Monday, 11 August 2014

Review: One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
Narrated by: Elizabeth Bower, Ben Elliot, Nicola Stanton, 
Steven France
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.

My Thoughts:
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! 


Rashika said...

I am SOO glad to see your positive review for this book, Rachel! I added it recently and am really excited to read it although you do have me worried about what secrets the estranged husband was hiding.

I reallly love the sound of the romance and just everything in general and I am SO glad you enjoyed this, Rachel!

LOVELY review, as ALWAYS! :)

Rashika @ The Social Potato

Livvy said...

Ahh, I just bought the ebook for this the other day because it was cheap and sounded so good, so I am thrilled to hear you enjoyed it so much! I love the idea that it is narrated from multiple perspectives because I really like when books do that because I feel you really get into each characters head and understand their situation much better.
I really like the sound of the romance element and I am now super excited to read this one.
Wonderful review, Rachel!

Unknown said...

I've had books that felt "too big" to review. There's just so much to wrap your head around and so much to cover. I think you've done an excellent job here, Rachel. I now want to read One Plus One!

Mary @ BookSwarm said...

Laughed, cried AND swooned? Ooh...that's impressive! And a crazy road trip (how did I not realize there was a road trip? I would have been all over it!). Great review, dahlin'.

Anonymous said...

I've heard so much about this author from readers on GR and bloggers. I want to try something by her one of these days. This especially looks like a lovely read. It looks like there's a lot going on, but the author seems to have tackled everything really well. I have to say that I'm mostly curious about the romance.
Lovely review, Rachel! :)

Brandie said...

Rachel, I love your review on this book! I didn't have the greatest experience with my first Moyes book, but you've convinced me I need to give this one a try.

Spiced Latte said...

OMG I loved this one too!!! I didn't expect it to like it but I really did. Great review!

Joy said...

At this point, I think Jojo Moyes is an author that could very well be an auto-buy for me. I have not read anything of hers that I didn't like. Same goes for this book. I love, love, love it. :)

Great review, Rachel!

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

I haven't read this author before, but now I am going to. Lovely review, Rachel!

Keertana said...

I read your review for this on GR today morning and then I read the entire book myself over the course of the day. I wasn't sure if I should read this, initially, but your review completely sold me and I completely fell for this novel and its couple. I wish I'd gotten a chance to read it on audio but my library didn't have it when I rushed over today morning. Oh, well. Perhaps a different Moyes novel on audio, I suppose. Thanks for this review, Rachel--simply gorgeous and so convincing! :)

Rachel said...

This comment makes me soooo happy, Keertana! I'm thrilled and I can't wait for your review so I can relive the story a little bit through it. :)

Carina Olsen said...

Aw, amazing review Rachel :) I'm so glad you loved this book. <3 And hih. I adore that teaser. Thank you for sharing :D This is not a book for me, not yet, but it do sound sweet. I might read it one day :)

Danielle said...

I'm listening to this at the moment and really enjoying it, I love the different POV's and the story is shaping up really well. Great review!

Megan @ Reading Books Like a Boss said...

I STILL haven't read any of her books. This one sounds good. Normally, I'm turned off of books with more than 3 points of view, but you said this works. I'm intrigued. :)

Wendy Darling said...

I love laughing! And crying! And swooning! Hee hee. JoJo Moyes is beloved by just about everyone I know, I really need to get off my butt and read her. Is she like Sarra Manning or Liane Moriarty at all? That's the kind of British/Aussie chick lit I like, and the descriptions make it seem like Moyes is almost a cross between those two authors.

Thanks for the lovely review, Rachel, and the reminder that I gotta choose a JM book to try sometime soon.

Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

Lauren @ Love is not a triangle said...

YESSSSSS! I loved this book so so much. I was completely worried to start it because of the last book I read by this author, but this story was FANTASTIC. It was everything you said - funny, quirky, heartbreaking, swoony and just extremely happy making. I fell desperately in love with all 4 of these characters and I wanted to HURT Marty. That man!! I need to obtain this on audio and re-read it. LOVE.

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