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One on One

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  840 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
Perhaps once in a decade, a book or movie truly captures the experience of self-discovery. Set in a small Maine town, this bittersweet love story brings teenagers to vivid life in all their rage, vulnerability, intelligence, and promise. By turns searing and subtle, tragic and triumphant, One on One is a genuinely dazzling tour de force.
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published March 1st 1993 by Dutton Books (first published 1993)
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Lee Ann
Jul 26, 2011 Lee Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is considered adult fiction, but has one of the best ever young adult love stories in it set against a backdrop of high school basketball. I read it one spring just after it came out and both the NCAA and the NBA championships were over and I was in basketball withdrawal. The hero is dyslexic and has a crazy mixed up family of a loveable sort and the heroine is one of the most complex and screwed up - think Raeanne from "My So-Called Life" but wayyyy more messed up and way more, well, pierc ...more
Jun 22, 2008 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Among my favorite books of all time; one that lives on the "comfort reads" shelf. When I lost my copy, I got another one in hardcover.
Hallie Winchell
Sep 19, 2011 Hallie Winchell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pivotal coming of age novel about the way relationships in a teen's life can be life changing -- for better & for worse. The characters are strong & significantly well developed. Tabitha King is a very good author, who builds a world that entrances the reader immediately, drawing the audience into a place where we don't even question the need to suspend any disbelief: we just run with her narrative and don't look back. I believe this is an interesting novel for teens or young adults, a ...more
Darling Cruella
Oct 25, 2011 Darling Cruella rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite reads. It's beautiful and haunting with the imagery that King uses in depicting how two mismatched kids fall in love against a backdrop of basketball, emotional woes, abuse, and high school. The characters are wonderfully rendered in all their imperfections and the love story is so bittersweet that the ending will leave you with a permanent ache in your heart. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to read something that's not perfect by any means, but definitely ...more
Autumn Doughton
Sep 02, 2008 Autumn Doughton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first picked this book up, I was jostled by the tense that it was written in, the artistic, gritty descriptions, and the strangely different female protagonist. About 40 pages in, I found the flow of the writing and I was completely taken by the story.
It was brilliant and I'm so glad that I discovered how talented MRS. King is!
Donna Burtwistle-Popplewell
I am so grateful for Sue D. for recommending this novel to me. As my book club was discussing a short story by Stephen King, we stumbled upon the fact that his wife was also a writer. Tabitha King has compiled an amazing story here. Would I have ever picked up a 440-page novel about basketball? Not likely...but I am so happy that I did. Obviously, this book is about far more than basketball. It is about two young high school players: Sam Styles and Deani "The Mutant". Both seniors, Sam is the re ...more
Mixed feeling. The story drags towards the end. Love the hero, sympathetic to the heroine. However, they're wrong for each other. No, as a matter of fact she's wrong for him. But I'm not going to complain about that. Mismatch couples happen all the time, in books and real life.

