I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
Narrator: Ben Elliot, Elizabeth Bower, Nicola Stanton, Steven France
Published by Penguin Audio on July 1, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Fiction
Length: 12 hours, 14 minutes
Audio | Goodreads
One single mom. One chaotic family. One quirky stranger. One irresistible love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You
Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever.
Jess Thomas is a 27-year old single mother raising two children; Tanzie, a 10-year old math prodigy and Nick, her teenaged stepson (Dad’s moved on). Tanzie has an opportunity to attend a special school but money is an object. Ed Nicholls is a wealthy tech whiz who’s in big trouble, facing possible insider trading charges for inadvertently trying to help out a friend. Jess and Ed’s paths cross as he tries to help her get Tanzie to a big math contest with a monetary award to the winner.
what I loved
Jess represents every ordinary parent who’s trying to do the best for her children and struggling to make ends meet. Despite her imperfections and failures, her resilience had me rooting for her throughout the story. Ed initially comes across as self-centered and superficial, which kept me from seeing any potential romance between these two. There are extremely hilarious moments as they contend with all the obstacles on the way to the math contest. There are also tough moments as the issues both face are realistic for their circumstances.
I categorized this as contemporary fiction because most of the story falls in this category. There is a romantic element but it’s not the primary focus so I’d recommend you read (or listen) through this lens.
There are four narrators to represent the voices and points of view of Jess, Ed, Nicky and Tanzie. This my first time listening to a story with more than two and it was a highlight of my reading experience. All of these characters are so distinctly drawn and having distinctive voices for them made the performance more effective. I loved it!
the bottom line
I enjoyed this story immensely, especially the audio experience. Jess is a wonderful character who goes the distance for her children and puts her pride aside for their sake. You’ll laugh, cry, get angry and tense (there are some dicey moments), which are hallmarks of a really good book. So plug in and enjoy.