Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Plus One by Elizabeth Fama

Plus One by Elizabeth Fama
Release Date - April  8, 2014
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books/Macmillan
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 373 pages
My Rating - 4.5/5
**received in exchange for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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 Benoît, 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.
On the surface Plus One may seem like a novel about civil rights with a twist. It is. However, it is also so much more. Undeniably moving, and incredibly touching, it's a novel about family, first loves, and seeing the beauty of something through the eyes of someone else.

We take for granted the beauty of both the day and the night. In Sol's world the beauty of each is vividly expressed through Elizabeth Fama's stunning writing. Daylight through Sol's eyes is vibrant, and drenched in colour. The stars and contours from the shadows of night offer their own stunning beauty when viewed through D'Arcy's unaccustomed eyes. It reminds you that our world is filled with beauty that we overlook everyday, simply because we have become immune.

Sol's defining characteristic is her single minded determination. Her entire focus is to kidnap her niece so that her grandfather can see the baby before he dies. Her motivation is pure, even if her actions are not. All of her actions are prompted by and defined by her family. It's these relationships, not the romance, shone the brightest.

Elizabeth Fama's stunning prose not only captured the beauty of night and day, she also invokes the feelings of falling in love within these pages. There are moments of aching realism, and a great twist to the romance that makes it feel not only plausible, but inevitable. Sol and D'Arcy feel just as destined as any other star crossed pair.

This novel is rapidly paced. It takes place over a fairly short amount of time and everything seems to happen extremely quickly; the romance included. Normally it would bother me how quickly the connection between Sol and D'Arcy happens. In this case the rushed frenzy feels right. It feels like two people seizing the moment and falling in love. Stealing a moment that is not meant to be theirs. A whisper of possibility that they both know will be gone too soon. All of this is heartbreakingly realized. Due to the circumstances, and Sol's fugitive status, everything is heightened, including the characters feelings, so it ends up feeling romantic and natural.

The story that Elizabeth Fama has spun will leave you entranced, and when it has reached it's satisfying conclusion you will immediately want more. More of these characters, more of this world, and more of their story. The ending is perfect though, and I am hesitant to have anything taint it's bittersweetness. There is plenty of potential to continue the story, or even a companion novel, and that is the calling card of a well constructed world.

Plus One may seem like it would be all about the world it's characters inhabit. However, the heart of the story is it's characters, and the very human aspects of their story. The setting itself is secondary to the emotional elements and that makes it all the more gut wrenching. A bittersweet story of love, and how one single moment can change you forever.

1 comment:

  1. This looks amazing and the cover is STUNNING! Fantastic review :)

    Kyra @ Blog of a Bookaholic


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