Friday, July 11, 2014

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes (Review)

Adult, Womens Fiction, Contemporary, Chick Lit
Publication.Date  July 1st 2014
Published By:  Pamela Dorman Books
AuthorJojo Moyes

One Plus One on Goodreads
My review copy:Received from the publisher via First to Read program in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get:

One single mom. One chaotic family. One quirky stranger. One irresistible love story from the New York Timesbestselling 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-dayTwo 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.


“Everyone I've ever met who was worth knowing was a bit different at school. You just need to find your people'
'Find my people?'
'Your tribe” 
Because she knew that something happened to you when your mother didn't hold you close, or tell you all the time that you were the best thing ever, or even notice when you were home: a little part of you sealed over. You didn't need her. You didn't need anyone. And without even knowing you were doing it, you waited. You waited for anyone who got close to you to see something they didn't like in you, something they hadn't initially seen, and to grow cold and disappear, too, like so much sea mist. Because there had to be something wrong, didn't there, if even your own mother didn't really love you?
The only thing Jess really cared about were those two children and letting them know they were okay. Because even if the whole world was throwing rocks at you, if you had your mother at your back, you'd be okay. Some deep-rooted part of you would know you were loved. That you deserved to be loved.
When Jess had Tanzie, young and daft as she had been, she'd had enough wisdom to know she was going to tell her how much she loved her every day. She would hug her and wipe her tears and flop with her on the sofa with their legs entwined like spaghetti. She would cocoon her in love.

     Jojo Moyes' words are bullets, and she shoots them straight into your heart.

     One Plus One is an absolutely exhilarating novel. Equal parts moving, heartbreaking, hopeful and hilarious, it's a smart and memorable story about one untypical family and their journey to happiness. A journey that includes a painfully slow road-trip to Scotland in a car with a rude boss, two kids and one huge, smelly dog. 

     Two people. Two completely different worlds. What do they add up to? 

    Jess' life is as far from easy and privileged as you can imagine. Her husband, depressed because of his steady stream of bad decisions resulting in a complete financial fiasco, went away to spend a couple weeks at his mom's. That was two years ago. With two kids to provide for - one not even her own - and a whole load of other problems (including, but not limited to, bully neighbors, rude employers, and constant lack of money), Jess works her ars off at two jobs. She's one tough gal, she never gives up, always bounces back, no matter what obstacles land in her path. But even this short and feisty Erin Bronkovitch-like woman is not unbeatable. She can't always "sort things out", though God knows she tries her best. 

     Ed is a disaster of a whole different kind, and kind of of his on making. He's not exactly filthy rich, though he's definitely on the other end of the spectrum from Jess. His job is hugely profitable, he works alongside his best friend, his high-end home is regularly cleaned - and guess who is the cleaner? - and the only thing that he seems to be missing in his life, is love. Due to an unfortunate affair, he finds himself in a lot of trouble. Legal trouble. Very serious, potentially life-devastating trouble. 

     When Jess' daughter, Tanzie (the math genius), is presented with an opportunity to attend one of the most prestigious schools in London, Jess is willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen for her. It's a chance they can't afford to miss, even tho they literally can't afford the tuition. The ray of hope materializes itself in the form of a math competition, winning which would leave them with a sum of money big enough to make Tanzie's dream of attending a good school in a safe neighborhood come true. Easy enough? Sure, if only the competition wasn't held all the way up in Scotland and you didn't have to drive at an excruciatingly slow pace to get there. In your boss's car. 

     One Plus One is delightfully charming, unexpectedly romantic and painfully honest. Full of touching scenes, brilliant thoughts and moments of true heartbreak, it's a book as far from mediocre as they come. Easily the most thoughtful and relevant book I've read this year. It's not just a chick lit romance. It's an inspiring and heart-warming family drama. Through her breathtakingly compelling prose and beautifully fleshed out, real characters, Moyes explores some tough subjects, such as bullying, social injustice, poverty, dysfunctional families, solo parenting and all the challenges that come with it, and more. Way, way more. 

     I cried, I laughed, I sobbed, I got angry.. I fell in love with these people and their story. This book was a journey - full of love, hope, second chances and wisdom - and I am sure I'd be re-taking this journey time and time again.

An absolutely phenomenal reading experience.

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