Note**The PDA in this cover is not an accurate representation of the book. DO NOT let it deter you.
Title: Plus One
Author: Elizabeth Fama
Release Date: Available
In modern day America, citizens are separated into two groups depending on their birth and skill set; Smudges and Rays. Rays get to work and carry out their lives during the daylight hours before being confined to their houses at nightfall. For Smudges, the reverse is true. Sol Le Coeur is a smudge, forced to work a menial factory job to earn a living and to take care of her dying grandfather. In order to grant her Grandfather his dying wish, Sol deliberately injures herself in order to be granted admission to a hospital where she plans to kidnap her newborn Ray niece. All she wants is to allow her Grandfather to hold his granddaughter at least once before his passing. However, the kidnapping attempt goes awry as Sol discovers a government plot to better control the Smudge population. Now she, along with Ray medical apprentice D’Arcy, must figure out how to evade the authorities and discover the truth, before it’s too late.
Initially I had a few misgivings about this book. It is set in an alternate reality where a certain group of people are repressed, and where one girl gets tangled up in a government conspiracy. Sound familiar? But once I began to read this book, I realized that it was so much more than that. First off, Sol’s journey is more about trying to be with her grandfather in his last moments rather than foiling any mysterious government plot. That, in and of itself, makes her a more realistic character that 95% of dystopian protagonists. Second, the writing is beautiful and the supporting characters are dynamic, intelligent, multi-faceted people. Sometimes the bad guys are good and the good bad, but everyone has their own motives, and is not just supporting their “cause” because the plot told them to. Lastly, inevitability. ‘Twas inevitable that a love interest is involved in this book, but the romance is not overdone nor does it take over the plot of the book. The two really do have a genuine connection, one not thrust upon them by awful book stereotypes such as the whole “attraction upon first sight” scenario. Also, the ending. Oh, the ending! Plus One is a standalone novel, and ends exactly how it should end, in reality. It was perfect, and it was maddening, but it was real, and not manufactured to be conveniently happy, as so many endings are.
Overall, I highly recommend this book. It was a breath of fresh air in a genre where the air is stuffy at best. It is a wonderful and addicting read. I give it six out of five stars (the sixth granted for giving many of the main characters beautiful French names). Give Plus One a try. You won’t be disappointed.
Review by Annalise
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