This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Last month, we launched The Novelicious Book Club – a fun, friendly and very positive place to geek out over brilliant reads – with the newly released The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes. Phew, what a book. Ahead of the #NoveliciousBookClub chat at 8pm on Twitter and Facebook tonight (you’ll find the discussion questions we’ll be covering below), we thought we'd share some of our initial thoughts. We can’t wait to see whether you agree!
Having discovered Jojo Moyes after Me Before You I could not wait for her next release. This is a very different read, but I fell in love with the characters nonetheless. Jess is a single mum who can’t seem to catch a break. I admired her positive attitude throughout, but how she held onto it for so long is beyond me.
Mr Nicholls is someone Jess cleans for, but when fate throws them together, he becomes her friend Ed. Money can’t buy happiness and that is certainly true for Ed, as it has led to trouble for him, so when Jess needs help he jumps at the chance. When reading, you know he will benefit from being Jess’s saviour in one way or another.
Along with Jess’s two children Nicky and Tanzie, they head off for an impromptu road trip to Aberdeen, where Tanzie will compete in a maths competition. As the miles tick by, the true personalities emerge and another aspect of each character is revealed. The story had so much depth and realism that I literally felt I was in the car. I laughed, panicked and was (almost) carsick right along with them!
The One Plus One is a real rollercoaster of a read, with laugh out moments one minute and heartfelt ones the next. I loved Jess and her little family and really felt for them as they struggled through life. Jess has been abandoned by her husband and though she works hard to provide for daughter Tanzie and stepson Nicky, it isn’t always enough. Anyone who has ever felt the strain of not having enough money to make ends meet will be able to relate to Jess and the measures she has to take to feed and clothe her children. I warmed to Jess’s whole family – even Norman the dog – and didn’t want their story to end.
There isn't anything I didn’t like about The One Plus One. At the end I felt like I knew the characters, and I loved them all. It wasn’t always an easy read, but it is wonderfully uplifting, full of hope and human goodness. I cried big, fat, happy tears at the end.
This book was difficult for me to get into at first, having no indication of where the story was going to go so I had to work hard to stay with it in the beginning. However, once I felt I knew the characters better, I started to go with the story and not try to anticipate too much along the way. Ed was the person who stood out the most to me. He was a really interesting character and I liked the juxtaposing storylines of Jess and Ed.
Both main characters seemed to gain a lot from one another along the way, and so did the children. There were some really funny moments within the book, mostly involving Norman the dog. However, the part that I enjoyed (but cried over the most) was when Norman became a hero trying to save little Tanzie from the local bullies. This was truly heart-wrenching stuff and I admit I shed a tear or two. I would recommend this book to anyone who has felt – at any point in their lives – like they don’t belong. To dog lovers and those who have dreamt of better times, too.
A touching tale of finding love where you least expect it. Jess is an admirably strong and proud heroine who will do anything for her family and is ever hopeful that one day things will turn out for the best. Ed has lost his way a little on the road to success, but as life comes crashing down around him, a random act of kindness finds him on a road trip with the Thomas family, which will change them all forever. A wonderful and moving novel full of hope that has stayed with me long after turning the last page.
I had every intention of enjoying The One Plus One so was a little alarmed to find, a few pages in, that I didn't warm to Jess. And if I didn't warm to her then I didn't care about her story. As I continued to read though, I was slowly and subtly sucked into the lives of Jess, Nicky, Tanzie and Ed. And when my heart began to thud over some injustice part of the way through the book – and tears swam in front of my eyes – I knew then that I cared deeply. I loved this book.
I adored The One Plus One. Within a few pages I cared about the characters and, by the end of the book, I was sad to leave them – especially Jess and her daughter, Tanzie. Moyes creates truly fully-rounded characters and the situations (and their reactions) feel entirely real, but she also tells a brilliant story. It had me hooked all the way through, desperate to know how things would work out. I loved Me Before You (and it's a tough act to follow), but I loved this just as much.
Jess Thomas, a strong believer in karma, has taught her maths-genius daughter, Tanzie, and her troubled, eyeliner-wearing stepson, Nicky, that positivity and kindness will lead to happiness. Her belief is challenged when she loses a well-paid cleaning job, finds out her supposedly depressed, struggling ex has not been entirely truthful and Tanzie is offered a subsidised scholarship that Jess simply cannot afford. A cross-country car journey with an equally troubled stranger to a maths competition with a cash prize could be the Thomas family’s saving grace.
This quirky, captivating story was enough to keep me hooked from page one. It has everything needed for the reader to connect emotionally with each unusual, honest character. By the end, much like Jess, I just wanted the journey to go on and on.
A wonderful summer read that I will be recommending to all my friends!
So, it seems Team Novelicious reached a consensus on The One Plus One. A big, fat, LOVED IT. We have the book hangover to prove it.
Do join us at 8pm on Twitter and Facebook tonight for a virtual glass of wine and some book discussion (no spoilers though please as others will still want to read the book). Here are the questions we’ll be talking about – we’d absolutely love to hear your thoughts!
Who was your favourite character in The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes and why?
Which character or scene could you most relate to?
What were your first impressions of Jess and Ed? How did your opinion of them change throughout the book?
Each character’s life changed by the end of the road trip. How did their lives change? Who was most changed?
And finally, if you have any future book club pick suggestions, let us know in the comments!
Team Novelicious x