Allison Winn Scotch’s "The One That I Want" does pull it’s title from the Grease song of the same name, and I have to say that this was an enjoyable read, full of as true to heart moments as it was a unique way of presenting a supernatural ability to give clarity in a character’s life where she needed to learn the lessons within it.
It was a better book than I’d thought within the spectrum of chick-lit, and I enjoyed it for the fluid plot reveals.
Tilly Farmer is a 32-year old woman who has spent her life taking care of others and creating her ideal life around her. So basically, when she evaluates her life, she thinks she has it made. A husband (Tyler) whom she’s been with forever and trying to create a family with, a father ten years sober, and living within the same town among other considerations, she thinks she has it made.
But an encounter with a former high school friend (Ashley) turns Tilly’s world upside down and inside out, as Ashley grants Tilly an ability to see into the near future. And the future isn’t looking bright, considering her father starts relapsing, her husband seems to be moving out (with what Tilly sees as an uprooting), among other reveals that Tilly wishes she’s never seen. Worse yet is that they start coming true in rapid succession, and suddenly Tilly feels that the life she’s known and wanted is all falling apart.
I liked how Scotch deals with Tilly coming to terms with what’s happening around her and learning that you can’t control everything around you if you want to be happy. Sometimes it’s a matter of letting things happen and go about their own, and focusing on yourself to build the road ahead and find out the truth. I think that was a message that was well put in this book, and it made me appreciate what the author was trying to do through the work.
I will say there were some moments where I thought the pacing was sluggish, but in the places where it hit, it hit with resonating clarity and truth. The only reason this book doesn’t get a 3.5 or 4 star rating for me was because of the times when I couldn’t stand some of the comparisons in the prose. Sometimes it was very good, and others it was cursedly tacky and oddball. Still, the characterization and plot are very nice and worth giving this book a go.
I would recommend this book to those who want to see a character who does ultimately make a transformation and learn from her experiences. Granted, there are times when you may want to give Tilly a good slugging on the head when she does try to control things around her, and "take care" of them as only she could, but then you realize that’s who she was, and ultimately from whom she transforms into someone who finds her happiness.
Overall score: 3/5