Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Ones We Choose” as Want to Read:
The Ones We Choose
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Ones We Choose

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  2,161 ratings  ·  365 reviews
Lisa Genova meets 23andMe in this exploration of the genetic and emotional ties that bind, as debut author Julie Clark delivers a compelling read about a young boy desperate to find his place in this world, a mother coming to terms with her own past, and the healing power of forgiveness.

The powerful forces of science and family collide when geneticist Paige Robson finds he
Paperback, 359 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by Gallery Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,161 ratings  ·  365 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Ones We Choose
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
5 stars to The Ones We Choose, a story of family and DNA! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

I know it seems like I’ve been doling out the fives lately, but this book is more than worthy. It has it all and offers so many fresh perspectives, I have to give it the full five.

When I saw that The Ones We Choose is compared to Lisa Genova’s work, I had to read it. I adored the DNA tidbits thrown in throughout the novel, and I absorbed as much as I could. Unlike Genova, Julie Clark is not a doctor; simply an author who immacu
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

”If loneliness were a color, it would be the deep purple of my eight-year-old’s shirt as he walks solitary laps around the school track.

If I hadn’t already wanted to read this by it being promoted as “Lisa Genova meets 23andMe in this exploration of the genetic and emotional ties that bind,” I would have been pulled into this story by the picture that painted. Promising writing, emotional connection and a story involving love, family, how our DNA shapes the people we are and who we become. But
Elyse  Walters
May 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Audiobook.... narrated by Saskia Maarleveld

Reviews are high.....both to read and to listen to. Yet for me — there’s much that didn’t feel right about this ‘novel’ as a ‘whole’. I’m sure I would have felt the same had I read this rather than listened to it.
Saskia Maarleveld did an excellent job ‘reading’ the book.
My problem is the crafting - writing - delivery - and feeling bombarded with too many topics, issues, relationship drama, emotional traumas, and science information quickies...( short
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 / 5

Reading The Ones We Choose by Julie Clark was like a punch to the heart for me. I don't know if I have ever both laughed and cried so much while reading a book before. What is the analogy? This book took my heart and ripped it out of my chest... I think that's it! I was literally a puddle of emotions after reading this one. Ok sorry, I'll stop now. There is just a lot of loss in the book, and it was a very sad but very moving experience for me as a reader.

Even though this book is v
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: family, fiction, life, grief
Wow. This book threw me for an emotional loop I wasn’t expecting. I thought it sounded like an interesting story, but I didn’t plan to relate to it so much and certainly didn’t know I would learn so much about genetics and DNA.

Paige Robson is a geneticist with an 8-year old son, Miles, whom she conceived with an anonymous sperm donor. She loves her son fiercely, and he is aware of how he was conceived. But Paige hasn’t ever really considered how having a blank paternal history will affect Miles
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
I enjoyed this book by debut author Julie Clark, a 3* rating from me means that I felt it was a good book for me and I would definitely rate this a 3 and ½ if the system allowed.

The blurb for the book tells a lot about the plot, maybe too much. At any rate we know that Paige is a geneticist who decided to conceive a child via a sperm donor. Paige has a significant other, Liam, and they are very connected, in love and starting to talk about the future. Because Paige had a father who was never the
Sherri Thacker
I received this arc from the publisher through NetGalley. If I’m being honest here, i fell in love with the cover first. There’s a lot of medical terms used, talk about DNA testing, genetics, etc but I was pleasantly surprised that it held my attention throughout. I loved all the characters in the book and i loved the story as well. I really enjoyed the book and I can’t believe it’s the author’s debut novel. You can tell a lot of research went into this book. Very nicely done!
Abandoned by her father as a child, geneticist (Paige) turns to science for an explanation.

While she was growing up, Paige's father was a "serial leaver" teaching Paige to turn off her feelings and stop caring. How did this affect her later in life? Will facing her fears of trust and intimacy help her understand her father's actions, as well as her own, better?

Paige's sister, Rose, "believes in unlimited second chances" while Paige "believe[s] in natural consequences."

Why are Rose, and their m
Lara Lillibridge
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure: Julie and I are both contributors to, a group of 5 women with our first books debuting in 2018. But even if I didn't have that connection, I would have picked up this book. I've always been fascinated by genetics—it is my "road not taken" career of choice.