Bad things happen to them. A lot. Sometimes over-the-top bad. Everything in this book is extreme, the personality of characters, the mood swings, the language. Not a single kid in the school (or in other schools for that m
part time librarian
Nov 19, 2013 part time librarian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Read this years ago and still have it, and Yes, I read this first because S.King is and always will be my favorite author but, after I started this book then I forgot all about him and got sucked into this story. It is really a great book and I so enjoyed the tough girl in the book. So I now have all of Tabitha's books, ha ha! she needs to write more!!
Venner-johnston, Anisa
This book was fantastic. I loved this book and it was very good. This book, in my opinion deserves a sequel to show the life of Deanie and Sam. To see if they had a family or if they truly did make it. I would recommend this book to everyone in the world. Very good work here indeed
Pam Nugent
May 07, 2011 Pam Nugent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favourite books. I just love the interplay between the family members and that time in your life going from high school to real life.
Feb 24, 2009 Pamela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is heartbreakingly well written and contains the truest, most beautiful depiction of teenage relationships I've ever read (plus some of the best love scenes).
C.I. DeMann
Oct 19, 2016 C.I. DeMann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I came for the basketball, but I stayed for the coming-of-age. One of the better flawed romances I've ever read. There are some seriously damaged people in this book, but they find a certain peace in spite of it all. In addition to the great romance and coming of age, this is also a brilliant look at life in a small time. The erotic scenes are damn impressive as well. Very explicit and very well done.
Nov 15, 2014 Jd rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so disappointing that I decided to write my first review. I see absolutely no reason for this book to be 485 pages long. There were so many parts that were inconsequential to plot or character development. I'm no prude, but the sex scenes were not only gratuitous, but there were way too many. When I picked this book up, I didn't realize I'd be reading 50 Shades of Basketball.
I played basketball in high school (high school basketball in Maine is the back drop in the book), and the
Aug 06, 2014 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Basketball superstar of a State Champion winning team decides to make sure the girls' team also wins a State Title but ends up lusting over (and loving) a girl called "The Mutant." Deannie, "The Mutant," comes from an awful family. Her step-dad verbally, physically, and sexually abuses her, her mother is in a drug-addled stupor, and she barely has enough to eat. She doesn't trust that Sam actually might like her, nose ring, face chains, tattoos, and all.

This book made me uncomfortable, but I th
Jeff Curtis
Feb 28, 2013 Jeff Curtis rated it really liked it
Shelves: shelve-b-5
This was the first book I read from Tabitha King. I liked it. I would have changed the ending a little bit. I would have had Sam being o.k. from his jump off the beam in the mill. Maybe an injury that he would heal from after a few weeks at the most. Not permanently leaving him unable to play basketball. I don't feel it was necessary to the story line for Sam to become injured like that.

