ebookclassics

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

one

Click to visit Jojo Moyes’ website.

Last week I said on my blog that One Plus One wasn’t rocking my world. I thought it was cute, but didn’t find myself transported away by the story. I was very aware that I was reading about a single mother, her kids and a messed up tech entrepreneur. However, Jojo Moyes did it again. The deeper I got into One Plus One, the more emotionally invested I became in this oddball family. Shucks, I even got choked up and teary-eyed a few times.

* CONTAINS SPOILERS

THE STORY
Jess Thomas is a single mom who has been abandoned by her husband and left caring for their preteen daughter, Tanzie, and her ex’s teenage son from another marriage, Nicky. Jess has two jobs and worries constantly about how to make ends meet, about her shy and insecure daughter, and the constant bullying Nicky faces. The snobby and arrogant Edward Nicholls owns one of the beach cottages Jess cleans. Ed has troubles of his own after giving the woman he was sleeping with sensitive information about his company. Now under investigation by the FSA, Ed is trying to keep a low profile, including not answering his sister’s pleas to visit their sick father. Out one night in his car, Ed comes across Jess, her kids and their monstrous dog on the side of the road with a busted vehicle, explaining to the police that they are trying to reach a maths competition. He surprises himself by volunteering to drive them to Scotland and so begins a cross-country journey full of drama and discovery, as Jess, Ed and the kids come together in love and understanding.

THE GOOD
Other reviewers are calling this a geeky love story and even the book jacket declares One Plus One “an irresistible love story”. It’s partly true, but in my opinion it’s a family love story and about sticking together. One Plus One pulls at your heartstrings, but with unconventional characters and by travelling along an unbeaten path.

THE BAD
The chapters are written with an alternating person viewpoint which I think causes some confusion in the beginning until you get the hang of the characters and story. Also, as is typical with romantic comedies, when you have one crazy incident after another, it all becomes borderline silly rather than funny. Luckily, the story doesn’t go too overboard.

CONCLUSION
Although I still believe Me Before You is a better book because of how skillfully Jojo Moyes handles the subject matter, One Plus One won’t disappoint anyone looking to read a warm and fuzzy story with loveable characters. When I didn’t love the book in the beginning, I wondered if I should rethink reading The Girl You Left Behind or any other Jojo Moyes book. After reading this book, I can’t wait to get my hands on something – anything – by her!

3.5/5 Stars

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21 comments on “One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

  1. Cecilia
    July 23, 2014

    This is a great endorsement! I have not read anything by JoJo Moyes, having put her near the bottom of my to-read list because I thought her books might be a bit too light or “fluffy” for me. But I’m coming off of two rather heavy and difficult books and your synopsis hit the right chord in me. I might go and check the library this week to see if this book is available!

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    • ebookclassics
      July 23, 2014

      I have dismissed this kind of book as too fluffy myself, but discovered I need something like this every now and then. It’s definitely nice to have a break from books that are heavy and require intense concentration. I look forward to hearing what you think about the book.

      Like

      • Cecilia
        July 23, 2014

        I totally agree! I assume it’s a quick read as well?

        Like

  2. Ngan R.
    July 23, 2014

    This sounds like classic JoJo Moyes. I’ve read both The Girl You Left Behind and Me Before You and they both sound like One Plus One in many ways. Moyes has a way of pulling you into the story and lives of her characters and creates nice unconventional love stories. This will be on my list to read when I just need a light day of reading; thank you for your review! If I may, I would suggest Me Before You over The Girl You Left Behind. The first third of The Girl was great, but the rest was a predictable and silly romance. However, Me Before You defied many love story conventions and dealt with a heavy topic (right to die).

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  3. Ngan R.
    July 23, 2014

    Oh my apologies, you’ve already read Me Before You!

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    • ebookclassics
      July 23, 2014

      Yes, I have read Me Before You, but I found your comments about The Girl interesting. I still might read it and we can trade notes! Have you read any of her other books?

