The One That I Want by Allison Winn Scotch

Title:  The One That I Want
Author:  Allison Winn Scotch
Release date:  June 1, 2010
Publisher:  Shaye Areheart Books
Pages:  288
Genre:  Women’s fiction
Source:  Publisher

Tilly Farmer’s life is exactly as she’d always hoped it would be:  she’s married to her high school sweetheart, working as a guidance counselor at her old high school, still best friends with her kindergarten best friend, and trying for a baby, which she thinks will make it all complete.  But one day, she encounters a psychic who tells Tilly she’s going to give her the gift of “clarity”.  Suddenly, she begins to see her life in a whole new way.  And what she sees forces her to question everything…

Allison Winn Scotch’s books have been talked about a lot around the blogs, and I’ve been anxious to pick up one of her novels for a while now.  Now I’m wondering what the heck I waited for because The One That I Want was everything everyone said it would be!  I’m kicking myself for not reading one of her books earlier.

Anyway, allow me to begin by saying that I did not like Tilly.  I don’t “get” the small-town thing and I can’t imagine why anyone would want to work at their old high school.  If I was going to work in a high school I would never pick my own – that would just be too weird.  Besides the fact that Tilly and I are very different in our life choices, I found her to be extremely naive and selfish.  She looked at every issue that came up in her life in relation to how she was affected by it, which is an immature and childish way to look at the world.  But the beauty of this story is that Tilly has a huge amount of growth by the time the book is over.  She develops into a more mature person, more conscious of the people around her and what’s really important in life.  And she looks at her life choices and what she thought were her dreams coming true with a more honest eye – she begins to see things for what they really are, as opposed to what she wants them to be.  It is this character development that I think is the shining point of the novel.

I also enjoyed the tough of magic sprinkled throughout the story.  It doesn’t contain enough magic for the story to be unrealistic, but just enough to add a little something to the novel.  I have heard that this a common element in Allison Winn Scotch’s books, so I’m excited to read her other books to see how it plays into those stories too.

The last thing I want to point out is the ending – don’t worry, there are no spoilers here.  I just want to say that I think the ending was absolutely perfect.  Nothing too extravagant, no perfect happy ending for Tilly, but just enough open-endedness that the reader can guess how things will turn out for her, and can picture a whole new life beginning for her (in a good way).  It also made me want to read more about Tilly, which is a pretty good thing considering she began the story as a character I detested!

The One That I Want is a smart, refreshing novel that lovers of chick lit and women’s fiction won’t be able to resist.  There is a surprising amount of depth packed into this slim novel, and I was impressed by Scotch’s ability to take a character and really transform her into someone I went from hating to loving in under 300 pages.  I definitely recommend this novel and I’ll be reading more from Allison Winn Scotch in the very near future.


17 thoughts on “The One That I Want by Allison Winn Scotch”

  1. I’ve never read Scotch’s work, but I have this one in my TBR pile and you’ve made me very anxious to read it.

    I could probably work at my old high school now, but it’s been 35 years since I graduated and I’m sure nothing’s the same there.

    1. Hmm, well I graduated only 8 years ago, and my little brother only 2 years ago, and from what he tells me everything is exactly as I left it, only with different kids, lol. So personally I’d rather stay away. 😉

  2. I loved this one…I could so see myself teaching at my old high school. Growing up in a very small town I identified a lot with Tilly. She really matured as a person throughout this story didn’t she?

    1. She matured a LOT over the course of the book for sure. Even though I couldn’t relate to her, I believed her, which is a great thing for an author to accomplish.

  3. i read one of winn-scotch’s other books and couldn’t quite get on board with the magical realism thing. i’ve seen a few other reviews of this book on the blogs that have been less than glowing, so i’m going to take a pass on this.

    like you, i can’t imagine having such a stagnant (or that’s how i see it) life. working at the same school you graduated from? no thanks! i want adventure and different things.

  4. I may just have to give this one a chance. I’m kind of put off by the idea that, of course, Tilly couldn’t possibly be happy in the life that she had before she met this psychic, as though such a life would always be less that what someone would want. But it doesn’t sound like that for Tilly it wasnt’–she just didn’t realize it.

    1. Yeah it’s not exactly how it sounds. It’s more like, she always went down this path her entire life without even questioning it, without even pausing to think about whether it WAS what she wanted. So the psychic sort of made her examine her heart, made her think about what was really there all along.

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