I'm glad that Sam and Deanie are still together at the end. I also like the fact that Tony got his in the end.
John Wood
Oct 31, 2013 John Wood rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
For years I have been curious about Tabitha King and finally read one of her books. "One on One" is a great book with well defined characters and an interesting story. It is an edgy teen romance by two star highschool basketball players who seem to have nothing but basketball in common. He is a fairly straight-laced greasemonkey and she is a potsmoking freak with a shaved head and a toxic homelife. AS we experience the interplay of the teens in the school, we witness a realistic interplay of dru ...more
Shawn Leslie Dixon
Nov 09, 2014 Shawn Leslie Dixon rated it really liked it
Starting into this story I hadn't any idea of what kind of story it was.
It is a love story... It's usually not my thing.
BUT, this book started out with a healthy string of quality writing and dick jokes, a combination that always intrigues me. The characters were amazingly rounded, realistic and troubling. I had a great time reading this book.
From the beginning I was endeared to continue, the chance of dread compelling in a wonderfully handled sense.
The relationships were complex and lively from
May 26, 2011 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book in high school, and I read it several times. I recently purchased a copy and finished it again. I will agree with some other reviewers and say that the story does drag a bit at the end. But I. LOVE. THIS. BOOK! I love Deanie, and how real and raw she is. As the story unfolds, you can understand exactly why she is the way she is, and why she makes the (poor) decisions she makes. And Sam is a classic hero- honorable and moral but with this own flaws and weaknesses that make ...more
Jennifer Day
Jun 02, 2012 Jennifer Day rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book and realized it was written by Stephen King's wife and read it for no other reason than that. I fell deeply in love with this story of a boy and a girl who on the outside couldn't be more different. The love and acceptance they find in each other is inspiring. The story is multi-faceted and very well written. I found myself finished with it much faster than I realized because the story is fast paced and there are a few different points in the novel where I just couldn't stop re ...more
Apr 24, 2012 Liz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You probably never heard of Tabitha King, but she has a great series for those who like a little more soap opera and fewer monsters. No horror -- at least just the regular human kind, nothing supernatural. This book comes near the end of a series about three generations of a rural town in Maine. I like the book Pearl the best, but I re-read this one periodically too. A violent love story between teen basketball players who've got a few problems... and as a bonus for King addicts, their team play ...more
Jul 08, 2012 Nancy rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book. What a powerful description of teen feelings and the absolute horror that some children live with every day. Because of my age, I don't have contact with adolescents, and although these same problems have always been present in our lives, the prevalence has increased over the past fifty years. Ms. King has brought the characters of Deanie & Sam to life on the page. She makes us a part of the development of their relationship. I will certainly read more of Tabitha King's ...more
Sherry Chiger
Nov 09, 2012 Sherry Chiger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tabitha King's previous (and sadly, subsequent) novels only hinted at the wealth of insight and evocation that has made One on One among my favorite books. The characters are fully developed and believable; the events in which they are caught up and/or instigate come across as natural outcomes of their nature and their milieu. And in Deanie, the female protagonist, King has created one of the most memorable and realistic adolescents in fiction, one I want to spend more time with and watch come o ...more
Stephanie "Jedigal"
I don't know how I missed adding this to my 'read' list! I thought this was fabulous. I hadn't realized that Mrs. King was also an author, and what a great introduction to her. Frankly I thought her fiction writing was up there with, maybe even surpassing her husband's best (of what portion of his work I have read). She brings characters and events to life in a thorough, realistic, heart-rending gripping way that really impressed me. Highly recommend!
Jun 18, 2013 Emma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Just a tad too much swearing for my particular tastes, but I know the Kings like their language Fruity and so I forgive... I liked this coming of age story,not a drop of saccharin in this taut tale about love and baskets... I left this wishing the protaganists well , but my particular penchant for supporting Characters was also fulfilled to the Max...When characterisation is this rich, it could not fail to be a winner!
Sam is the high school basketball star, Deannie is the troubled girl who is also a basketball star. And Deannie has a horrible mother, molesting mother's boyfriend, has manged to make herself look like a freak and Sam wants her in every way; no matter how many times she turns him down. I read this book when it first came out and couldn't put it down, it was a very tense and different book. Worth the read. If I could give it 3 1/2 stars I would.
Aug 08, 2014 Amanda rated it liked it
I didn't read about this book enough before starting, and had the mistaken impression it was going to be light reading. On the contrary - it's dense writing and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone with a low tolerance for sex, drugs, child abuse, violence, swearing, weird slang, or detailed descriptions of basketball games. If you can handle those things, though, the character development and arc is unmatched.
Jun 05, 2014 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read this book a while back I did not remember that I'd read it when I joined Goodreads. I really enjoyed this book. My only problem with it was that I was sure that it was at least in part written by Stephen. I'd read another book by Tabitha and this one did not seem to have the same rhythm as the other. This one had the rhythm of Stephen's writing. Guess we'll never know the answer to that question.
May 02, 2012 Goldingurl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pleasantly surprised reading this book, i wasn't sure what i would think of it but was blown out of the water when i did read it. I really did love this story I can't say exactly it was that made me love it so i just know that i do. I didn't think i would care about teenagers playing basketball but Mrs King makes it hard not to the characters you fall in love with are always the ones you never suspect to.
Jul 22, 2012 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After initially rating my first Tabitha King Survivor rather low, I had to boost the star count as I continue to think about the book and her characters live on. I decided to give this one a safe three stars and I will have to ruminate on this one to see if it goes down or up in my estimation with time.
Jun 14, 2015 Charlotte rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-ya
This book was so brutal and interesting to consider in the light of YA that is all the rage right now. Tabitha King pulls zero punches, even when you really really wish she would. This was mesmerizing, but a tough read.
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Tabitha King (née Tabitha Jane Spruce) is an American author, the wife of author Stephen King and the mother of authors Joe Hill and Owen King (her daughter is Naomi King).

Tabitha King was born Tabitha Jane-Frances Spruce in Old Town, Maine. She was born to Raymond George and Sarah Jane White Spruce and is one of eight children.

Her primary education took place at St. Mary’s Grammar in Old Town, fr
More about Tabitha King...

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