Thursday, 13 March 2014

The One Plus One by JoJo Moyes

Single mother Jess is struggling to keep her family afloat. Her ex Marty moved away two years ago, leaving Jess with their daughter, Tanzie and Jess's stepson, Nicky. Marty neglects to support his family financially or emotionally and Jess is forced to take on multiple jobs to try to make ends meet.
Nicky doesn't feel like he fits in anywhere. His mother abandoned him when he was eight years old and his father moved away too, with their relationship now conducted through weekly Skype chats.
Tanzie is a young maths genius. Her teacher thinks she could go far and has helped secure her a scholarship at a local private school that has excellent results. The only problem is, the scholarship will only fund part of the fees and Jess can't see a way that she will be able to raise the rest of the money.
And then Jess meets Ed Nicholls, a man who wants to help her family. But Ed has problems of his own with a court case looming and a sick father he can't seem to face.
The One Plus One is the first JoJo Moyes book that I've read so, while I've heard many great things about the author, I wasn't sure what to expect. What I discovered was a wonderful rollercoaster of a read. My emotions were all over the place, with laugh out loud moments one minute and raw emotionally charged moments the next. I felt like I went on a real journey with each of the characters and couldn't wait to see what happened next in their lives.
I don't think I could pick out a favourite character from the book as I thought they were all brilliant, including the big drooling mass that was Norman the dog, but the children, Nicky and Tanzie, will probably stay with me for a long time. When Nicky came to live with Jess, he was quite a damaged boy, though he wouldn't admit it, and his life is pretty tough, first with his father leaving and then being subjected to horrific bullying from the local thugs, The Fishers. I felt for the whole family as the bullying continued, with both Nicky and Tanzie being afraid to leave the house and Jess feeling powerless to protect them. Tanzie is a wonderfully quirky character and I loved her observations.
I absolutely loved The One Plus One. It's jam packed with humour but it is ultimately the tale of a broken family struggling to piece itself back together. I can definitely see this book being in my top ten at the end of the year.
The One Plus One is the first book in Novelicious' brand new book club. If you've read the book or are planning to, why not share your thoughts on Twitter using #NoveliciousBookClub? There will also be a chat about the book on Twitter on 26th March. Full details can be found here

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