Tuesday, July 1, 2014
American audiences have fallen in love with Jojo Moyes. Ever since she debuted Stateside she has captivated readers and reviewers alike, and hit the New York Times bestseller list with the word-of-mouth sensation Me Before You. Now, with One Plus One, she’s written another contemporary opposites-attract love story.
Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied, and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight in shining armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever.
One Plus One is Jojo Moyes at her astounding best. You’ll laugh, you’ll weep, and when you flip the last page, you’ll want to start all over again. -- Pamela Dorman Books
There were a few books coming out this summer that I couldn't wait to read. One of those was ONE PLUS ONE by Jojo Moyes. I love Ms. Moyes' books and this one looked particularly good. It has already received fantastic reviews from People, USA Today, and Entertainment Weekly and starred reviews from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. So if you are looking for a different opinion than these sources, you've come to the wrong place. I adored ONE PLUS ONE!
ONE PLUS ONE follows Jess, a single mother of two who works two jobs just trying to keep them afloat. Frankly, she's not doing a great job. Her husband is out of the picture and offers no financial support. Her teenage step son is being bullied -- both physically and emotionally. And her daughter is a math genius who receives a scholarship to a prestigious school, and Jess can't find the money to send her there.
In an effort to "win" the tuition money, Jess and her kids (and her stinky dog) set out to Scotland for a math tournament. When their car breaks down, they are rescued by the owner of one of the houses that Jess cleans. Ed is a tech millionaire who doesn't have the best track record with women. Nor does he really appreciate kids or dogs! Nonetheless, Ed, who has his own set of problems, decides to "do the right thing" and drive the family to the Math Olympiad.
Their trip to Scotland ends up being quite the adventure -- with food poisoning, a farting dog, car sickness and more! However, this cast of misfit ends up discovering that love can occur in the least likely place.
If you are looking for a sweet, fun book that will make you laugh and cry, then look no further. ONE PLUS ONE is perfect for you. This novel is just a wonderful love story and this cast of characters definitely captured my heart! I am not a big fan of romance books; however, I do appreciate a good love story. And ONE PLUS ONE is a beautiful story about finding love when you need it the most.
As much as I loved this novel, I'm finding it difficult to write this review. And frankly, I'm quite surprised by that -- I assumed this one would be easy. I think it's because I enjoyed this book so much and everything just gelled for me. I'm having a hard time pointing out one or two things to feature in this review. I'll just try to touch upon a few things that made this book special for me.
First of all, I loved Jess... and the rest of the characters. Jess is certainly down-on-her luck by any measure. However, for almost the entire novel, she's upbeat and optimistic. (So not my personality!) She continually tells her kids that things will be okay, and I tend to think she actually believes that herself. She also thinks that if you do good by others, they will do good by you. She's incredibly strong, resourceful and kind; and I loved the way she loved and protected her children.
I also loved Ed -- not so much at the beginning of the book although I'm pretty certain that was the intent. I enjoyed the comedic relief he provided by having to deal with this crazy family and their dog. It was the change the occurred in him throughout this novel, though, that made me really love him. Despite appearing a bit shallow, he was a decent and honest man; and I loved that Jess and her family were able to bring out the best in him.
And while I'm not a huge dog lover, I adored Norman the giant black dog. He was a fantastic character in his own right, and I challenge any one who reads this book not to want a Norman for their own family.
Finally, I just loved how much this book entertained me. I had so many emotions while reading it. I laughed, got angry, cried -- both happy and sad; and I just felt happy when I finished reading it. This novel warmed my heart and reminded me that people, even flawed ones, can be good and kind; and that love is possible!
Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.