I was instantly enthralled with Jojo Moyes’ writing styles after reading Me Before You, so when the opportunity arose to review One Plus One I had to take it. What I like about Jojo Moyes is that I think she writes very descriptively yet also very clearly. She tells a wonderfully detailed story without using flowery language or being inaccessible. I was an English major so I had to read plenty of esoteric literature, which lead me to really appreciate more straightforward writing.
Many authors tend to write similarly-themed novels, so I was surprised to see that One Plus One is really nothing like Me Before You. (I also read The Girl You Left Behind, which is also quite different thematically. I’ll review it soon.) Me Before You deals with loss, moving on, and living your best life, while One Plus One is more traditional chick lit.
In One Plus One, single mom Jess is doing everything she can to hold her family together. She works two jobs but is always late paying the bills. She’s raising two children, her daughter Tanzie and step-son Nicky, and doing everything she can to give them the best life possible. Then there’s Ed, a wealthy software developer, whose life is falling to pieces due to an insider trading scandal. Jess’ daughter is a math genius who has the opportunity to enroll in a posh private school — if only the family can come up with £5000. Ed winds up driving the family to Scotland for a math competition, where the daughter has the opportunity to win the money she needs to enroll in school. Their journey is partly comedic and partly sad, but it always feels “real.” The book is narrated by all four characters at times, so you get the opportunity to know everyone a bit more deeply.
All of the characters are fleshed out quite well, and I felt myself sympathizing with everyone’s setbacks and triumphs. If I had any complaints at all about this book it’s that the ending is just a little bit too tidy, but considering what the family goes through it’s hard to deny anyone their happy ending.
Jojo Moyes is a British author whose work has just recently made its way to the United States, and I plan on reading everything else she has written. While One Plus One was more chick lit than the other books I read, it wasn’t overly so. There weren’t any graphic sex scenes, gushy romance, or anything like that. I’m just not sure the story would appeal to many men.
One Plus One is currently only available for pre-release. It will be released in the United States on July 1, 2014.
If you’re a fan of Jojo Moyes’, you may be interested in her upcoming U.S. tour, which launches in July!
Check out my Summer 2014 Reading List for more books I’ll be reading (and reviewing) this summer!
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