Narrated by: Elizabeth Bower, Ben Elliot, Nicola Stanton,
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Length: 12 Hours 19 Minutes
Audiobook Publication date: July 1st 2014
My rating: 5 stars
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.
One Plus One was just soooo good! It was a well rounded story with romance, quirky humor, heartache, and sadness all rolled into one gorgeous story!
Jess Thomas has been struggling the last two years since her husband, Marty suffered a bought of depression and moved back with his mother. Financially she barely makes ends meet, even working two jobs. Add to that, her teenage son, Nicky is bullied constantly for being different (apparently goth) by schoolmates. They’ve gone to the authorities and school and no one will do anything. Her daughter, Tanzie is ten years old and a math genius, but she’s socially awkward. This hasn’t been a problem thus far, but when she switches up to middle school, Jess knows it’s just a matter of time before Tanzie becomes a target as well. Getting a generous scholarship to the prestigious private school, St. Anne’s, where Tanzie would thrive, seems like a prayer answered until Jess hears the cost of her share. It seems impossible until Jess hears of a Math Olympiad with its winning payout and she hatches a plan!
Ed Nicholls has his own problems after a stupid mistake lands him in hot water and accused of insider trading. His company and the millions he’s made are in jeopardy and to top things off his father is gravely ill. Hiding out in his seaside vacation home and wallowing in self-pity is about the only things on his agenda until his path collides with Jess, Tanzie, and Nicky. The plans of getting to Scotland for Tanzie’s Math Olympiad are all but in ruins until Ed impulsively offers to drive them. Let the crazy road-trip begin!
One Plus One is told from four different perspectives: Jess, Ed, Nicky and Tanzie. You might think this would be confusing and a little much, but it worked perfectly. Each voice added depth and richness to the story. It took a little while to get through the back story because there’s a lot going on, but once these four come together things really take off. Their trip is full of mishaps and humor, from Norman the dog and his bodily functions to buying a kabob from a dodgy food vendor that does not end well, at all! Seriously hilarious!
I adored Jess! She was just so optimistic even with every bad thing thrown at her. She didn’t wallow in self-pity rather she looked for the good and for a workable solution. Only when Jess discovers the truth about her estranged husband does she unravel for a bit, but Ed was there to help prop her up. I was so outraged and sad for Jess! Not only was Ed there for Jess but he helped with the kids, too. Small things he did made a huge impact, especially for Nicky. But this wasn’t a story of some rich man coming along and fixing everything. Bad things still happened, and Jess dealt with them. She helped Ed, too with his perspective on life and with his family. They both helped each other:
It wasn’t that Ed would make it okay—he had his own problems to deal with—but somehow the sum of them added up to something better. They would make it okay.
While the romance was not the whole focus of this story, it was my favorite part. Realistic and surprisingly passionate it gave me all sorts of feels!
They drove and she recalled the previous two nights in hot, dreamy fragments, his hands, his mouth,—and it was all she could do not to reach across and bury her face in his neck, to slide her hands up the back of his T-shirt for the sheer pleasure of it.
As for the narration, it was superb! I highly recommend it. There were four narrators, one for each character, which is a rarity with audio books but it greatly enhanced the story. All had English accents (love!) and sounded age appropriate for the character.
One Plus One is just too big and wonderful to encapsulate in a review. I laughed, cried and swooned in equal measures. It was amazing on so many levels!