The One Plus One – Review

So I am back yet again with another review of a book written by the spectacular JoJo Moyes!

Everyone knows how much I admire JoJo Moyes and what an ardent follower I am of her work. This lady has a magical mind that transforms stories into a means of escape for readers from their own mediocre and often, relentlessly ordinary lives. Don’t get me wrong, the lives of Moyes’ characters are never excitingly boisterous or idealistic. Moyes’ characters are as raw and organic as the reader who takes on their identity from the moment that she traces the letters on the very first page. Her characters are everyday individuals with simple tales that – using Moyes’ gift, skill and imagination – are told in extraordinary ways.

The One Plus One is a narrative covering an adventure that a family of misfits, a dog with intestinal troubles and a computer-whiz-slash-insider-trading-convict embark on. Jess is single mother of 8-year-old math prodigy Tanzie and stepmother of 16-year-old eyeliner-wearing, video-game addict and prey to bullies because of his gothic appearance, Nicky. Cleaner-by-day and bar-attendant-by-night, Jess is doing everything in her power to keep her family afloat on the constant river of unyielding bills and daily expenditure. She is a hardworking, strong-willed and determined woman who carries optimism as a crown on her tired and extremely flustered head as well as rations for handmade sandwiches up her sleeve.

On the other hand is sulky, reticent and angry Ed whose illusion of the importance of secularity and materialistic goods is broken the moment that he is thrown out of the company that he co-founded. Jess cleans Ed’s holiday home, making Ed the last person on earth who would consider helping Jess at a time of need. However, when Jess gets caught driving her ex-partner’s uninsured car without a valid driving licence to get Tanzie to a Math Olympiad, which will in turn help pay for the remainder of Tanzie’s fees at a private school; Ed – uncharacteristically – offers to drive them there in his ‘award-winning’ Audi.

From then initiates an (mis)adventure that should have lasted them a couple of hours but – because of Tanzie’s motion sickness and Ed’s encounter with a dicey fast-food place, – spans over a few days.

I read this novel in 5 hours and I can’t say how disappointed I was when I finished. Not because it was a bad novel but because I reached the end so quick! Mind you, it’s a 500-page novel and a hefty one at that. But I couldn’t help myself and kept on reading the story – told in narratives from each character’s perspective – page after page, until it was finished. JoJo Moyes has this exceptional tact for drawing the reader in with her flare for creating stories that are so awe-inspiring, so encapsulating that the reader can’t help but get infused.

I loved everything about this book. From the way each character was constructed, to the realism portrayed in a single mother’s life who takes refuge in a housing state with her two children, to the love that was brimming in every single page from the moment that Ed and Jess met. I could see love in their every interaction; their awkward first-meeting, their fights, their humour, their differing personalities and their lovemaking. Moyes is such a genius when it comes to portraying couples that the reader can’t help but believe in the power of a love that goes further than the cream-coloured pages of the romance novel.

As always I am in awe of Moyes and I absolutely loved this story, devouring every single page until the end. I give this book a 5/5 because Moyes can never go wrong with a cast of misfits, an adventure and brimming love in the middle of it all. Absolutely amazing!

Until next week,

Happy reading my loves! 

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