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The Only Ones

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  526 Ratings  ·  143 Reviews
Like the other children who have journeyed to the village of Xibalba, Martin Maple faces an awful truth. He was forgotten. When everyone else in the world disappeared one afternoon, these children were the only ones left behind. There's Darla, who drives a monster truck; Felix, who used string and wood to rebuild the internet; Lane, who crafts elaborate contraptions for li ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,969)
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Aug 25, 2015 Miriam added it
Shelves: unfinished, younger
I really liked the opening setting: a boy lives in almost complete isolation with his father, who works obsessively on a mysterious and complex machine. What does it do? Why are they hiding?

Unfortunately my interest waned as the boy explored the mainland, and once he encountered the lame kids in their lame settlement it dropped off completely. The MC is bland (understandable, but not interesting) and everyone else was on some spectrum of unpleasant and 2-D.

Stopping at page 75. I am a bit curiou
Aug 05, 2012 Laurel rated it it was amazing
I don't know why it didn't get more buzz. I devoured it this week, and was kind of shellshocked by how odd and amazing it was. For those kids who've read the Hunger Games, but aren't really ready for full-on YA romancey stuff, this might be the ideal follow-up. It isn't as violent, but it walks that same edge of violence/ puberty/ isolation/ dystopia. And there's so much to puzzle over. It's like a cross between Collins and L'Engle, maybe, with some Lord of the Flies thrown in, but more hope.
May 15, 2016 Ömer rated it really liked it
Jan 12, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, j, not-graphic, sci-fi
Well, that came together quite nicely.

I’ve come to the conclusion that there are two types of readers: those who like a straightforward story firmly based in the rules of standard plotting and those who enjoy feeling off-balance as they puzzle through strange pieces of information parceled out in bits. I don’t just mean the challenge of solving a mystery or the surprise of a twist ending, but of having no real idea just what the book is about or where it’s going, of having to figure out the very
Oct 24, 2012 Nick rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fantasy
I liked most of this book until I realized what a mind-bender the resolution was turning out to be, at which point I began to be annoyed. Like with certain time-travel stories, the resolution hinges on a cause-and-effect loop. That's dangerous, and in this case it didn't feel like the author had figured out the implications consistently. Among other things, the initial community of survivors has too limited a skill set to actually survive, as described, and by the end it is getting better, but n ...more
Kelly Butcher
Jan 06, 2012 Kelly Butcher rated it liked it
Ok. I slept on this book and I still don't understand it. I can't wrap my head around how that machine worked. I am going to give it to one of the most intellectual students over the weekend and make him read it. He will love it- LOVE it, I know. Then, he can explain it to me on Monday and I will stop scratching my head.

Other than my complete lack of understanding of the theory of relativity...

This is a great coming of age story- it is not often we get a boy main character who we watch grow up
4.5 stars

I love kid books. They're often whimsical, and cute, and perfect. This was whimsical, confusing, and perfect.

First of all Martin is one of my favorite characters of all time. There's something so refreshing about his innocent honesty and lack of humor. He's smart, but not a know it all. He's imaginative, but not insane. He's just so cute I want to hug him and have only good things happen to him for forever.

The other characters were cool and wacky in their own little kid way. I liked th
Allison (The Allure of Books)
Jan 15, 2012 Allison (The Allure of Books) rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, dystopian
The characters in The Only Ones by Aaron Starmer have to face things that would scare the crap out of anyone. What would you do if everyone around you suddenly disappeared? I don’t mean just the people you know. I mean everyone. Martin Maple has always lived a mostly solitary life – so it takes him awhile to fully understand the significance of being completely alone. When he begins his travels to the only place left in the world with living people, he has no idea what is coming.

Before I go any
Sep 11, 2012 Landon rated it it was amazing
I came across this book first by browsing through the goodreads giveaways a while back. I didn't win, but it remained on my "to read" list. When I was in the library last, it was displayed on one of the tables and I remembered the cover and snagged it up with the rest of the books. I am so glad that I did. A book that definitely has some "Lord of the Flies" like moments as we follow the story of a few children who are left alone in the world. The book is very intriguing and to me was definitely ...more
Sep 05, 2011 Karissa rated it really liked it
I got an advanced reading copy of this book from the publisher. I loved the synopsis of the book and was excited to read it. It was an excellent middle grade post-apocalyptic read full of mystery.

Martin Maple lives with his dad on a small island. Him and his dad work on building a machine when it is not summer; when it is summer they deal with the various tourists that show up. That is until one day Martin's dad sails away and is never seen again...and the tourists stop coming. After living a co
Whitney Whiting
Oct 27, 2012 Whitney Whiting rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Martin is a young boy who, by no fault of his own, is left completely alone to try to understand the world. He reads everything he can get his hands on, and then ventures out into the real world, only to discover that he is far more alone than he thought.
He juggles meeting new and very different people, solving a problem that hasn't been defined and leading a group of teens that have settled into a "Lord of the Flies" situation that Martin is most definately not prepared for.

I dither between t
Wilde Sky
A group of children are the only ones left after everyone else in the world suddenly disappears.

The basic idea / plot for this book was reasonable (and may have worked very well as a short story) but the pace was simply too slow and the writing / characters were flat.
This is the kind of book I love. Without giving too much away, I'll just say I love time travel books and mystery books. It took me a little while to process the end, but it was good, so damn good.

I do wonder about Nigel. What was the deal with the Nigel character? There were a couple of holes in the story, but mostly while reading you're so absorbed that you just don't care. You do get a sort of ouroborus feel at the end when trying to sort everything out, but that's part of the fun, right?

