Sunday, June 19, 2016

That Jojo Moyes book that isn't Me Before You...

Sorry I didn't get a post up yesterday, we had some neighborly shenanigans going on and I didn't have a chance to sit down at my computer...but I did find time to finish the book One Plus One by Jojo Moyes.  I am pretty sure everyone is familiar with the writer, since she is also the author of Me Before You, which was recently made into a movie.  That book is currently EVERYWHERE!  I thought it was a great book club pick, so I really wanted to see if I enjoyed her other work.

One Plus One is the story of two people from vastly different backgrounds, and how they come together during an ill conceived trip to Scotland for a Math Olympiad competition.


Ed is a wealthy Tech guy who is being investigated for insider trading.  He basically shared company secrets with a woman as a strange and complicated way of breaking up.  His father is dying of cancer and his sister if furious with him for not visiting.  He is trying his damnedest to keep his legal problems from his family, and is basically holing up in his house drinking his worries away until he can find out if he's going to prison.

Jess is a single mom, working multiple jobs trying to keep her head above the water.  The teen aged step-son she is taking care of is being beaten by neighborhood kids on a regular basis for being different.  Her daughter is a math prodigy, being offered a spot at a fancy schmancy private school that could change her life...but the catch is they'll only pay 90% of her tuition.  This becomes an issue for someone who is literally counting every penny coming in.  But then she is told about a Math Olympiad competition being held in Scotland that could be the answer to all their prayers.  The only catch is, she has no way to get there.  Enter Ed.

The crazy chaos that takes place on this road trip is truly memorable.  As a mom, I really enjoyed Jess's character.  She is one of those upbeat go-get-em ladies that believes that if you put good out there in the world, good will come back at you. Of course that sentiment is tested.  But this is a mother who is really doing everything she can to make a good life for her kids.  I thought she was very relatable, and I truly wanted things to work out for her.

"Because even if the whole world was throwing rocks at you, if you still had your mother or father at your back, you'd be okay" ~Jojo Moyes

 I think all teens need to hear the advice Ed gives Jess's son Nicky: "You know, you spend your whole life feeling like you don't quite fit in anywhere.  And then you walk into a room one day, whether it's at university or an office or some kind of club, and you just go 'Ah, there they are.' And suddenly you feel at home."  I wholeheartedly believe this to be true.  You just need to find your "tribe" as she says.

I thought this was a great book, and I would definitely recommend adding it to your to-read list.  It's not a difficult read, and at 368 pages it certainly isn't long (I have friends who would want to know that!).  Take a peek and let me know what you think.

Have you read anything by Jojo Moyes?  Is she a favorite of yours?  Did you enjoy Me Before You?  And out of curiosity, have you found your tribe yet?  I'm pretty sure I've found mine.

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