One Plus One By Jojo Moyes: One single mom. One chaotic family. One quirky stranger. One irresistible love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You.
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.
She has done it again. I fell for the author’s bestselling book “Me before you” and I am yet to recover from the hangover. I was obviously intrigued with her other works but with a lot of expectations I read “After You” and my hopes were crushed. Due to my disappointment with After You, I stalled reading her book “One plus one” though it was sitting patiently on my nightstand.
With low expectations, I started with the book and man I am scolding myself for not reading this earlier. It has it all. A chaotic family – a single mom, a stepson and a math whiz 11- year-old daughter and N number of problems. Jess is trying to make the ends meet and keep her dysfunctional family afloat. She works hard, complains less and is very optimistic. Meet her stepson Nicky who is an introvert and is being bullied by his peers. He is trying very hard to keep going. Every now and then he gets bashed up by his neighbors because he is different. His step-sister Tanzie, Jess biological daughter is 11-year-old Math geek. She loves everything about numbers. She is gifted. When Tanzie is offered to compete in a Maths Olympiad and has a chance to win a scholarship at a school for gifted. Jess, Nicky, Tanzie and their dog Norman plan to go to Scotland to attend the competition. Seems easy? It could have been nut the only problem is Jess cannot drive and she doesn’t have car insurance.
Our knight Ed arrives in a shiny car arrives on the scene when Jess gets caught by the police. He decides to help Jess and her family and agrees to take them to Scotland in his Audi. What unfolds next is a road trip to be remembered – tacky hotels, kebab gone wrong, stomach problem and Tanzie’s travel quirks.
We are not new to stories where main leads take a road trip. We have seen enough movies and have also read books about it. But Jojo Moyes “One plus One” is special in its own aspect. The story of Jess and her struggle to keep her family afloat seems natural. Jess, despite being battered by life and its unfairness is unnaturally optimistic and she makes the reader fall for her and feels for her. Her stepson Nicky’s backstory makes you love that boy more. He is a suffer in silence kind of guy. He gets bashed up because he is different…a penguin surrounded by alligators. Tanzie, when she loses her self-confidence pulls the heartstrings.
Ed and Jess’s relation is not rushed. It may seem so as they fall for each other in a matter of days. but it was bound to happen. Their attraction is understandable. Two unattached individuals-thrown together.
The book has no unnecessary characters or dramas and that makes the book a fast read. The book may not affect us the way we were affected with “Me Before You” nevertheless it’s a good read. I give this book 4 stars.
“You know, you spend your whole life feeling like you don’t quite fit in anywhere. And then you walk into a room one day, whether it’s at university or an office or some kind of club, and you just go, ‘Ah. There they are.’ And suddenly you feel at home.”
“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?’
“We all make mistakes. Go and take your punishment, then come back and start again.”
“She was always tired, these days. She put on one of those smiles that wasn’t really a smile at all, and they went on.”
“Convinced that if she wished hard enough, good things would finally happen.”
Title: One plus One
Author: Jojo Moyes
Year of Publication: 2014
Page count: 515
Genre: Romance, Fiction
Characters: Jess Thomas, Edward Nicholls, Nicky, Tanzie and Norman
Jojo Moyes is a British novelist. Moyes studied at Royal Holloway, University of London. She won a bursary financed by The Independent newspaper to study journalism at City University and subsequently worked for The Independent for 10 years. In 2001 she became a full time novelist. Moyes’ novel Foreign Fruit won the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) Romantic Novel of the Year in 2004.