I kn
Dec 21, 2011 Megan rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
I liked the premise, once I had finished and realized what the premise was, but overall, I did not find this book to be a particularly enjoyable read. The characters felt shallow–I knew some basic characteristics about all of them, but nothing really about what they felt or thought. I disliked almost all of them, and found it confusing when the narrative made it clear that I was meant to be sympathizing with some of them. Points that I felt were interesting (like the tame animals for instance) w ...more
Jan 27, 2015 Alethia rated it really liked it
It was... nice. Really nice. It was confusing at the end with time travel and what machine. I didn't really understand the concepts of the inner makings and science, but I did get that hope is a powerful thing. It can be used against someone, or used to empower them without their knowing. 'But what of Henry? I still don't understand!' my mind shouts out, full of questions. "Well I can't give you any answers, because I don't understand it myself. Did he just want the machine for himself? If so, w ...more
It is referred to as "The Day"---that being the day when everyone on earth disappeared--with the exception of a few dozen children. Somehow the children who are left behind come together to form a community that they name Xibalba. When Martin Maple leaves his isolated island home and joins the community, things start to change and the hope of reuniting with the lost loved ones is ignited.

With a description like that--how could I not be drawn to pick up this book? The novel cover provides little
Jun 06, 2015 Lauren rated it it was amazing
This is the most mind-boggling, bizzare, genius book I have ever read. It is an amazing idea, and masterfully executed. It's the kind of complex book you have to read twice to understand, and even then you don't quite get it. It's fun to go back and see all the clues you missed the first time.
I am still a little confused about Nigel, and what really happened to the Diggers, but the rest of the book was good enough that I don't even really care. I guess I'll just leave those mysteries to my day-
Oct 02, 2014 Alonsol rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sally Spratt
Oct 26, 2015 Sally Spratt rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Okay, so first I finished this book and I still don't understand what happened. But after reading several other reviews of the book, I'm not the only one. This book is a cross between "Lord of the Flies" and a time traveling book with Stephen King type character. However, at first I thought it was about aliens.

I read the e-book and my library had it shelved in the section for 1st - 2nd grade books. I thought it was a chapter book which is why I checked it out. So, that being said this is not fo
Jeremy Hurd-McKenney
Parts of this were really great, while other parts were mind numbingly boring. I found myself not really connecting with the protagonist, and many of the ancillary characters remained underdeveloped, left merely to operate as stereotypes. I did enjoy the Lord of the Flies vibe.
Feb 23, 2014 Sharlene rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
I have been reading all the books that my children had out from the library, as I don't have time to go and get any for myself. I thought this book was interesting. I liked the slow pace of the beginning of the book. The characters are well-developed. There is enough suspense to keep you reading and wondering where everyone went. I love the way the machine works and some of the kids solutions to their new adult-free world. Some things were a bit weird, and I'm still not sure that I loved the end ...more
May 09, 2016 Victoria rated it did not like it
It was good, up until the ending when it was resolved how the machine worked.

(view spoiler)

The sad part is, it was hard to put the book down because it was written in a very intriguing, enigmatic matter up un
Oct 27, 2014 Melinasepa rated it liked it
Well, I have few things to say in all about this book.

It was a wonderful, cute, less-serious short read, and I enjoyed it. I usually rate a book three stars when i enjoyed the book and concept, just that, there wasn't that... umph. The writing was O.K. Nothing special. It's like when you read a Veronica Roth or a Sarah J. Maas or a Suzanne Collins and so many more.... and their writing it just so, fantastic. It has the umph.

Overall, the plot was very interesting, unpredictable, (I guessed the
Mar 31, 2016 James rated it it was ok
at a total loss reading all the "Lord of the Flies" and "Stephen King-esque" comparisons or this book... can't people come up with their own comparison instead of trotting out hardly shared understandings/opinions of other books... still, the book was quite dull for me... i didn't care about any character and had no interest in where the plot was meandering to, and rather ponderously at that... i was expecting something, well anything, really, that gave meaning to the actions of the kids... neve ...more
Shanshad Whelan
Oct 12, 2011 Shanshad Whelan rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 02, 2012 Allie rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
I feel a little guilty giving this book only three stars because I enjoyed my time reading the book immensely, but hear me out. The basis of the plot of The Only Ones is as follows: our main character, Martin Maple, is a strange little boy with a suuuuuper weird dad who lives on an island (never explicitly named, but I am assuming off the coast of Maine, seeing as there is a lot of cold-water fishing, etc.) that is mostly uninhabited, except for the people who come visit in the summer months (ap ...more
Martin and his father are the only inhabitants of the island, except for the few summer people who visit each year. They spend their time fishing, gardening and working on the machine. Martin doesn't know what the machine does, only that his father says it's their only hope. One day Martin's father announces he's leaving to search for the last piece of the machine and will return by his 11th birthday. His birthday comes and goes and his father does not return. By the time his 13th birthday is ap ...more
May 14, 2013 Laura rated it it was ok
Very bizarre. I loved the cover. It was haunting and intense. The initial reading of the premise from the back cover got me excited because it sounded like it was right up my alley. (Hello lost society and mysterious machines), but the story didn't live up to its potential. I was a little bit confused throughout the story because I couldn't figure out where it was going. But I was patient and willing to believe everything would be wrapped up in the end. I mean, it could have just been one of tho ...more
Apr 26, 2012 Sara rated it liked it
Shelves: f, ya, mash
Going in, I was expecting a certain amount of weirdness. After all, the quotation on the cover says that it is “unique” and “captivating”. I was, I suppose, anticipating something along the lines of Garth Nix’s Mister Monday.

Therefore, I think you’ll understand me when I complain that it wasn’t weird enough. Those expectations, the slightly dreamlike atmosphere, and the italicized chapter openers all combined to convince me that there’d be, at the end, a bizarre revelation and a wonderfully exci
Oct 13, 2011 Susan rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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