Books & Reviews 📚

Book #77: One Plus One

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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.

Author: Jojo Moyes
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books (July 1, 2014)
Chapters: 41

Pages: 368

“I don’t want a relationship, Ed. With you or anyone. There’s no room in my life for the whole one-plus-one thing.”

Let’s do this.

We have Jess, the caring, loving single mother of a Maths prodigy, Tanzie and a bullied goth, Nicky. Nicky is not her biological son. He is the son of her husband and another woman, but Jess loves him nonetheless. Her relationship with the husband is complicated. Complicated as in he’s been gone for two years after suffering a form of depression and all the while she thinks he’s living with his mother and trying to do right, Marty’s been living with his new girlfriend in her expensive dwelling and children.

I think Jess was rather naive that she let her husband off the hook for two years and bought all of his lies. I also wished she had handled meeting Marty and his new girlfriend a little better for her moment of anger turned out to be an embarrassment.  In the end, she finally applied for a divorce and opened her own handy business. This character was annoying.

Then there’s Ed Nicholls. Software geek who is facing some legal problems of his own. Facing jail time and not wanting to go home to visit his dying father, his life is thrown into a chaotic mess when he offered his cleaner, Jess and her children and their dog a lift to the Maths Olympiad. I couldn’t bring myself to care for him.

I loved two people: Norman, this large indeterminate breed of dog, is the sweetest character and I loved Nicky’s character. He was the stepson, the goth, the outsider, the one who didn’t fit in, the loner, the kind of character that is easy to write, but an author have to have that certain touch to bring him to life. Although tough on the outside and often bullied, he was a little softie deep down inside where it concerns his sister and he was not angry at the world. He grabbed my attention, but it was not enough for me to love this book.

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I don’t think the story was funny nor was it romantic, but it reminded me to appreciate what I have and of how money is extremely important to get by in this struggling life. Jess was a penny pincher and I get that in real life, it can be sad, but her obsession with her poverty was overdone and it turned me off. The story had potential, but it was so depressing that it annoyed me a lot.




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