Friday, May 30, 2014

(Review) Plus One by Elizabeth Fama

Title: Plus One
Author: Elizabeth Fama
Pages: 373
Published: April 8, 2014
PublisherFarrar Straus & Giroux
Review Copy: No

Why did I want this book?
I fell in love with that cover image. It's beautiful!
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, Elizabeth Fama's Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights, and a fast-paced romantic adventure story.

What am I supposed to say? I had the opportunity to apply for a galley on NetGalley, but I wanted a printed copy on my shelf. Therefore, I bought it. I's so beautiful!

The title fits the story, Sol becomes a Plus One, but I'm not going to tell, you what this is, you have to find out for yourself.

Writing style:
The writing style is good, it's easy to follow the story and the description of some places is just beautiful, but sometimes the author goes into too much detail. But it wasn't too bad, because there are some captivating scenes in there too. Nevertheless, I wouldn't call her writing excellent, because it didn't get me hooked on completely.

We basically have three important characters. There is Soleil, called Sol. She takes care of her grandfather, who has cancer and is going to die during the next couple of weeks. She wants to do him one last favor, letting him hold his granddaughter. But that's more that difficult, because her brother Ciel is assigned to the day, while she and her grandfather have to live during the night. It is prohibited to be on the streets after curfew. Sol tries to kidnap her niece, but fails. She meets D'Arcy, a young doctors apprentice. Of course he thinks, that she is a criminal and wants to turn her in, but after some incidents, they are both on the run and Sol has to ask herself, what her brother Ciel is hiding from her,  because it's not just the police, who is chasing them.

It's a dystopian, but the book is a stand alone.

Stuck in my Head:
»After a moment he said, "Holy cow, Plus One." "What?" I said defensively. He setteled his head in a cradle of his arms again and refused to answer. Then he said, "Here on earth, where it counts ... you're not unnoticed."« (p. 207)
What I didn't like:
The world-building sucks. If you wanna write a dystopian, please think the world you are creating through! That didn't happen here. We are missing realistic conflicts and an explanation, why the government still divides the population in day and night. It makes no sense to me!
On top of that, the book is full of clich├ęs! Censored text messages, prohibited phone calls, fuzzy pictures, because you are not allowed to use high-resolution ones. Seriously?! That was quite a stretch. But what really pissed me of were Gigis raping-jokes. They where everything, but funny. That's a YA book, read by teenagers!

Quick and dirty:
A beautiful cover image, two lovely protagonists, but a weak world-building. I never wanted to cancel the book, it has some good parts. But we have so many dystopian books flooding the marked, that good isn't enough anymore. They have to stand out, which this book definitely doesn't do. Fans of Legend by Marie Lu might like Plus One, because it gave me the same feeling while reading it.

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