Monday, April 14, 2014

Review: Plus One by Elizabeth Fama

Goodreads Summary:

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.

Publication Date: April 8, 2014

Plus One had an interesting premise, but I’m not sure if I totally bought into the idea behind the dystopian society. However, I did like some of the unique plot elements and interesting secondary characters.

I’m usually easily sold on dystopian setups, but for some reason Plus One’s world building didn’t really work for me. There was a vague explanation of why the country had separated into day and night dwellers (something to do with increased productivity), but it was a little too implausible for me to believe. The government was paying a huge expense to keep the program in place (guards to check IDs, surgeries to correct circadian rhythms, medications to treat vitamin D and melatonin deficiencies), with very little payoff. Also, the plot of Plus One could’ve been stronger. It just didn’t make much sense for a smart girl like Sol to enact this half-baked scheme to steal her niece for a few hours from the maternity ward so her grandfather can finally meet her.

Although Sol’s impulsiveness was maddening at times, I did admire her fierce loyalty to her family. The romance was also sweet and slow building with Sol and D’Arcy not really getting along for two-thirds of the novel. D’Arcy was a great love interest and I liked how kind and good he was, especially when it came to protecting Sol. The secondary characters, such as Jean and Poppu, were also very likable.

There was a lot of action in the novel, so I never grew bored while reading. The author also put in some unexpected twists that I hadn’t anticipated. Because of the gorgeous cover, I thought it would be more of a plot driven by the romance, but that wasn’t the case. It was more about how Sol’s race to save her grandfather while uncovering government conspiracies.

I did enjoy Fama’s writing style and her superb characterizations, which would make me pick up another book by the author despite my issues with the world building.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review!


  1. Yeah, that dystopian setting does sound a bit far-fetched. But I do like action, do maybe I will read the book after all. :)

  2. The cover of this had me curious about the book. When it comes to dystopians I feel as though the world building and background is important. I'm glad you still liked the book even though you had a few problems with it. Great review!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

  3. Great review, Heather! Looking at that cover, I'd think the story would have as much detail paid to it. Guess it goes back to that old saying, eh? :) WRITE ON!

  4. Her impulsiveness sounds like something I will struggle with as well, but I too love the premise and hope that it delivers