Thursday, 3 December 2015

Review: Plus One by Elizabeth Fama

Written by: Elizabeth Fama
Published by: Farrar Straus Giroux
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 373
Purchase from:  Amazon UK |  Book Depository

It takes guts to deliberately mutilate your hand while operating a blister-pack sealing machine, but all I had going for me was guts.
Sol Le Coeur is a smudge - a night dweller in an American rigidly divided between people who wake, live, and work during the hours of darkness and those known as Rays who live and work during the daylight. 

Impulsive, passionate, and brave, Sol deliverately injures herself in order to gain admission to a hospital, where she plans to kidnap her newborn niece - a Ray - in order bring the baby to visit her dying grandfather. 

By violating the day-night curfew, Sol is committing a serious crime, and when the kidnap attempt goes awry it starts a chain of events that will put Sol in mortal danger, uncover a government conspiracy to manipulate the Smudge population, and throw her together with D'Arcy Benoit, the Ray medical apprentice who first treats her, then helps her outrun the authorities - and with whom she is fated to fall impossibly and irrevocably in love. 

This story had me going round and round in circles because I couldn't quite decide if I loved it or if I just liked it. There was moments of sweetness that was just beautifully written and set the story off amazingly, but then I found the story extremely predictable so I couldn't settle down and get emerged into the story because I kinda guessed what was going to happen very early on. It was because of that, that I thought the overall story was only good not great. 
"Believe me I don't want to set the world on fire I just want to start a flame in your heart."
Another momentous thing that I didn't get along with was the character development. For me, the characters seemed quite flip floppy. As in they kept going to and from different personalities, they just seemed very rushed and forced in some cases. Don't get me wrong there were a lot of parts of Sol that I genuinely enjoyed. I loved her fiestyness and her loyalty and her love for her grandfather but then when it came to the relationship with D'Arcy I honestly didn't believe it, it felt way too forced and it way too predictable. So I couldn't enjoy because I saw it coming from a mile a way and it didn't sit well with me. 
'The bridge was geologically ancient, an impassive observer, surrounded by life that was fleeting in comparison: trees that would only survive hundreds of years, tourists who would only live decades, insects that would thrive only for weeks.'
One thing that I absolutely adored about Plus One was the writing. It was just magical in the ways things were described, like the everyday objects and the comparisons between night and day. Everything was written so well that it really helped how they were pictured in your mind. It really kept me going when things became slightly knowing with the story and I'm glad it did because it did turn out to be an entertaining read, even with all the grievances I had with it.

'There was a smart, sunny girl out there right now somewhere, a Ray on a trajectory that would cross his path, a girl who made sense with him.'
All in all, while I didn't love this book, I did enjoy it. There were moments that really stood out and shouted among the pages. The writing was brilliant, I only thought the story was predictable and the characters needed more development but it didn't stop me from devouring it in just two days. While I wasn't quite gripped from the beginning, I was hurrying to find out the conclusion and that, to me, is the value of a good story.
Plus One