Monday, June 23, 2014
Review: One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
One Plus One is the latest fun, romantic story by Jojo Moyes. For those unfamiliar with her insanely popular Me Before You, please remove yourself from the rock in which you are living under. Now, please!
One Plus One follows the romance novel schtick where opposites attract. That's no secret. It's expected and hoped for. It's why women like me swoon over romance novels. We all think that our Knight in shining armour is out there, even if we aren't looking for them. Jess isn't looking for any knight. She's simply trying to keep her head above water by working as a maid and a barkeep so that her two children can have food on the table. Her daughter Tanzie has been given a gift for numbers. She can compute like none other. This gift gets her noticed by an elite private school where her talents can be nurtured. The only problem is that Jess is unable to cover the fees given her meager salaries.
Ed, an up and coming tech guru has fallen into some trouble. He is being investigated for insider trading because he's an idiot. No really. He wants to get rid of a girlfriend so he gives her money and tells her to invest in his company since it will be extremely profitable for her... and get her out of his hair. Basically, he's a tool. A nice tool, but nonetheless, a tool.
Of course these two, Jess and Ed, have a chance encounter that places them in each other's atmosphere. Ed offers to drive Jess and her family, to Tanzie's math competition. This competition is her only chance at getting enough money to go to a private school. Tanzie winning would be the one stroke of luck that this family so desperately needs.
True to form, Jojo Moyes gives us characters who are enjoyable and a treat to be acquainted with. Who couldn't love Jess? She took in her exe's son after he disappeared on them. She refuses to let her children eat at McDonald's because that's not the single mother she wants to be. Also, she's just so positive. Her belief that things won't be bad forever really steals readers hearts.
As the novel shifts focus between Jess, Ed, Tanzie, and Nicky's point of view, each character really shines through. This makes her romance novel a step above the rest. Others aimlessly meander from one overwhelming feeling of attraction to another until it's all one happily-ever-after fest. Moyes has a little more depth than that... but only slightly.
The one gripe I have with this novel is that I feel this formula for putting together two people who have absolutely nothing in common together, is a little overdone. Sure Moyes is a skilled writer, it's just a subject that is hard to revamp.
In conclusion, One Plus One is a good, often funny, look at two people who are trying so hard to keep from adding more to their complicated equations, but ultimately are unable to resist. Because I'm a fan of Jojo Moyes, I look forward to her next romance novel, even if there will never be another Me Before You, I still await the next time one of her characters steals my heart.
Copy provided by Penguin Group via Netgalley