From the Archive Review: The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

Friday, 21 August 2015
Title: The One Plus One
Author: Jojo Moyes
Publisher: Penguin
Reviewed on Goodreads: 19th August 2013
Publication Date: 27th February 2014
Pages: 544
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
One single mum: With two jobs and two children, Jess Thomas does her best day after day. But it's hard on your own. And sometimes you take risks you shouldn't. Because you have to...

One chaotic family: Jess's gifted, quirky daughter Tanzie is brilliant with numbers, but without a helping hand she'll never get the chance to shine. And Nicky, Jess's teenage stepson, can't fight the bullies alone. Sometimes Jess feels like they're sinking...

One handsome stranger: Into their lives comes Ed Nicholls, a man whose life is in chaos, and who is running from a deeply uncertain future. But he has time on his hands. He knows what it's like to be lonely. And he wants to help...

One unexpected love story: The One Plus One is a captivating and unconventional romance from Jojo Moyes about two lost souls meeting in the most unlikely circumstances.

Jojo Moyes has been on my to read list for ages now, I have just never got round to reading her books. This is a mistake I will soon be rectifying after finishing this fantastic, amazing story - The One Plus One. When I started reading it I found a bit slow going and was wondering when the action was going to start, but then I realised it isn't that sort of book. What it actually is is a wonderful story about four people and a dog and the hurdles they are facing in their lives. The whole thing felt very true to life and incredibly realistic. This wasn't a book that relied on silly or over the top storylines and scenes or characters that clearly wouldn't exist in real life. Everything in the book could and probably is happening to families all across the UK.

The characters are Jess, a single mum holding down multiple jobs to look after her two kids and dog, Norman. Tanzie is her daughter with Marty and Nicky is Marty's son with another woman. Straight away this shows the kind of person Jess is as she sees Nicky as her own and is looking after these two kids with no monetary help from Marty. Well, no help at all actually. Nicky is a misunderstood teenager trying to find his way in life and I think Moyes wrote him very well. Tanzie is a geeky sort of character who is very good at Maths. The family live on an estate which is also the home of the Fisher family who are terrorising the local residents. Even at the start of this book I could tell this wasn't a typical Moyes story going by what I know about her previous work. Ed is our other main character and we learn about his life and the troubles that he is facing due to mistakes he made in his job. And that is all I can say for now as it is incredibly difficult to write a review of a book as you are hesitant about how much to reveal.

The book is split up into chapters and each of them are either about Jess, Nicky, Tanzie or Ed and are clearly marked so you know who is who. The chapters aren't however written in the first person which I felt would have been a good idea as I always enjoy books in first person more and relate to the characters more. This isn't a book with a spectacular scene on every other page, you won't be on the end of your seat throughout it (just near the end!) however the story told here is simply beautiful. I absolutely loved following these characters and reading their story. You will however laugh, cry, smile, find your eyes popping out of your head etc throughout this book and like me, will be gutted when you reach the end of the book. Overall I absolutely loved this book and it certainly will not be last read from the author. I recommend this book to everybody!

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