Review: One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
Publication date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Category: Adult - Contemporary Fiction
Source: Purchased
Summary: Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages... maybe ever. (

The Good
Jojo Moyes is the queen of bringing different characters together and turning them in a beautiful, unlikely family or relationship (or both!). In One Plus One, there’s Jess, a hardworking woman singlehandedly taking care of two kids and struggling every day to provide for them financially. Her stepson Nick is a teenager who dresses a little differently from the kids in his small-town high school and is bullied constantly as a result. Her young daughter, Tanzie, is a math prodigy who’s just received an opportunity to attend a prestigious school but her family’s money problems may prevent her from attending. Then Jess finds out about a Math Olympiad that could solve this very problem except, how will they get there? That’s when Ed steps in. Ed is a tech millionaire who’s been hiding in his vacation home (that Jess happens to clean!) as he deals with major legal problems of his own. He doesn’t seem capable of helping anyone else when he can barely help himself, but he does. We get Jess, Tanzie, Nick and Ed’s point-of-views as we watch this amazing journey of how a random road trip to the Math Olympiad changes them all in big and small ways.

I genuinely loved getting to know each and every character and Moyes does an incredible job of developing them all. Honestly, I could totally see this being turned into a movie. Single mom, one sullen teenager, one bright optimistic kid, their large dog and a tech millionaire trying to turn his life around get into a small car to drive to Dublin. (Right? Such movie potential!) But it shouldn’t work though. The trip, them as a group. And yet, it does! That is ultimately the beauty of the entire story. We learn about each of their struggles, what they genuinely love and enjoy. Amidst all the strangeness of the situation, they do become this odd little family. There’s love of all kinds (familial and romantic). It made me laugh one second and my heart ache the next. It just goes to show that you never know who or how someone can come into your life and just change it. Whether it be a huge gesture (like offering to drive them to a math competition) or small, like a kind word or show of support.

Moyes seems to always capture the human spirit so well and each new book I read just further convinces me of what an awesome writer she is. I’ve now read five of her books with no plans of ever stopping.

(No) reservations
None! I love how the plot unfolded, the characters, everything.

Do I recommend?
Yes! I recommend this and every book she’s ever released. If you haven't read anything of hers yet, you have to start.


  1. I have yet to start a Jojo Moyes book, and I think I seriously need to! :D Great review!

  2. One Plus One totally made me cry while I was reading it! Moyes just really has a handle on getting readers to feel for her characters, even as she's laying out a compelling, entertaining story. I'm so glad to hear that you loved it as well!

  3. I've been wanting to read more adult fiction to flesh out my reader's advisory skills and your review reminded me that this one has been on my radar. It sounds like a lot of fun! Thanks for the nudge!

  4. YAYAYAY! I think you said it perfectly when you pointed out that it made you laugh one minute and your heart ache the next. That's how I felt too!

    Now, the real question: how excited (and nervous!) are you for AFTER YOU?!


with love,