Jun 27, 2014

{Blog Tour} Book Review: Plus One - Elizabeth Fama

Title: Plus One
Author: Elizabeth Fama
Release Date: April 8th 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: ARC borrowed for blog tour
It takes guts to deliberately mutilate your hand while operating a blister-pack sealing machine, but all I had going for me was guts.
Sol Le Coeur is a Smudge—a night dweller in an America rigidly divided between people who wake, live, and work during the hours of darkness and those known as Rays who live and work during daylight. Impulsive, passionate, and brave, Sol deliberately injures herself in order to gain admission to a hospital, where she plans to kidnap her newborn niece—a Ray—in order to bring the baby to visit her dying grandfather. By violating the day-night curfew, Sol is committing a serious crime, and when the kidnap attempt goes awry it starts a chain of events that will put Sol in mortal danger, uncover a government conspiracy to manipulate the Smudge population, and throw her together with D'Arcy BenoĆ®t, the Ray medical apprentice who first treats her, then helps her outrun the authorities—and with whom she is fated to fall impossibly and irrevocably in love.
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 compelling, rapid-fire romantic adventure story.
Plus One started out as a two-star book for me. The first hundred pages were a struggle to get past because I failed to connect with the main character, Sol, before she started running all over town and because the world-building was kind of inadequate at first, confusing me. Why is this society divided into Night and Day? What the heck does Plus One mean? And, worst of all, I don't understand French - please translate?! This book requires a lot of patience because - take my word for it - it gets infinitely better; five-star better, even, in my case.

The story is set in an alternate universe where, in order to maximize the diminishing work force in the face of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, the government divided society into two: Day and Night, and people in each can only go out of their homes on the duration of their namesake. Sol, a Smudge, plans to kidnap her newborn niece from the hospital for her dying grandfather to meet, but that plan soon goes awry.

A French-speaking, blackmailing, curfew-breaking monster. And he didn't know the half of it: he didn't know I was an aspiring kidnapper.
Sol was a hard character to like. She whole-heartedly believed that D'Arcy was a selfish, privileged Day when in fact she was the selfish one who wanted everyone to drop what they were doing and risk their lives to help her kidnap her niece, like the world owed her that for everything she'd been through. But lucky her because despite the trouble she brought, D'Arcy still helped her, risking the bright future that he'd worked so hard for.

The blurb has made it no secret that this partnership would turn into a romance, but despite that I seriously had my doubts because it was difficult to imagine love blooming between these two very different people, but it happens, and good gravy. The history! The chemistry! The kissing! Theirs truly is one epic romance. It's not the kind of romance that makes you squeal and blush; it's the kind of romance that makes your heart soar.

Four hundred billion suns spiraling through space together. Our solar system just one grain on that galactic carousel. The carousel itself a speck in the cosmos. And here I am in this small clearing, on the surface of the earth, as transient and unnoticed to the universe as the dry blades of grass that are poking into my shirt. It’s too much to comprehend up there, too enormous, and I’m so small when it’s on top of me. It frightens me, like I’m being crushed.
Filled with exquisite prose and a variety of characters who only made the story more unique and unpredictable, Plus One is not a book to be devoured; it's a book that has to be savored. To be honest, I could have done with at least a hundred more pages as nothing much was resolved with regards to the dystopian aspect of the story, so sequel, please!

MY FAVORITE PART is D'Arcy topping Sol's Milky Way ♥


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