March 9, 2014 by Alice in Readerland
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.
Special thanks to the publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) for giving me an ARC of this title solely in exchange for an honest review. Plus One by Elizabeth Fama will arrive in stores April 8th, 2014.
I think one of the most interesting thing about this book is how real it is. Yes, the synopsis says that it’s set in an alternate reality, but there are so many aspects of civil rights it shows. This book handles issues like segregation and personal rights and putting it in an “alternate reality” really doesn’t lessen its impact. This book also shows you some of the grittier sides of things, and while a lot of alternate` reality books can go really off the wall, this one really made me think, “Things like this are actually happening right now.” I also thought the world building was expertly done and I enjoyed hearing why the world was set up as it was.
Another strong quality of this book is that it’s vividly and persuasively written. The main character, Sol, always speaks her mind and is very passionate and I think that comes across with the author’s whole writing style. If there’s happiness or anger or grief in the story it’s very expressive and descriptive. Sol’s voice definitely struck me as standing out at the beginning. Sol (like her last name hinted) had a ton of heart, a ton of loyalty to her Grandfather, a ton of guts, and a ton of:
Cynical Cindy Says
This isn’t a criticism as it is as much of a personal note: I felt that the first half of the story and the second half of the story had two very different tones. The first was more of a fun “heist” feel, while the second half got a lot darker and gritter. Obviously, that wasn’t wrong in any way, since events escalated and that’s where the author chose to go. But I was a bit disappointed because I was ready to hand this book to some younger teens/preteens I know and recommend it all around, but after reading the second half, I’d definitely be more careful recommending this one. I also didn’t enjoy the second half of this book since it’s just not the type of read I gravitate to. Again, before I get any negative comments about this, it’s just a personal comment and not me saying anything bad against the writing.
(Also, I just have to say that when I got this ARC, Marissa Meyer hadn’t blurbed it yet, but apparently she had asked for an ARC of Plus One and volunteered the blurb, which made me really excited since Marissa Meyer – along with Meg Cabot – is my favorite author!)