Clark's intermingling of scientific facts in-between the chapters of her novel reminded me of Michael Crichton in the best way—I felt smarter for having read this book, and I love that. The snippets on gen
Julie Carrick
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate to receive an ARC of The Ones We Choose from Gallery for an honest review. Now I can’t wait for the rest of the world to read this stunner of a debut. The original plot combines several strands of familial relationships bound together -- and torn apart -- by DNA. The emotions build at a pace that caught me off guard, and I found myself sobbing at moments I truly did not see coming.

The Ones We Choose is about living with fear but finding courage, about being scared to love, but m
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great story - realistic characters, interesting story line, heartwarming, sad, funny, this novel has it all.
Paige has set up her life with her son and doesn't really let anyone in too close. Her father kept walking out on her sister, mother, and herself as they were growing up This has left a big hole in Paige.
Using a sperm donor to conceive, Paige now has an 8 year old son who is starting to ask a bunch of questions about his father that Paige is not able to answer. Close with her mother and s
Susan Peterson
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I started this book on a Sunday evening, and finished it the following is a compelling and fascinating book about families, forgiveness and the impact of genetics. The author does a fantastic job of bringing the main character, Paige, to life. Paige is a single mom who felt abandoned by her own father, and is so hurt and resentful that she’s closed herself off to most people, even those who love her. Watching Paige come to terms with her own pain broke my heart at times, and watch ...more
mindful.librarian ☀️
Thanks to the author for the review copy!

Motherhood + SCIENCE = a completely addictive novel that will make you ask yourself so many questions about what makes a family and how much you actually want to know about your medical future. I am ALL IN for any book with female scientists and I absolutely loved how Clark wove in the perfect mix of hard science with the inevitably messy emotions of parents and children alike. Highly recommended for fans of smart domestic fiction!
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I really loved this book. In fact, I read it in less than 24 hours, and I’m not sure when the last time I ever did that was.

Paige is a smart, successful geneticist studying why some men are emotionally detached from their children. She has isolated it down to oxytocin production, and the fact that some people have inhibitors that prevent it from being released from the body. Paige is trying to figure out if there is a way to stop this inhibitor, to help recreate this connection. All of thi
Helen Hoang
Since THE ONES WE CHOOSE is categorized as upmarket women's fiction, described with words like "gorgeous prose" and "profound," and only has a minor love story, I feared reading it was going to be, for me, the literary equivalent of eating plain raw kale. (All the kale lovers out there have my full admiration. You're probably so healthy and will live to a thousand.)

This book wasn't like that at all. Instead, it was smart, beautiful, and surprisingly emotional. Paige's internal struggles really r
Jamie Rosenblit
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
Review to come!
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-review, 2018
* Thank you Gallery Books for sending me a beautiful finished copy to read and review. *

This book follows Paige as she navigates her world as a geneticist studying a specific gene in fathers, and as a single mother to her son. When her son begins to ask questions about his father, she does not know how to answer as she utilized a donor. Throughout the book, Paige confronts her vulnerabilities and has to examine how her own father's behavior is impacting her now.

This book talks about family. Abou
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
WOW! This is an amazing novel...beautiful, hopeful, and tear-your-heart-out sad. The storyline revolves around Paige, a geneticist, and her 8-year old son Miles whom she conceived via a sperm donor. Miles is a quirky kid who has some problems fitting in and making friends, and the fact that his father is nameless and faceless seems to exacerbate his sense of isolation. Paige has her own issues with her largely absent and disappointing father, and has immersed herself in clinical research around ...more
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved that the author wasn't a professional geneticist. She did enough research into genetics and sperm banks that the backstory was fully fleshed out without it being taken over by medical details.
Jackie Trimble
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love, love, love this book! Thank you to Goodreads for the pre-pub version to read & enjoy!! It took the genetics chapter in 9th grade for me to figure out that I hated biology and probably even science. But, I loved all the characters in this book and I even loved the science lessons at the beginning of each chapter!! I can't recommend this strongly enough. ...more
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is such a *smart* family drama. Clark's characters utterly drew me in right from the start, but the emotions are well-balanced with fascinating scientific details.

Paige's story and conflicts are gripping -- She's a fantastic character, whose pain and hesitations and hopes all feel very real. Since the book is in her voice, and since that voice is so wonderful, the reader can't help but want to side with her. I was entirely on her side right from the start. Her reasoning made perfect sense
Janelle Janson
Many thanks to Gallery Books for providing my free copy of THE ONES WE CHOOSE by Julie Clark - all opinions are my own.

