One by One by Ruth Ware | Book Review [spoiler-free]


A snowy vacation on the slopes with a warm chalet waiting for you at the end of each day? Heaven, right? That's what a group of savvy tech workers think when they all arrive in the French Alps for a weeklong company retreat. There to greet them are Danny and Erin, the cutesy chef and a girl who has more baggage on her shoulders than she can carry. The vacationers settle in, but tensions begin to arise when talk of selling the company becomes a a clash between the team. In the middle of all the arguing is Liz, a normal girl who ended up with shares in the company after investing the money her Grandmother left her. When a tragic avalanche leaves the group cut off from civilization, they start having to work together in a bid to survive the storm. But what they don't realize is, the most dangerous thing is inside with them.. a murderer. 

I have a complicated relationship with Ruth Ware books. I've read all of her works, and seem to give them a glowing 5 star rating or a 'meh' 3 stars. There's no middle-ground. Sadly, One by One fell short for me. But before we delve into why that is, let's start with the positives.

The atmosphere of this thriller was exquisite. I'm always a hoe for a closed-off setting in thrillers, and this gave me that tenfold. I felt the chill in the air, I ached for the warmth that the characters so desperately needed, and I felt closed-off from the world like them. I kept expecting my phone to have no reception. Ruth Ware always does this well in her books, whether it's the cinematic location of her books, or the creepy atmosphere, they always feel suffocating. This has probably been my favourite setting of hers.

Now, the negatives. The plot-twists in this book were idiotic. I guessed the big reveal way before the end, and that's just something you never ever want in a thriller. Erin and Liz are the two characters we mainly focus on during the story, and because of that I felt like some of the side characters were very one-note. I didn't really care when they were in danger as I wasn't sure.. well.. which one it was. I get that a big character list was needed as at heart this is a 'who done it' book, but I think Ware could've done a better job at introducing them. 

All in all, I think this would be a very forgettable thriller if it weren't for who wrote it. I hated how cleanly Ware wrapped everything up, as it felt too clean cut for a thriller. One by One wasn't necessarily bad, just.. disappointing. 

Is this one your TBR?

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