ONE PLUS ONE
by Jojo Moyes
Review and Giveaway
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.
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.
Did you like the quirky characters in ELEANOR and PARK by Rainbow Rowell? If so, you will LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the characters in ONE PLUS ONE.
Jess is raising her daughter Tanzie and her ex-husband’s son Nicky on her own. She struggles to make ends meet, working two jobs and is barely able to pay her bills. She cleans houses for a living, is a bartender at night, and makes Tanzie’s clothes. Nicky wears makeup and dyes his hair blue/black goth.
Jess lives day by day, sometimes minute by minute, trying desperately to keep her family together. She has this odd optimism that is contagious. One that keeps her going, despite every reason to feel disillusioned and pissed off at the world that seems to knock her and her kids down. Nicky is bullied and beaten, Tanzie is a genius at math, but even with a 90% scholarship to a top private school that would help her thrive, there is no money for the remaining 10%.
And then Ed comes into Jess’s and the kids’ lives. Ed is awkward and miserable and has many quirky issues of his own. Yet, he’s perfect for this family. He’s perfect for Jess and Jess is perfect for him. But it’s not so easy. He’s had several crappy relationships and plenty of betrayals in his lifetime. He seems to have everything, when Jess doesn’t. But that depends on how you define wealth. These two work. Except . . .
Well . . . you’ll have to read what happens.
Like other novels by Jojo Moyes, ONE PLUS ONE addresses issues of “class” and money, people who have money and people who do not. Money—its importance, what it can buy and not buy, how it separates us, what happens when it’s lost, how true love trumps money—is definitely a central theme of Jojo’s novels, including SILVER BAY, ME BEFORE YOU, THE LAST LETTER FROM YOUR LOVER and THE GIRL YOU LEFT BEHIND. I highly recommend them ALL!
ONE PLUS ONE adds up to PERFECTION. Here’s eleven reasons to read it:
1. Hope. When everything seems like nothing is going right, there are glimmers of hope and moments of incredible optimism and goodwill. This is a novel that renews the human spirit.
2. The portrait of a family. This is an unconventional family, but a family nonetheless.
3. Love can be shown in many different ways.
4. Some people deserve second chances. Some do not. Not everything is always fair, but in the end, we can only hope things work out. Giving up is never the answer if something is truly important.
5. Sometimes parents are just lousy parents. Accepting it isn’t always so easy, but when you do, there can be peace.
6. Life is messy and complicated and people make mistakes. Own them.
7. It may seem like you don’t fit in ANYWHERE, but this world is made up of many, many, many different people. Eventually, you’ll find your tribe – people who think like you.
8. Being different/unique is GOOD!
9. Money is important, but it can’t buy love or happiness. (Duh.)
10. We might need to stand up for ourselves, but it’s even better when we stand up and help someone else.
11. ONE PLUS ONE isn’t a novel you’ll forget easily. It’ll stick with you a long, long time. Perhaps you’ll have a moment in your own life that challenges you, then you’ll think about these characters and find strength to work it through with the same optimism and strength Jess was able to muster. If so, a person will know that as long as there is life, there is hope of a better day, a chance at making amends, a chance for love, friendships and family. Whatever it might be, I think anyone with even a drop of optimism will find some great gems to hold onto from this novel!
Thank you so much to Pamela Dorman Books for a review copy of this novel.
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