Paige is a geneticist with an eight-year-old son, Miles who was conceived through an anonymous donor. Miles is having trouble fitting in at school and starts to feel even more isolated from the other kids when he can’t answer questions regarding his biological father. Also, while Paige has to come to grips with childhood memories of her father disappearing for months or years at
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
The plot for this book is interesting and could be a good book for book club discussion. The characters were cliche, which made it difficult for me to empathize, though. I don't think that there are that many stay at home moms, or that in a community where they could afford to stay at home that they would not also be educated or previously worked. The idea that a child needs a dozen friends, esp. one who is more academically than athletically inclined was also a sticking point for me. Many scien ...more
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full Disclosure: Won an advanced copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway

Was not going into this book expecting to have my heart broken a couple times but here I am, trying to pretend I didn't cry a couple times in the last couple hours. This book is astounding. There isn't a scene in this book that doesn't have a purpose so you never feel like your wasting you're time. It just keeps pulling you further and further down the trail of the story until your fully invested in every secret, every sto
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
THE ONES WE CHOOSE really ripped my heart out in the best way, and I just loved it. Paige is a fantastic protagonist—intelligent, compassionate, yet still flawed—and you'll hurt along with her as she struggles to protect her son, navigate her own relationships, and do the right thing when confronted with an explosive truth. It's a beautifully written, thought-provoking book, and I highly recommend it.
Heather Durick
Jun 22, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars...mixed feelings on this book. On one hand I loved the subject matter, but I hated the protagonist. She just constantly annoyed me with her attitude. It did explore some really interesting and intriguing questions about donor children as well as some interesting questions of nature vs. nurture in parenting.
Donna Hines
Can your DNA determine your ability to parent?
What an interesting concept being brought up my main character Paige Robinson (Geneticist) and single mom of young Miles.
Miles has an interesting background having been introduced to the world by way of anonymous sperm donor with Liam trying to be the hands on replacement dad.
This is a good candidate for nature v nurture debate as the Robinson's find their match but it's not what they expected nor perhaps even wanted.
What qualifies someone to be a pa
Debbi DuBose
The debut novel: THE ONES WE CHOOSE by Julie Clark is a phenomenal read!! This compelling story centers on geneticist Dr. Paige Robson and her son, Miles. Miles was conceived through a donor bank when Paige decided she was ready to have a child at the age of thirty-eight. Miles is growing up, and he wants to know why he doesn't have a father. How is Paige going to explain this? Although, now, Paige is in a committed relationship with Liam; Miles doesn't want anything to do with him. He's not his ...more
Kimmery Martin
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It is with massive excitement that I finally have the chance to review fellow Debutante Ball writer Julie Clark’s debut novel, The Ones We Choose.

The great love of Paige Robson’s life is her son, Miles, whom she conceived using an anonymous sperm donor. An earnest, intense geneticist, Paige has difficulty with the intimacy of adult relationships: forsaken at a young age by her unreliable father, she battles against anyone getting too close to her—even her good-natured lover Liam—because she’s a
Kristen Cook - A Book Ninja
A debut author that can hook me with the first paragraph of the first chapter is impressive. "If loneliness were a color, it would be the deep purple of my eight-year-old's shirt as he walks solitary laps around the school track." I had intended to only read the first chapter before going to bed and instead read 1/4 of the book.

As someone who always enjoyed genetics in school, I found the heavy laden science portions of the book enjoyable. I could see how some people might find them a bit labori
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Any one else currently reading this? 1 9 Mar 10, 2018 06:13AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Playing Nice
  • The Book of Two Ways
  • The End of Her
  • Pretty Things
  • What You Wish For
  • A Good Marriage
  • 28 Summers
  • The Vanishing Half
  • Friends and Strangers
  • The Exiles
  • His & Hers
  • This Is How I Lied
  • The Book of Lost Names
  • Florence Adler Swims Forever
  • The Comeback
  • The Lies That Bind
  • The Book of Lost Friends
See similar books…
Born and raised in Santa Monica, California, Julie Clark grew up reading books on the beach while everyone else surfed. After attending college at University of the Pacific, and a brief stint working in the athletic department at University of California, Berkeley, she returned home to Santa Monica to teach. She now lives there with her two young sons and a golden doodle with poor impulse control. ...more

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
30 likes · 16 comments
“How many times have I caught myself parenting the kid who existed yesterday, only to realize they’ve woken up as someone entirely new today?” 1 likes
“though that turned out to be a myth—some arbitrary math to make shiny the otherwise rudimentary concept of cell regeneration and death—there is some truth to it.” 0 likes
More quotes…