Summary: Jess always tells her kids that everything will work out. But as much as Jess says it, it’s hard for her to follow her own mantra when it’s been two years since your husband left, your stepson is being bullied, you’re trying to balance two jobs, and your math whiz of a daughter has been given an opportunity that you cannot afford. Enter Ed Nicholls, a tech millionaire who has a few problems of his own. Work has kept him away from his family for months, and when a conflict of interest threatens to end his career, Ed needs to escape from everyday life. He’ll do anything, even if that means driving Jess and her family, dog included, to the Maths Olympiad in Scotland and a prize that could change her daughter’s life forever.
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
If you’ve been following Fangirl Fury for a little while, it won’t take too long for you to realize that I am a contemporary reads kind of a girl. One of my favorite types of books are British contemporaries, and Jojo Moyes’s One Plus One more than satisfied my craving for a light, yet heart-warming read that takes place in the UK (I know that sounds oddly specific, but there are SO many books out there for you if you share this same feeling). It took me less than a week to fly through One Plus One and I would’ve finished it sooner if I didn’t have school or work!
As much as I enjoyed Jess and Ed as two of our main characters, Tanzie, Nicky, and Norman stole the show for me. At ten years old, I love how determined Tanzie was, and she was so unique for her love of math. I was never (and still not) a math girl growing up, but I loved school and of course, English class, so it was awesome to see Tanzie be so passionate about learning. Her positivity, something that she definitely got from her mom, was so heart-warming, and my heart melted for her so much throughout the story. Tanzie, I understand the struggle of having your glasses broken and it is easily one of the most frustrating things in the world– not being able to make out details absolutely stinks. Tanzie’s relationship with Norman, the big, sloppy, and lovable family dog, was quite cute and I’m happy that the duo is still together at the end of the novel.
Frankly, my heart went out to all of our four main characters, and after Tanzie, Nicky was the next in line to break my heart. The bullying him and his family faced was atrocious, and I’m really glad he had Ed to help him sort out some of his problems. We really don’t get Nicky’s point-of-view until the end of the book (One Plus One is told in third person, but each chapter follows one of the four MCs), but I liked seeing his voice shine through in his blog posts.
While One Plus One has a big emphasis on family, we of course get to experience Ed and Jess’s growing romance. The road trip doesn’t take up the entirety of the novel, which was great for both the story and Jess and Ed’s relationship to expand further. My biggest “complaint” of the novel was that we get the “we really care about each other but something from the past divides us but we still love each other and in the end we’ll be back together” trope (wordy, I know, but true!).
I would love to pick up another Jojo Moyes book in the near future. Have you read One Plus One? Share in the comments!