Friday, July 18, 2014

The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

The One Plus One
by Jojo Moyes
Read: July 9 - 10, 2014
July 1st 2014 by Pamela Dorman Books (US edition)
Source: UK edition purchase
Category: Contemporary romance, families, England
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

One single mum
With two jobs and two children, Jess Thomas does her best day after day. But it's hard on your own. And sometimes you take risks you shouldn't. Because you have to . . .

One chaotic family
Jess's gifted, quirky daughter Tanzie is brilliant with numbers, but without a helping hand she'll never get the chance to shine. And Nicky, Jess's teenage stepson, can't fight the bullies alone. 
Sometimes Jess feels like they're sinking . . .

One handsome stranger
Into their lives comes Ed Nicholls, a man whose life is in chaos, and who is running from a deeply uncertain future. But he has time on his hands. He knows what it's like to be lonely. And he wants to help . . .

One unexpected love story
The One Plus One is a captivating and unconventional romance from Jojo Moyes about two lost souls meeting in the most unlikely circumstances.

Jess Thomas works two jobs to support her children and still feels like she's barely treading water. She watches their triumphs and struggles and is determined to help them succeed, but sometimes she just doesn't know how she can possibly make anything better. 

Two years ago, Jess's husband Marty left and he's not done anything to support them since then. Her stepson Nicky is being horribly bullied at school and spends the rest of his time hiding in his room. Her daughter Tanzie is a star at maths, but Jess is not sure she can afford the better school that could give Tanzie the edge to succeed. When Tanzie is invited to compete in a maths competition in Scotland, Jess believes this could be the leg up her daughter needs. But she's not exactly sure how she's going to get all of them there. 

Ed Nicholls is the wealthy founder of a tech company, who is currently being investigated for insider trading, because of one very idiotic decision. Banned from his job for the foreseeable future, he's been spending his time at his holiday home on the coast, which Jess happens to clean. Though he and Jess don't exactly get off to a great start, somehow he ends up offering to drive her, her two kids and their large dog to the competition. Besides, he doesn't have anything else to do at the moment. Put these characters together in one car and a lot can go wrong, but along the way, magic happens, and a beautiful story unfolds. 

Jojo Moyes has an incredible ability of making her readers fall hard for her messy, complicated, flawed characters. Even when they do very stupid things, I cannot help but love them, get caught up in their lives, and feel their emotions along with them. This book was funny, heartbreaking, hopeful, and it made me extremely happy. 

The slowly building romance between Jess and Ed is also a highlight. At first these two struggle to understand each other, and they do not appear to be a good match at all. But over time, we get to see how well they actually do fit together, and in many ways need the other. And I'm not at all talking about Jess needing Ed's money. What I mean is that as each begins to trust and support the other through all the crazy things they face on their trip, they gain confidence and become better versions of themselves. Sometimes all it takes is someone else believing in you, or being there for you when you need them, and Ed and Jess find that in each other. 

The One Plus One is one of those stories where everything that can go wrong does. But it makes the book all the more hilarious and heartbreaking. The road-trip-to-a-daughter's-competition-with-a-chaotic-family aspect of this story reminded me a lot of Little Miss Sunshine, which is a good thing, because I love that movie. But this book truly stole my heart. Jess, Ed, Nicky and Tanzie, I adored all of them, and I wanted so many good things for each of them. 

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Standalone 


  1. Aw, I hadn't seen this cover yet, but it's so adorable! Heh! I had actually no idea what this was about and it's sounds really awesome! I love how layered and flawed the characters seem and that you adored them still throughout all the thick and thin. "they gain confidence and become better versions of themselves." YAY. I'm glad it gave you feels and was an adorable read for you, my lovely :)

  2. I might have to give this one a try! She's such a popular author, so there must be good reason for it. And now that you've praised this to the high heavens, I think giving it a go would be a good idea. I love flawed, messy, but loveable characters, and the comparison to Little Miss Sunshine can only be a good thing (love that movie!). Great review, L!

  3. This sounds like an adorable read, Lauren! I hadn't heard of Jojo Moyes until I saw reviews for this book pop up, but I think I'm going to like her books. I love the sound of the characters and the road trip. I need to check this one out for sure.
    Lovely review! :)

  4. I've been wondering about this one, having seen it in many places. Like that it's got a Little miss Sunshine vibe because that was such a cute, quirky story. And yay for a standalone!

  5. Like with Me Before You, I read the synopsis of this novel and dismissed it. I'm not going to make that mistake again though. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one and fell for the characters, Lauren. I don't know when I'll get around to this as I've been on a major sci-fi/fantasy/dystopian kick lately, but I hope I love this story as much as you did.

  6. I'm loving all the enthusiasm for The One Plus One! I've only read one of Moyes' novels (Me Before You),but I really enjoyed it. In fact, I'm rather unclear on why I haven't continued reading her other novels since! This story sounds so compelling and really fantastic, plus the cast of characters seems pretty great too! I hope I get the opportunity to read it soon :)

  7. Aw, YAY :D I'm so glad you loved this book sweetie. <3 It do sound pretty great. Not sure if it is for me, but maybe one day. <3 So happy you loved it :) Amazing review. <3 Thank you for sharing about it :D

  8. I guess it's finally time to read a book by Jojo Moyes. I've heard wonderful things about her books but this one in particular speaks out the romantic in me and I definitely want to get to know these characters. You make them all sound so wonderful and I cannot wait to see the relationship develop and the sparks fly! :D

    I am really glad you enjoyed this, Lauren!

    BEAUTIFUL review! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

  9. I haven't read Jojo Moyes before, but I've heard great things and reading your review definitely makes me want to read this book. Road trip with a slow building romance…sold! ~Pam

  10. Oh... this sounds like a nice feel good story -- with added depth! Little Miss Sunshine is such a sweet story, and if One Plus One is anything like that, then I know it's a winner. I'm so happy you connected with the story as strongly as you did, Lauren; for that alone, I know I'll have to give it a shot sometime. Stunning review, dear! :)

    Marlene @ The Flyleaf Review

  11. That's quite a pretty cover! After Me Before You (which broke my dam of tears) I haven't read any of Jojo Moyes' books again for the fear of the heartfelt that I'm going to face lol I know, silly. This one sounds like an adorable and a must read, though, I'm going to go for it. :)

    Tirta @ I Prefer Reading


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