by Elizabeth Fama Published by Farrar Straus & Giroux
on April 8, 2014 Genres: Dystopia
, Science Fiction Pages:
373 Format: ARC Source: Publisher (Mail)
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Divided by day and night and on the run from authorities, star-crossed young lovers unearth a sinister conspiracy in this compelling romantic thriller.
Seventeen-year-old Soleil Le Coeur is a Smudge—a night dweller prohibited by law from going out during the day. When she fakes an injury in order to get access to and kidnap her newborn niece—a day dweller, or Ray—she sets in motion a fast-paced adventure that will bring her into conflict with the powerful lawmakers who order her world, and draw her together with the boy she was destined to fall in love with, but who is also a Ray.
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 fast-paced romantic adventure story.
Can we just take a second and look at that cover!? HELLO, Lovely! I was super excited to read Plus One as soon as I read the synopsis, and was even MORE excited when I saw the cover! I tend to really love dystopias, and I also love romantic thrillers, which the book’s synopsis claims that this is. I suppose I was thinking of super super thrillery romantic thrillers like Victoria Holt or Daphne Du Maurier, because I was not thrilled with Plus One. As always, my main points are bolded. :)
1. I’m saying this immediately, because it was probably the biggest issue I had with Plus One. It’s not a romantic thriller. It’s not suspenseful, and I didn’t feel like it was terribly romantic either. I mean, I guess there are some more tense moments when you’re wondering how these characters are going to get themselves out of the pickle they’ve gotten themselves into… but I never found myself holding my breath or gripping the edge of my seat. I think I probably just set my expectations too high.
2. Going along with the lack of thrill, I really did not feel the romance either. We’ve got two characters here, a day dweller/Ray named D’Arcy and a a night dweller/Smudge named Sol. Sol’s brother was promoted to a Ray because of his amazing technological skills. He got married, had a baby, and Sol wants nothing more than to let her grandfather, still a Smudge, see his great-grandchild. So she formulates a dangerous plan to kidnap her niece from the hospital and bring him to her grandfather. But she kidnaps the wrong child. D’Arcy, is a medical intern in the hospital who figured out what’s going on, but feels compelled to save/help Sol instead of turn her in to the authorities.
This is where I struggled. WHY would D’Arcy risk his career and his life to help a girl he does not know AT ALL to kidnap a child from his post in the hospital? I mean, any medical professional in their right mind, you would think, is against endangering their patients and allowing them to be harmed. ESPECIALLY if that professional does not even KNOW the person who is breaking the rules/law.
3. In addition to this romance confusion, what aunt will deliberately put her niece in danger to bring her to her blind grandfather? I mean, this baby is brand new! And she is running around on a hot day carrying this baby in her sweatshirt, dodging bullets. She could feel the baby’s sweat on her skin. When she got it home, she put it in a kitchen drawer and then ignored its cries of hunger, pain, discomfort, and what have you. This is horrible! If she loved this niece so much, why would she put it in such grave danger? And I can’t think of a grandfather anywhere who would condone such acts. Did she not care at all about the baby’s parents or the baby itself? This book is centered around a plot that is dependent on the fact that Sol is incredibly dumb and selfish.
4. I wasn’t really a fan of any of the characters, just because they were making such dumb and pointless decisions. And since the romance wasn’t there, I just did not care.
In addition to Sol and D’Arcy, we are introduced to this rogue group of day and night dwellers (basically they’re out whenever they want to be), with extreme clothing and make-up. One of them is being sexually abused, which really bothered me. I really dislike reading about stuff like that. I never connected with any of these people, and the link they shared with Sol and her family bugged me. I’m not sure why. Things just got really political.
5. The world is never really explained. We’ve got a caste system and all these social rules, but I never knew the why’s and the how’s of it all! These details could have enriched the story so much more.
All in all, I pretty much know I am in the minority here. I’ve seen many raving reviews for this book, and I really don’t understand why. I did not believe the romance, and I was so confused by the plot itself. Because of these reasons, I had a hard time caring and even finishing the book, which is quite disappointing.