I would rate this novel a solid 4.5/5! The premise was very interesting and while there were some discrepancies in identifying which character's POV it was, overall the book was an enthralling read and hard to put down.
(Reviewed by Tracie Z. for the CloverdaleTeenBookReviewProject)

Em Bailey's novel, The Special Ones, is very intriguing read with a bizarre twist to the story. It is a psychological thriller that talks of a cult whose insane leader kidnaps those who he thinks should be a member of the "Special Ones". The Esther, one of the Special Ones, knows that she isn't a Special One, but bides her time, acting like one. Lacking the supposed wisdom that she should have acquired, when instated as a Special One, she acts, pretends, abiding by her rule book attempting to survive long enough to escape. This is an amazing read for readers who enjoy reading psychological thrillers.
(Reviewed by A.Y. for the CloverdaleTeenBookReviewProject)

Dec 07, 2017

A group of four young people are dubbed "The Special Ones" by an unseen figure who has, ahem, "collected" (kidnapped) them from home and convinced them to believe they are reincarnations of previous Specials. Living off the land and giving daily advice to their followers/worshipers, they soon settle into their new... um, I mean, remember their previous routines and follow them to the letter. Whenever a Special gets too... unpredictable, they are "renewed", meaning a new Special One is collected to take their place. No one really wonders what happens to the previous renewals, though. No one, that is, except the current incarnation of "Esther". She wonders where they go. She also wonders why she has never been renewed. What makes her "special" among the Specials? She's about to find out.

A suspenseful read, especially because it seems all-too-plausible. The sudden change in POV somewhere around chapter 16 is jarring at first, but ultimately I see how it seems the best choice for the story.

bandblair Sep 05, 2017

This story had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. The writing and characters were believable. The first half of the book was definitely more interesting than the second. I think I would have preferred just the single POV.


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