Thursday, May 22, 2014

Review: Plus One by Elizabeth Fama

From Goodreads: Seventeen-year-old Soleil Le Coeur is a Smudge - a night dweller prohibited by law from going out during the day. When she fakes an injury in order to get access to and kidnap her newborn niece - a day dweller, or Ray - she sets in motion a fast-paced adventure that will bring her into conflict with the powerful lawmakers who order her world, and draw her together with the boy she was destined to fall in love with, but who is also a Ray.

My Rating: 2.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Having loved Elizabeth Fama’s Monstrous Beauty, I had pretty high expectations for her newest novel, Plus One. Unfortunately, Plus One didn’t exactly deliver.

A huge part of that was because its plot was so far-fetched. See, you’re basically thrown into this alternate version of the U.S. where a strict curfew maintains a division between Rays (people who go to school, work, etc. during the day) and Smudges (people who do the same during the night), with no explanation given until 30% in – a bit too far into the story in my opinion – for how and why this division came about. On top of that, you’ve got a protagonist who has decided that she’s going to steal a baby without considering all its implications (e.g. like the fact that she has no diapers, will have to feed the baby every two hours, etc.). Let’s just say that things only got crazier from there, with the plot really revolving around the baby stealing incident.

The character of Sol was another issue I had with Plus One because she was far too thoughtless for my liking. Case in point: her decision to steal a baby, which she does so by hiding the baby under her hoodie and then putting the baby in a drawer! What I did like though about Sol was her loyalty to the people she loves. Unlike Sol, D’Arcy was much more level-headed, which is why I liked him better.  

I also didn’t like the romance as much as I was expecting. It’s funny that while Sol and D’Arcy weren’t together, I kept waiting for them to discover how they were connected and to just kiss; but then as soon as it happened, I wanted the opposite because they quickly moved from kissing to having sex and declaring their love for each other.

A rather disappointing novel, Plus One was released in April 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 

Comments About the Cover: I think the cover and synopsis give a false impression that this is a romance-centric novel. It’s not; instead, Plus One attempts to show what people are willing to do for love (of any type). 

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Macmillan Children's Publishing Group) for free via NetGalley.


  1. Awww, I'm sad you didn't like this one as much as I did. I really didn't mind Sol's lack of logic. I felt like D'Arcy was there to keep her level. The whole stealing a baby and not thing about the details was kind of funny to me. I thought she'd have to realize where that could go wrong eventually.

    I'm curious about what you thought of the end. That's what really made me grumpy.

    Thanks for the review!

  2. Wow, how impulsive do you have to be to steal a baby and hide it in a drawer?? haha, that's a bit funny actually, but in actuality it isn't very realistic. It's too bad this one ended up disappointing you after you loved Monstrous Beauty; that's always such a letdown. This reminds me that I still really need to read Monstrous Beauty though!

  3. I didn't know she wrote Monstrous Beauty! I haven't read it yet but since you liked it I think I'll still give it chance. And yeah, this one frustrated me a LOT. The baby thing was just... weird.

  4. Ok, so I was in agony over do-I-download-or-don't-I when I saw this ARC come up on NetGalley. I've heard great things about her first book and I think I'd love it, but the plot of this book just was NOT working for me. The blurb made me ask all sorts of questions, and it seems like my fears were all realized (except for the romance-dominating the plot, though spot on with the rapid execution and dying interest as a result). And then there were all the rave reviews...

    Thanks for this review. I now feel totally justified in my decision to steer clear. :)


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