A copy was provided to me by the publisher for an honest review.
Divided by day and night and on the run from authorities, star-crossed young lovers unearth a sinister conspiracy in this compelling romantic thriller.
Seventeen-year-old Soleil Le Coeur is a Smudge—a night dweller prohibited by law from going out during the day. When she fakes an injury in order to get access to and kidnap her newborn niece—a day dweller, or Ray—she sets in motion a fast-paced adventure that will bring her into conflict with the powerful lawmakers who order her world, and draw her together with the boy she was destined to fall in love with, but who is also a Ray.
Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the day-night divide, Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights, and a fast-paced romantic adventure story.
I loved the concept of this book- an alternative reality/history in which to survive the 1918 flu pandemic people were segregated between living during the day or night. I found the social divide being illustrated by which hours a person was permitted to live to be incredibly gripping and interesting. Fama was able to illustrate her world realistically, her writing was concise and beautiful. I’ve not seen this broached before in a world not populated by vampires so I was thrilled to be able to read this book. And, let’s be honest, that cover is absolutely stunning.
My only qualm about this story was the main story device of Soleil needing, in essence, to steal her niece from the hospital. Having a child myself I found this to be disturbing because of my empathy towards the pain the parent’s had to feel. Also, for someone to steal a baby from its parents had me a bit iffy about our main character. Not only was her plan poorly thought out but even considering to steal your brother’s baby just felt so wrong to me. As I continued to read I did grow accustomed and enjoyed the surrounding world so much I was able to overlook this discomfort.
The pacing was fast and the story fluid. Fama was able to incorporate flash back moments that gave depth to Sol, insight into her life before things started to fall apart and depth into this world. In many books the use of flashbacks disrupt the overall flow of the writing but this wasn’t the case in Plus One. Not only was the world original but the characters were all well rounded. Even if I wasn’t able to agree with their actions I was able to understand their motivations.
As stated above I had a rough start with our main character, Sol. As I read her motivations became clearer and I began to like her. She was a bold, loyal and stubborn character that could win anyone over with enough time. Even though I found a knee jerk reaction to be repulsed by the decision to steal a baby, somehow Sol was able to actually have me hoping she’d succeed. She was so determined and genuine in her desires it was hard to not empathize with her. Above all, I enjoyed seeing her learn from mistakes and grow, which she did a good amount of. Her interactions with others, especially those that lived in the Day were incredibly insightful not only about her but about the divide between the people of this society.
D’Arcy was beautifully crafted and my favorite character. I loved his sense of morality and his ability to support and believe in what he felt was right. His family history and interactions fascinated me and displayed a bit more into the world. Fama created such a complex and in depth world that layers deep and hard to even articulate how much I appreciated the thought and care she took in her world building. I felt that each character, and D’Arcy especially, was able to give me a connection into this world.
From looking at that cover I went into this expecting a romance to swoon over. Be prepared that it was not as prevalent as the cover leads you to believe. There were some beautiful moments (late in the book) but I felt that it was just shy of being incredibly romantic. I had hoped for more of a star crossed lovers vibe than was actually present.
This was my first book to read by Elizabeth Fama. I was blown away with her world building and expertise in creating well rounded, deep characters capable of realistic interactions and motivations. Though I wasn’t enthusiastic about some of the story devices the writing style, world and characters overshadowed any negatives.