Book Of The Month: The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

Books, LIFESTYLE

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* Post contains spoilers, you have been warned*

After reading the blurb for this book I still didn’t really know what to expect but after loving After You and Still Me by Jojo Moyes I was ready to give it a go. I shall start by saying that The One Plus One is very different from the other two novels I had read. Although the others did have realistic storylines and tugged at the heart strings, The One Plus One can only be described as a blow to the gut. In parts it made me feel the nerves and the anger from the characters and others made me look like I was catching flies as I read (I believe the real saying here is ‘jaw dropping’) and from a book that I was at first uncertain about as I closed the pages I found it a great read. 

I really didn’t know where this story was going to go when I started reading it. Following the conversations of two cleaners losing a job it felt almost too realistic and as I read for escapism and entertainment I wasn’t sure this was going to provide a happy ending. I am very glad that I continued to read because I did indeed enjoy each of the characters developments throughout the story. The story follows Jess, her young daughter Tanzie, her non-biological teenage son Nicky and lastly Ed, the rich, slightly rude but helpful acquaintance. After some extreme car trouble with Jess’ car, Ed offers to drive the family to Scotland. Their time in the car together becomes the story and this is very reflective on real life situations. Long journeys always tend to promote conversations that wouldn’t usually be had or provoke irritations within the confined space. The story conveys this perfectly and makes it even more tense as the characters are strangers to each other.

Jojo Moyes The One Plus One  book of the month

I am not usually a fan of books that switch between the characters voices but The One Plus One did this well. The story flowed, didn’t change scenes completely and I found it easy to follow, something that I don’t find in many of this type. I also enjoyed the characters voices themselves. Even though two of the characters are younger and you can tell this isn’t disruptive and they would seem ‘grown up’ for their age, especially Nicky towards the end of the book.

A couple of storyline twists in the book left me open mouthed in shock for a minute or two and I thoroughly enjoyed this about it. Finding out where Jess’ partner was and the accident with Tanzie and the dog towards the end were a definite surprise, not pleasant but interesting. And even better that it ended positively.

As the story is mainly centred around Jess the reader gets to know her character a little more. I do prefer to read books which have a female lead who is strong, independent and aspirational and although Jess is these things it is portrayed in a way completely different compared to female characters in other narratives. Instead of the high flying careers, designer labels and jet set life that I usually find in women’s literature, this is down to earth, arguably more realistic for the masses and aspirational in other ways. Ways like; working hard pays off, be a good person and be true to yourself. There are so many underlying meanings in the book, probably even a few that I didn’t catch, that the reader is bound to come away with something and I’ll definitely be keeping this one on the bookshelf to read again in the future.

Have you read The One Plus One or any other books by Jojo Moyes?

Still Me by Jojo Moyes

Still Me by Jojo Moyes

Books, LIFESTYLE

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Where are the first two books in the sequence I hear you ask? Well, friends and family I haven’t yet read them. My husband decided to treat me to a couple of books he saw online and Still Me by Jojo Moyes was one of them. He didn’t realise it was the third book of three and I eventually decided to read it anyway, I would pick the story up (hopefully) and if and when I could I would purchase and read Me Before You and After You, which come in that order.

Let us jump straight into this review as I clearly have a lot to say.

I LOVED IT.

Thanks for reading.

Jokes aside, I can honestly say that this has been my favourite read of the year. With only a month or so to go I feel I can say that with confidence. I managed to sit down and finish a chunk of it, like a giant chocolate brownie, all at once and I think thanks to this I was able to really fall in love with the characters. Louisa Clark – a woman we could all probably get along with who is seemingly so ‘real’ that it is easy to take a liking to her from the off. Relatable is a trait I appreciate in a character and I find I am more likely to continue reading a book if I can see elements of myself or friends in them. Mrs De Witt ended up being my favourite character in Still Me as she changed throughout the story and arguably became the most like-able, along with of course her faithful pup, Dean Martin. As mentioned in other book posts I am a sucker for a doggy sidekick in a novel and this one didn’t fail to deliver.

The story itself seemed to comprise two parts. One half to include Louisa as she started working in New York, finding her way around the city whilst having a long distance relationship back home in England and the other half finding who she was without a partner, job or place to stay. It was the second half of the story that really got me engrossed as it included many a funny one liner to which I laughed out loud (luckily at home) and cried, (multiple times). These along with the evolution of Mrs De Witt’s character and her relationship with Louisa made the second half of the book for me, simply un-put-down-able.

With a little backstory into my personal history there has always been a sewing machine roaring, dresses hung around the house waiting to be mended and always a pin to stand on when you least expected it. Quality clothes have always made their way around us so I was engrossed when Mrs De Witt and Louisa talked of their style, the fashions and their love of clothes throughout the book. I understand that this can’t be the same for every reader but made it that little more special for myself.

Unfortunately the love lives of the characters are not blessed until the end and thankfully it is as romantic as you hoped it would be with the New York setting, if not fantastically prolonged and tension building. Will Traynor, Louisa’s reason for getting herself out there in the first place, still crops up in moments of remembrance and it is a great way of coming back to how it first started, even if like me, you missed the first two books. I didn’t go in completely unawares though, I did watch the film based on the book Me Before You, (to which there were of course more tears). The love story between New Yorker new guy Josh starts as a fairytale and I was soon thinking how perfect it all seemed then reality set back in and led to me thinking, ‘that’s not how it usually works’ and lo and behold I was right, although it definitely took a turn and got me thinking.

Pulling up something a little random but this book is meaty. No I haven’t tasted it I mean more like you can really get your teeth into it. Really now I must think away from eating. It has a lot of content. That’s where I’m going with this. There are plenty of ‘scenes’ throughout the book, still flowing continuously and all linking but it really brings the story to life, rather than jumping and missing moments. Whether these are big inclusions, like Louisa’s time at home over Christmas and her meeting with ex-boyfriend Sam to smaller sections, perhaps the times spent at the library, they are all following a path rather than disjointed moments jumping from one romantic scene to the next. I understand this is probably a given and many books do have some form of secondary storyline happening but not one I have read for a long time and not as descriptive and as in-depth as Jojo Moyes does in Still Me. This absolutely goes with the novel itself and Louisa’s character development whereas it could just be a happy go lucky romance. This is probably a big reason into why I loved it. Not only does it tell of a love story but of a woman blazing her own trail and probably as well why it left me in tears in parts, nervous and laughing as I believe you could only do this when you’re really rooting for the characters and you’re taken in by the story.

I will certainly be reading Jojo Moyes other books after reading Still Me and already can’t wait to see whats on the shelves next time I’m out. Sorry not sorry if you didn’t like the book and came here for an unbiased review, cause well, I don’t have one. It will be the book I hand to my mum to read and she’ll love it too.

Until next time,

L x