Monday, May 19, 2014

The Sum is Greater Than Its Constituent Parts

"Everyone I've met who is worth knowing
was a bit different at school.
You just need to find your people."
--Jojo Moyes, One Plus One

Genre: Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Pages: 384
Publication Date: July 1st, 2014
Source: e-galley provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Find on Goodreads
Previous Books by this author: Me Before You
Goodreads Description

 One single mom. One chaotic family. One quirky stranger. One irresistible love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You

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 that reads like a modern-day Two for the Road.

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.

The Characters Jojo Moyes continues to amaze me with her ability to write characters that are beautiful yet flawed. Her characters are honest and realistic with a trait that makes them leap off the page and burrow into you heart. The stories she writes and the people she writes about demand to be heard. Jess was an inspiration to read about. Holy hell, she is MY age with a 10 year old kid and responsible for a 16 year old boy. She is capable and inherently optimistic about life in general. It was beautiful to read about a character that has every reason to throw a pity party yet mentally celebrates just getting up in the morning. She was wonderful to read about. Refreshing in a way that made me utterly grateful for everything I am blessed with in my life.

Ed was no exception either. His mistakes made him honest and his growth and determination to be a man worthy of anything positive in life was commendable. He realizes the errors of his ways and how he is developed is fantastic. No spoilers but let's just say the ending few scenes were freaking beautiful! How he is with Jess' kids had my heart absolutely BLEEDING out of my chest. I could not take how sweet and normal he was. Broke my damn heart.

Tanzie?!!?! Nicky?!?!? My heart?! Where is my heart?! Oh, that's right, it's with these two kids. Uggggh, you guys! I tweeted while reading that Tanzie is hilarious but Nicky I just want to kidnap, wrap in a blanket, and snug him all day long. My heart ached for this boy. Just ached. I loved that he was different. That he didn't try to fit in and be anybody else even when him being himself brought pain upon him. His journey to self-acceptance was my favorite part of the story. I could definitely relate to Nicky's plight and I wanted to hug him and reiterate that it does get better. High school sucks. Teenagers are awful. But they will be losers their whole life reliving the glory days of their teens living in the same town they grew up in. It really made me think about when I have my own children someday that I hope they can be as independent and free thinking as Nicky. Let your freak flag fly and do what you love and wear what you love and don't let anybody persuade you differently. Brilliance.

The Story I won't lie. I kept wanting to compare this to Me Before You while I was reading...and then I just gave up at about 20% because this book is nothing like MBY and not in a bad way. I just loved how this story was so powerful and moving but in an entirely different way than MBY. It struck at me on a whole different level and I love love loved it. The writing is amazing and the story just integrates itself into your emotions and you are rooting for these characters like they are your own children. You want them to succeed and just be okay. 

The Morality This book deals with financial problems, bullying, being different, theft, felonies, and a whole slew of other things. What I loved about this book was how the moral compass always tried to point due north. Mistakes were made but the fact that Jess instilled in her children that doing the right thing will bring you good things in return was inspiring. She constantly taught her children to do the right thing even when it wasn't the easiest. I think there is a lack of morality in a lot people because there are those who don't hold them accountable. I liked that Jess held the attitude of no matter what anyone else does, you have to live with your choices and consequences.

The Car That car took on a characterization all it's own. I love that it represented happiness and peace and love. I loved how it deteriorated physically but grew exponentially emotionally. Each stain, wrapper, piece of garbage held a piece of their journey. Love.

The Kindness of Strangers...That's all I can say with no spoilers. Just know it is beautiful and amazing.
Some Resolutions While I think a lot of this story played out realistically, there is one certain aspect of the story that I feel somebody definitely got the easy road out. I can't say what it is but I was a little rage-y that more didn't come from a certain conflict. Hard to explain without ruining it but if you've read this or when you read it you'll know what I'm talking about.

I'm sure a lot of people will compare this to her other books but truly, this book is amazing all on its own and I LOVE that it stands on its own merit of amazing. I can't really compare it to Me Before You at all because the content and story is so vastly different. It strikes you on a whole different level. 


  1. I know EXACTLY who got the easy road out. I'm pretty sure we raged about this on Twitter together.

    This is a fabulous review. You make me want to go read it again. Seriously, I liked this one better than Me Before You. *gasp* Bold statement, I know! Hahaha.

    JoJo Moyes is amazing. That is all.

    I can't wait to get my physical copy and put the pretty on my shelf. :)

  2. I'm really looking forward to reading One Plus One! I've only read one Moyes book to date (Me Before You), but I really enjoyed that one so I definitely should get my hands on this too!


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