Friday, 12 September 2014
Review: One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
Publication Date: July 1st, 2014
Source: Publisher **I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review**
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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.
I find it hard to believe that I only found my first Jojo Moyes book last year. But Me Before You easily became one the best books I'd read, so I quickly went on a rampage to read all of her books. Although I'm not anywhere close to have done that yet, I am making a decent size dent. Moyes writes words. I really love how she sticks together words. These strings of words make an impact in my heart. They make me think about life and certain situations. These words bring enjoyment into my day(even when they make me cry). This is why I must read all the words that Moyes puts into a story; they bring me heart warming books like One Plus One.
One Plus One is a road trip book. And like most road trip books the characters tend to find a lot more on the journey than they expected. Nothing can be more truer than for Jess, Ed, Nicky and Tanzie.
Jess's husband left her two years ago and she's struggling to keep herself, her teenage stepson Nicky and tween daughter afloat. Live was never easy from the point that Jess became pregnant at sixteen with Tanzie. But at least she had her husband by her side. Jess tries to keep an up beat attitude for the kids. It's just really hard when life seems to be against them. She works a lot, Nicky is getting bullied daily and Tanzie has just been offered a spot at a prestigious private school. That's just the tip. Tanzie is ten year old math genius and that has gotten her a 90% scholarship to a private school. The things is, Jess has no idea where she's going to get the remaining 10% to secure her spot. So when Tanzie's math teacher informs Jess of a math competition taking place in Scotland with winnings of five thousand pounds. Jess packs up the family, including their dog into a barely working car in to make the eight hour drive.
Ed's life has just done a turn. A few days ago he was CEO to his tech company. Now he's being charged with insider trading. The thing is Ed didn't know that's what he was doing when he gave his girlfriend some money and told her to invest in new shares from his company. He just wanted to help her out as well as lessen the blow when he broke up with her. Probably should have thought that one through. One night when Ed is out driving, he finds Jess and her family stranded on the side of the road and for some reason volunteers to drive them to Scotland. He's quickly re-thinking this as they start on the road and realizes Jess's life is very different than his.
Moyes is fantastic at creating full and real characters. It doesn't matter what your feeling towards one of her characters, it's the fact that your are feeling something. And that something is a pretty strong something. These characters are real, so they are not going to be likable at every point in the book. They're going to make mistakes and say things they should have thought twice about saying. But so do we. At least I do. Probably on a daily basis. It's what makes me human. And that's also what makes Moyes characters very human.
On the outside Jess is a very positive person. Even though there isn't a lot to be positive about. It isn't that she's about appearances, it's that she doesn't know how to be anything else but. Tanzie and Nicky are her life and although Nicky is sixteen is gets that they aren't living the high life, Jess still needs to show that even when life keeps knocking them back it's okay, they'll get through it. Jess is a very endearing character. She's tough and stubborn. Very hesitant to accept any help. But she's also a little too trusting. Especially with her husband. That guy is a piece of work. I understand that it was hard for her to realize it was time to move forward in that aspect of her life. This is where Ed fits in.
Ed is a geeky, super smart millionaire. He's super sweet and caring guy. He's a little hesitant at first with Tanzie and Nicky, but soon finds himself enamored with them. It's not horrible traits to have, but Ed is a little naive. He also is scared to disappoint or hurt people. Which is why he finds himself in trouble with the law and distancing himself from his sick father. Jess's attitude helps Ed see that there's some things he needs get over and improve in himself. I really loved Ed and Jess's relationship. It starts off quite distant but they come to learn things about each other in the short period they are traveling. They each accidentally help each other come to an understanding about certain aspects of their lives.
Nicky is getting bullied because he's not the norm. He wears eye liner and the kids at school think he's gay. He spends his time online playing video games. I love Nicky. He's such a good, strong kid. He could be angry all the time. But he's not. It's really sad how he's getting bullied very badly. To the point that he ends up in the hospital. He just takes it and it breaks your heart. That's why Nicky's character growth is my favourite. He's not ashamed to be different, he just needed to learn to show that on his face. Ed helps him out a little there, but it's mostly seeing how strong he needs to be for Tanzie and Jess. He's technically the man of the house and he wants to be able to take care of them. He never had a bad attitude, it changes to a more positive one.
Tanzie is a special girl. There is a lot to be learned from her. Math makes her happy. It helps he understand most any situation. Tanzie and math also bring Jess, Nicky and Ed together. She's a shy and imaginative child that they think they must help and protect. But I think it's Tanzie that really does the helping. It took some work, but once she came out of her shelf they'll be no stopping her. She could rule the world with her math skills.
These different relationships and their dynamics is what I love most about a Moyes book. She has this way about intertwining these characters that should not meet. But somehow they do. She brings very different lives together into a new one that makes more sense. It fits. It's right. And than they help mend each other and it's beautiful.
It's not a Moyes book without some heart break and a few tears. But the fact is she never fails to warm my heart. One Plus One is fantastic and endearing story that every reader will love.