Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux (BYR)
Publication Date: April 8th 2014
My Rating: DNF
A dying wish. A family divided. A love that defies the law. Sol Le Coeur is a Smudge--a night dweller in an America rigidly divided between people who wake, live, and work during the hours of darkness and those known as Rays, who live and work during daylight. Impulsive, passionate, and brave, Sol concocts a plan to kidnap her newborn niece--a Ray--in order to bring the baby to visit her dying grandfather. Sol's violation of the day/night curfew is already a serious crime, but when her kidnap attempt goes awry, she stumbles on a government conspiracy to manipulate the Smudge population. Sol escapes the authorities with an unexpected ally: a Ray who gets in her way, a boy she might have hated if fate hadn't forced them on the run together--a boy the world now tells her she can't love. Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the day/night divide, Elizabeth Fama's Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights, and a fast-paced romantic adventure story.
Plus One was another book where I fell hard and fast for the gorgeous cover, but unfortunately the book didn’t end up living to my expectations. The story had a lot of potential to go far, I was immediately sucked into this day and night divide; people were either Smudges (could only be up and about during the night or Rays (did everything during the day time). I was intrigued in finding out how this division first came about, and how people coped with the curfews in place. I know for one I wouldn’t be able to live the life of a Smudge. And plus when your family was divided like Sol’s family was, her brother had recently been transferred to a Ray and had no contact with her for the past two years, so had to care for her ill grandfather all on her own, along with going to school and working too. Sol really had a lot to deal with, but I liked how tough and resilient she was, she would literally do anything to care for her grandfather, even kidnapping a baby to see him happy.
The whole aspect of kidnapping the baby, mix up and being chased down was a part I really enjoyed, I couldn’t understand why and how the mix up would happen, I was dying to know who was behind it all. But most of all I wanted things to go back to the way they were for Sol, she had jeopardised a lot in taking the risk that she did, but I liked how she wasn’t all alone, the unexpected alliances she found in Jean and D’Arcy I did appreciate. I had a feeling of how things would develop between D’Arcy and Sol and I liked the slow burn relationship that came about. I didn’t really know if I could trust D’Arcy at the beginning, but as the story progressed I got to know his character more, the more I admired the risk he posed to himself and his family by helping Sol and to be honest he was such a sweetheart when everything was falling apart Sol. Also you know guy’s who continue to help or lurk about even when you’ve told them you’re fine, are the ones I could never resist.
The fact that I DNF’d Plus One was largely because up until a certain point the story went well over my head for me. I was truly invested in the beginning to find out what really had gone down, but after new characters were thrown in the mix and I wasn’t getting any answers you could say I sort of lost interest. I did want to find out how things would end for all our characters, but this year I’ve made the resolution that if a book doesn’t keep my interest up until a certain point, then I just admit defeat, instead of forcing myself through like I did with so many books last year, which is a real shame with Plus One as it had been a book which I’d really been looking forward to reading. Fama’s writing however was exquisite, so much so that I shall be looking forward to picking up more of her books. Hopefully they work out better for me than Plus One did.