Title: One Plus One
Author: Jojo Moyes
Source: from publisher for review
Review Summary: Yet another awesome read from Jojo Moyes, with unique but believable characters, lots of emotional ups and downs, and a fun plot.
“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.” (Source)
I loved Jojo Moyes’ Silver Bay and The Girl You Left Behind, but I think One Plus One is my favorite book of hers yet. Across books, the diverse characters she brings convincingly to life is astonishing. In this book in particular, the characters had the potential to be stereotypes–the math geek girl, the goth misfit guy, the single mom, the business man–but I finished thinking that they were each incredibly unique. The characters personalities were so fleshed out they felt like really people, completely unique from any other characters I’ve read about.
The plot was also very believable. Sure, the initial situation was bit contrived, but I loved the end result. It was one of those books which felt as though the author created the situation and then just let the characters go. I think this was the case because the characters were so well rounded and acted in a way consistent with their personalities. Although Jojo is an author I count on to leave me with warm, fuzzy feelings, I didn’t feel as though a happy ending was foregone conclusion. . Lately I’ve enjoyed books such as this one which make me worry for the characters. The characters dealt with a variety of tough issues and all were overcome in believable ways. This may seem like a funny thing to say about fiction (perhaps this is my love of nonfiction showing), but my favorite thing about this book was how real it seemed.