... winning and amiable ... The end of the story does seem a bit rushed, and one might wish that the townspeople weren’t so relentlessly good and that the villains weren’t so cartoonishly villainous, but then one might feel waspish and small-hearted. The full and simple pleasures of Frankel’s luscious prose lull the reader into rooting for the good people of Bourne and these plucky heroines. After all, doesn’t rooting for uncomplicated integrity feel good these days?
... heartbreaking yet heartwarming ... The story unfolds in alternating chapters, told by One, Two and Three, emphasizing the whip-smart girls' distinctive voices, sharp humor and mutual (yet never sappy) affection. Frankel adds a quirky but credible supporting cast of Bourne citizens. All the way to a fast-paced and heroic climax, readers will be rooting for them.
This would be a compelling plot told in a straightforward manner. Told through the voices of Mab, Monday and Mirabel it becomes richer, funnier and more poignant. Their adolescent ideas about their fellow residents (who include a wonderful elderly neighbor nicknamed Pooh), their hopes and dreams for their futures (Mirabel has no illusions about her own) and their determination to fight for justice make this one of the summer’s freshest novels. One Two Three tells a more complicated story than its title implies, all the while reminding us that big changes can be made through small steps.
It’s rare when a book is decidedly grim—dire, even—yet still manages to be as full of comfort, humor and hope as One Two Three, a thought-provoking allegory about corporate greed, environmental activism, parent-child relationships and the bonds and betrayals of sisterly love ... Frankel reveals their stories in artful prose laced with humor, much of it dark ... The town is filled with wonderful characters ... The result is a warm, funny tour de force that has much to say about big business, the ways that tragedies unfold, the power of citizens to effect change and the passing of civic responsibility from one generation to the next ... a very different story indeed—one that is delightfully memorable and wildly empowering.
The book reads as a full-hearted, ecological fable—with insights into the contradictions in how our culture views and talks about people with disabilities. Once its plot kicks in, after about 100 pages, One Two Three makes for a propulsive read. How much you enjoy that read depends partly on how charmed you are by Frankel’s low-key wit and by the quirks and gimmicks.
At times the story’s pacing seems secondary to explorations of the main themes. Writing from each of the sisters’ perspectives, Frankel creates unique personalities for One, Two, and Three and builds a memorable world in Bourne.
... tender-hearted ... Frankel’s sharp plotting—with several surprising reversals—and memorable characters reflect a deep imagination that adds texture and complexity to what would otherwise be a fairly familiar setup. Readers will be captivated by this story of adversity and resilience.