February 26, 2015

One Plus One - Jojo Moyes

One Plus One book cover
One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Source/Format: Gifted by Ellice (Thanks!) || Hardcover

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.

Why do I keep allowing myself to wait so long before reading my next Jojo Moyes novel? Perhaps it's because I never want to run out of stories to read from her? Perhaps it's because I find myself intimidated by adult novels sometimes? Whatever the case, One Plus One, her latest release, is utterly fantastic. Moyes demonstrates, yet again, her ability to spin a compelling yarn and bring fantastic characters to life. 

Ed, Jess, Tanzie, Nick. They are four unique individuals that form an unlikely family unit that shouldn't work, but somehow does. Collectively, they've earned a special place in my heart and I'm unlikely to ever forget their stories. Ed, who is dealing with the consequences of a rash decision to get rid of an ex. Jess, a single mom who works multiple jobs in order to provide financial support for herself and her kids. Nick, the stepson who is different from his peers and gets bullied for it. Tanzie, the little math genius who dreams of attending a school that will help her hone those skills. Each one is living a life filled with both sides of the coin - a happy optimism that things can and will work out, and a deep despair and resignation that life is sometimes unfair and throws (seemingly) impossible hurdles in the path. 

I'm seriously impressed by Moyes' ability to engage in multiple character development, and do it well. She really made it easy for me to get to know everyone, and to fall in love with them before I was even a third through her story. If that's not a special ability, I certainly don't know what is! 

Loving these characters is certainly one of the main reasons I enjoyed reading One Plus One; however, Moyes' plot is also wonderful. She manages to combine charm & whimsy with heartbreak & emotion, all in a way that serves to simply reel the readers in. On the surface, each story from Moyes has different circumstances. But at their cores, Moyes is always looking to tell stories about ordinary individuals who face great hurdles and how they overcome them - and such is the case with One Plus One. The story broke my heart multiple times, but it also put it back together and made me happy.

The biggest takeaway One Plus One offers me is the encouragement to believe in good things - in kindness, in joy, in hope. While there may be impossibly trying moments in our lives, there is no reason to not believe we won't get past them and to a better place. I loved meeting Ed, Jess, Tanzie and Nick, and loved hearing their stories - and I think many of you will too.


  1. I just finished The Girl You Left Behind and now I'm waiting for this book to appear at Half Price before I dive in. CANNOT WAIT! I first heard of Jojo Moyes through the book club that I'm in. We mainly read adult fiction, and joining was one of the best decisions I've made because all these books are ones that I probably would never have picked up by myself but are fantastic. Don't you love it when that happens?

    eee now you have me all hyped up for more Jojo Moyes!

  2. This sounds like a great book! I don't usually read adult novels, but this sounds really good.:)

  3. I want to read this since I LOVED Me before You. I started reading The Last Letter from your Lover by JoJo Moyes and couldnt get into it though so I guess it could go either way, but I will definitely still check it out.

  4. I was staring at this book yesterday and thinking the same thing, why does it take me so long to pick up a Jojo book! Then I saw she was writing a sequel to Me Before You this morning and this review popped up and it feels like a thing I will need to do in March. Glad to hear it was another hit!

  5. I really loved this book. It was quirky and quite different to Me before you. I loved the daughter and so wanted things to work out for. LIke you, I was touched be the genuine goodness we can find and we can be.


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