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Author: Elizabeth Fama
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | TBD
“I whispered his name out loud for the first time, giving myself over to an eternity of wanting what could never be.”
I would never discover Plus One on my own and I have to thank Dianne for the intense spazzing she did while she was reading it. I can say that I liked this book even before I started reading it, but getting to know the characters and the story first hand made me fall in love with it.
At first glance, Plus One is a romance story. That superdupermegaawesome cover and blurb screams romance, but it’s not all that. When you finish reading it, you’ll love not just D’Arcy and Sol but everyone in this story. Every bit and part of this book contributed to its awesomeness. I can’t think of anything that was just there for the sake of filling a place in the story.
I honestly have no idea how to tell you more about this book without being a blubbering mess and without spoiling anything so I’ll just go with my safe-mode format and do a list review.
1. Family-centric. As I’ve said, this book isn’t just romance. I think I have cried more during the scenes where they’re with their family more than the star-crossed aspect. There were flashbacks from Sol’s memory as well as present scenes that will surely pull your heartstrings. In my case, they squeezed my heart.
2. Amazing characters. As I’ve said, every bit and part of this book were part of its success and it also the same with the characters. None of the characters I’ve met in the Plus One universe felt insignificant. I can actually sympathize with most of them and if not, I really thought that their character was essential to the story. Two of my favorite characters, other than D’Arcy and Sol, are Jean and Poppu. Both characters were selfless and would really do anything for their family. They gave up their comfort for the sake of their loved ones and they continue to do so even if it will endanger their lives.
3. Awesome world-building. I’ve read a few reviews saying that this has a weak world-building and they didn’t understand the point of dividing the people into Rays and Smudges, and to be honest I am quite disappointed with that. They clearly didn’t understand it at all. It was stated in the book, around 30%, that the division was because of the pandemic. The sort of popular interpretation was the division cured the pandemic, but it’s not like that. [spoiler] They were divided into Night and Day so they can accommodate the increasing number patients in the hospital. [spoiler] Anyway.. back to world-building. The Plus One universe presented a good political argument about how unfair it is between the Rays and Smudges. On Sol’s time outside during daytime and D’Arcy’s during nighttime, it was emphasized the difference between their world and how deprived the Smudges were compared to the Rays. One thing I really found unfair was how Rays can be loud during daytime, but Smudges were expected to stay quiet during nighttime so they won’t disturb the sleeping Rays.
4. Swoon-tastic romance. I know I said that romance wasn’t just the thing in only thing in this book, but D’Arcy and Sol’s love story was amazing. At first, I was only focused on Sol and her unconditional love for his Poppu. Her every action in the first part were for Poppu, even though she is aware that she’s putting her in danger. At first, I found D’Arcy terribly annoying. Every negative thought Sol had about him was the same thought I had in mind. I don’t know when and where it started, but there was a scene where I suddenly realized that I love D’Arcy (very much like Sol). That guy has the ability to get under your skin and surprise you. Nothing beats a romance with a good pace. The slow burn of their love story made it very believable and close to ones heart. Don’t worry about thinking how unrealistic it is to fall so hard for someone just because you are on the run. There was history between them and a deep connection shared without their knowledge, but even without that, the pace made it superb.
5. Surprising ending. I say surprising because it’s a stand-alone novel. At first, I screamed more—literally—but then I thought it was also perfect. Adding a sequel might make or break this book and with its awesomeness, I really can’t risk watching it sink just because I want a longer story.
I know I’m very repetitive about how awesome it was and that most of the points mentioned unconditional love for someone but it’s just because it’s true. This book made me master the ability of silent ugly crying with the aid of my trusty pillow.
Plus One just became one of the best star-crossed lovers story I’ve read (there are only two, including this one) and Beth just became one of my auto-buy authors.
Final words? READ IT. READ IT. READ IT.
There’s a song I had on repeat while writing this review. It’s Salvation by Gabrielle Aplin. I think you should listen to it during the part where they started to have feelings for each other and after you finish reading the book. Super thanks to Dianne for recommending this song!
This copy was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Elizabeth Fama is the author of Plus One (FSG, 2014), Monstrous Beauty (FSG, 2012), a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection and Odyssey Award honor winner, and Overboard (Cricket Books, 2002), an ALA Best Books for Young Adults. She is represented by Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger, Inc.
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