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The Only Ones

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  626 ratings  ·  163 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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Kristin Herrmann No. There is relationships but all is friendship. If worried about content for a child there are some scenes that could be scary depending on the age.…moreNo. There is relationships but all is friendship. If worried about content for a child there are some scenes that could be scary depending on the age. (A few towards the middle to end.) (less)
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3.77  · 
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 ·  626 ratings  ·  163 reviews

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Sep 01, 2011 added it
Shelves: younger, unfinished
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 04, 2012 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.
Oct 24, 2012 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
May 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Jan 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: j, sci-fi, ya, not-graphic
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
Kelly Butcher
Jun 02, 2011 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
Aug 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, dystopian
This odd. Just such a weird book. I am trying to think of books I've read that I could compare it to but there aren't any. I still liked it though.

It was entertaining and the writing was pretty.
Martin was likeable. Simple and polite and innocent.
The story was super weird and unlike any I've heard before.
Surprising plot points.

Tons of unanswered questions at the end.
The characters were one-dimensional so you didn't really get to know any of them.
I still don't understan
Gülay Cansever
ne olacak, insanlar dönecekmi? nasıl dönecek? makina işe yarayacakmı? Martin annesine ve babasına kavuşacak mı? derken kitap bitti. güzel bitti.
Apr 25, 2018 added it
Book Review
The title of my book is The Cellar the author of my book is Natasha Preston.The lexile level is 570L.This book is about a girl named Summer and she gets kidnapped by a man that is trying to start a family by kidnapping girls and locking them in a cellar in his home he renames the girls by the names of flowers.

The theme of my book is Don’t give up because these girls are trapped in a cellar but they still think of ways to get out they have tried different ways but they didn’t ever real
Aug 29, 2011 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
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens-older
Who are the alternate narrators?

This very dark Sci-Fi novel for middle-grades offers several intriguing concepts. The protagonist is engaging, the plot is interesting, and the writing-style is okay. The final understanding of the machine's true purpose and (best part!) the machine's actual effect on the entire plot sequence was quite well-crafted. Perfect amount of foreshadowing, excellent pacing.

Here's where the author started to lose me: Who in their right mind would like (view spoiler)
Allison (The Allure of Books)
Oct 24, 2011 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
Jul 03, 2011 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
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
Whitney Whiting
Oct 17, 2012 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
May 09, 2016 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
Dec 11, 2011 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
Krista Stevens
Interesting premise - one day, everyone disappears except for a group of about 40 kids. Somehow (and at some point, my willing suspension of disbelief disappears) they find each other from around the country and settle into one town. The book jacket describes this scenario as whimsical. No. Kids shooting kids, sadistic kids, strange kids, and science that doesn't make sense does not equal whimsical. I don't recommend, but I did finish it, so two stars it is.
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.
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.
May 08, 2017 rated it liked it
If Lord of the Flies is a plausible comp title, maybe this shouldn't be shelved as children's fiction.

Okay, I thought this would go in a completely different direction, with Martin being some sort of misled Messiah figure (which I guess he is? but not as explicitly as I thought it'd be). <---Actually this could be a really convoluted jab at Christianity, which would be (even more) depressing.

The whole point of this book is the inevitability of fate. Nothing we do matters, because it's all wri
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
No one I follow on GoodReads has read this, so I had no trusted reviews to go off of before reading.


Martin Maple and his Father live on a small island and are building a mysterious machine. His father leaves the island to find the last piece of the machine and promises Martin that he will return by Martins 11th birthday.

He doesn’t. And what’s stranger is that the few residents of the island and “summer people” who came to visit are gone as well.

Martin waits about tw
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
It was an okay reading.

The premise is good, although the development is really uneventful. It has this misterious aura going on, complemented by some weird described dialogues between characters. It shows some wow! here and there, but other than that it's really not that exciting.

The characters are uncharismatic, bidimentional and you don't really care abou them. The MC, especially.

The conclusion is again, another thing that frustrated me. I know that you don't really need to go too complex wh
Mar 12, 2018 rated it liked it
My son read this book, not me. He liked it, but I want to let parents know that he seemed really taken aback by the violence in the book. His comment to me when I asked how the book was was (view spoiler). He also wanted to go through the book to show me some other parts that bothered him. He just turned 10, has been watching all 6 Harry Potter movies since age 7 without flinching, and has read many pretty intense books--this is the first ti ...more
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
I bought this book at a local dollar store a couple years ago and it sat on a shelf collecting dust until a few days ago when I finally decided to read some of my older books. I bought it mostly because I was drawn to the cover but I found the synopsis intreging as well. I just wish I hadn't waited so long to read it, I loved every page of this book and I wish this was a series. I want to know more about Martin and his father and mother. A prequel of some kind would also be amazing. In any case ...more
Faith-Victoria N.
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this book quite a while ago. I wasn't able to remember the title of the book, only the story, and that it was really good. What helped me remember the title is this amazing group on Goodreads called "What's the Name of That Book Again?!" Because of that I was able to find out. This had been bothering me for a looong time because it was such a good book. If you have a similar problem, go check the group out! (Also check the book out, I loved it!)
Amy Holiday
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-ever
Loved, loved, loved this. One of my favorites this year, I think. The characters were fascinating -- sort of hyper-real, in a world where almost nothing was real. Something completely unexpected happened in every chapter, and I couldn't even guess at the end! Looking for more from the author for sure.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 20, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Super cool idea. The story-telling fell a little flat to me and the ending left me more unresolved than anything else.

I think people will either love it or hate it, so everyone should give it a chance.
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