Review: Plus One by Elizabeth Fama

Friday, April 11, 2014
Title: Plus One
Author: Elizabeth Fama
Genre: dystopia, science fiction
Series: N/A
Pages: 373
Published: April 8 2014
Source: received from MacMillan for review
Rating: 4/5

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.

I haven't had this much turn-off-your-brain-and-enjoy-the-ride reads since racing through Aimee Carter's breakneck and twisty Pawn last year. Plus One does handle some heavier moments (and quite well), but the fast pace, the action, the creative dystopian society, and the unique plot sucked me in. If you can buy into the premise of the story, and prepare yourself for the inevitable star-crossed romance, this sophmore novel is a detailed and unique read.

Plus One is a whirlwind glimpse into the life of Soleil Le Coeur. She lives in an alternate version of the US -- one where the population is divided in half, and has been since 1918. The world here is interesting, and sadly not explored enough for me. There are occasional flashbacks that shed more light on how Sol's world came to be regimented into Rays and Smudges, but like with Fama's debut, I was left wanting more worldbuilding. This is an author that knows how to balance just enough information with too much.

Let's talk main characeters for a moment. On one hand we have that Smudge Sol and on the other, the seeminly spoiled Ray D'Arcy. I liked them both as individuals and as a unit. They worked. They came together, fought, worked together. They got Stuff Done. That said, they can feel pretty replaceable. Their romance made sense (and also reminded me of Graffiti Moon), but it didn't feel necessary to me. It wasn't a hindrance, and Fama didn't waste time on romantic complications instead of plot, but the confessions of love were too early and too earnest. I really liked D'Arcy and his relationship with Sol, but it all seemed too fait accompli to be authentic.  

Sol herself reminded me of Kitty from Pawn... and of a lot of other angry, resentful teenagers in a dystopian novel. Her devotion to Poppu (and the unlikely plot that it sets off -- seriously, name another book that starts off with intentional mutilation and baby-kidnapping) is where she really is her own person and character. You can believe that girl would do anything for her Poppu -- even throw away years of her life. I had a lot of respect for Sol. She says what she thinks, and does what she says. She's refreshing. I wish she had more time to distinguish herself from her peers, though.

Blindingly original, incredibly fast-paced, with an original plot, Plus One is a worthy follow up to the ethereal and dark Monstrous Beauty. Fama's easy skill for words is again on display and her dystopian effort is noteworthy.


  1. Soooo exited for this one .lovely review

  2. I agree this was a very original book! I loved the idea behind the day and night. The characters were beautifully done...really great book :-) So happy you enjoyed it too.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Copyright © 2015 Ageless Pages Reviews. All Rights Reserved.

Amelia Theme by The Lovely Design CO and These Paper Hearts.