      I agree that Jojo Moyes is amazing at creating unconventional love stories. If you enjoyed her other books, I think you will find One Plus One is perfect for summer reading.

      Like

      • Ngan R.
        July 23, 2014

        I have not read any of her other books, figuring I would wait for One Plus One. I stopped after The Girl because I wasn’t too happy with the book. But yes, if you do read it, I will look forward to your review and trading notes. 🙂

        Like

  4. Naomi
    July 23, 2014

    I agree with what you and Cecilia have said about enjoying a lighter read every once in a while. I tend toward heavier books most of the time, which makes a lighter one just that much more enjoyable. Moyes is good for that, I think, as well as some others. I just finished reading No Relation by Terry Fallis, which is another good one.

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    • ebookclassics
      July 24, 2014

      Sometimes I feel like I should be reading heavy books because it would be a reflection of what a “serious” and “well-read” reader I am. But more and more, I suspect I really just like books that don’t work my brain too hard.

      Like

      • ebookclassics
        July 24, 2014

        I forgot to mention that I was going to read No Relation, but plan to read The Best Laid Plans first since I failed to read it along with Tanya and Kirt from WriteReads.

        Like

      • Naomi
        July 24, 2014

        I get that, for sure! But I feel like I have to clarify that all I really meant by heavier is literary fiction as opposed to pop fiction. I rarely read the real doozies, although I maybe wish I read more of them. Maybe someday when the kids are grown!

        Like

  5. My Book Strings
    July 23, 2014

    I’ve enjoyed both Me Before You and The Girl You Left Behind, the latter maybe little more because I liked the historical aspect of it. I just read an interview with Moyes in which she mentions that she always considers what her teenage daughter will think when she reads her books. I also liked that in this book, she wanted to have a mother who gets along with her children. That, together with you comment that this is a family love story, makes me want to add this book to my TBR pile, although I am slightly hesitant because of the silly incidents. I guess this is a book for winter, when you need something to read in front of the fireplace.

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    • ebookclassics
      July 24, 2014

      Wow, it’s very interesting to know Jojo Moyes writes with her daughter in mind. It also never occurred to me how much I enjoyed the good relationship the mother shares with her kids because I usually shy away from books that involve a lot of family drama and that might have turned me off this book. Although there is some silliness in this book, I think you will find the family love story far outweighs Moyes attempt to create all the comedic moments.

      The historical aspect of The Girl You Left Behind really appeals to me too, so I think it will my next Jojo Moyes pick.

      Like

  6. Athira
    July 27, 2014

    I’m looking forward to reading this book next weekend. Me Before You did not impress me during the first few chapters, but after that, I was hooked! I hope One Plus One is as good!

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      July 29, 2014

      I think I had the same experience with both books as well. I wasn’t very impressed in the beginning and then I became completely hooked. Have you read any of Jojo Moyes’ other books?

      Like

      • Athira
        July 31, 2014

        Just that one. I did try to listen to another one of her books – I forget the title but it starts off in a setting in France. The narrator was shrieking too much so I had to put that down. This is probably going to be her second book I try.

        Like

        • ebookclassics
          August 1, 2014

          Hoo boy, screeching is not good. I will stay away from the audiobook for sure now and just read the book.

          Like

  7. DoingDewey
    July 27, 2014

    Moyes really manages to suck you in, doesn’t she? This is my favorite book of hers I’ve read so far (although I haven’t gotten to Me Before You yet) because I found the characters so real and relatable. You’re right that the events of the book are rom-com material, but I thought the difficult situations the characters had to deal with made this a bit deeper than I expect a rom-com to be.

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  8. ebookclassics
    July 29, 2014

    Jojo Moyes certainly writes about subjects in a refreshingly different way. I feel like she’s going to become one of those authors that you can depend on for a good read. I look forward to hearing what you think about Me Before You once you’ve had the chance to read it.

    Like

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