Plus One

Author: Elizabeth Fama

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014

Series: N/A

Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Romance, Young Adult

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. {}


I absolutely LOVED this novel. I did not know how to carry on with  my evening after finishing this story:


I just could not stop thinking about this novel,  its world, and its characters! I wish so desperately that Elizabeth Fama would decide to create a series out of this story. I finished this novel days ago and I can still barely write a review that would reveal how much this book, Sol, and Plus One mean to me. Sol is an old soul, one who needs to feel all emotions in their raw essence:

“The thing is, when you’re with someone like Poppu – someone who sees straight through your battered facade and loves every bit of you, someone who makes you laugh until you pee your pants, someone who grabs you in a hug exactly when you need it – you don’t crave any kind of approval from strangers. You don’t need to “matter” in the world, because you already matter to the only person who counts.”

This quote is about how Sol wants someone who makes her feel as Poppu does, but it also adequately describes how I feel about this story. I literally fell in love with it, binding and all.

Despite Sol’s desperate need to hold on to the past, and her society’s need to protect against the past, I still found the story’s beauty. Its light and dark, day and night comparisons left me gasping. I could see every detail that Fama described…I felt the everlasting beauty of the Maquoketa Caves State Park:

“The bridge was geologically ancient, an impassive observer, surrounded by life that was fleeting in comparison: trees that would only survive hundreds of years, tourists who would only live decades, insects that would thrive only for weeks.”

Things in the past were suppose to be temporary, but they’re not. They’re a flu that haunts the present, a set of missing parents that started a rebellion, and a love that began with a sketch on a desk. The past is not as static as Sol was led to believe.

This story reads as a true romance. A romance that not only encompasses the main character and the object of her amorous desire (D’arcy), but a love for a better life, a love for her world, and most importantly a love for herself. Sol learns how to love herself, and to accept what the world can offer, not what it does offer. To reach beyond the night, and grasp what truly makes you happy. However, this novel is also a dystopian, but it does not read as your typical dystopian.

It is dystopian in that it is a plausible reality for our current society. Sol’s society of Smudge/Ray peoples came about out of necessity. 1918 the United States was hit by a flu pandemic, and required that people with certain jobs work nights and others work days, so that we as a society could operate 24 hours a day. This worked out so well that it became the norm. However, this divide created a greater social divide that did more damage than the flu could have ever created, at least mentally. This is how Plus One is dystopian, however, unlike most dystopian stories, Sol is not trying to change the world, she is trying to grant her grandfather’s last wish: to see his Ray great-granddaughter before he dies.

I connected to each and every character on an emotional level, and fell in love with all of them. That being said, I connected most clearly to Sol. She is a truly deep character. She is prickly, unpredictable, loving, loveable, and truly worthy of the trust that D’arcy, his family, and most importantly Poppu put forth in her:

“Powerless But for the star destroyer Unknowing She crash-lands in his heart.”

As you can see there is absolutely nothing that I did not love about this book. You need to get your hands on a copy now!



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