Published by: Farrar Straus and Giroux on April 8, 2014
Genre: Dystopian, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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.
Note: I put this book down at the 30% mark.
My first impression: confusion. Right off the bat we’re thrown into this alternate reality. There’s a whole other caste system and tons of strange customs and traditions that were barely even explained. I was overwhelmed..
Smudges? Rays? What are these? What’s a Day Pass for? (Okay maybe that’s obvious in the synopsis, but I didn’t reread the synopsis before starting the book, so I was lost lol.) Even now, I still don’t understand what the point of Smudges and Rays are. I feel like this is such a massive cultural change/caste system, but it was practically ignored. We were forced to just blindly accept it and not question it.
But things really started to annoy me when they got ridiculous. Smudges are prohibited from going outside during the day. Doing so can result in imprisonment. So, naturally, Soleil decides to risk imprisonment by going out during the day and stealing a BABY, all so her grandfather can hold the child for a few minutes. Maybe this makes me a heartless bitch, but that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Stealing a baby?? What about the poor baby’s parents??
But even worse, was how she did it. She stole the baby from the hospital by putting it under her sweatshirt. She had a baby…under her sweatshirt… Then when she got back to her apartment, Soleil put the baby in the kitchen drawer. Naturally. And when the baby started crying:
The baby’s whimpers became a bona fide cry—not insistent, not continuous, but I could hear in her voice a primal recognition that she wasn’t being heard, and I knew her cries would soon escalate in volume and urgency. I ignored her.
A baby is taken from its mother, carried around under a sweatshirt in the sweltering heat, put in a fucking kitchen drawer, and naturally the best thing to do is ignore it. My god.
I decided to put the book down for three reasons:
- The ridiculousness started building. It annoyed me.
- I was getting a bit bored with the plot.
- So far there was no romance to speak of, and I skimmed a few reviews that state the romance never really develops. This made me not want to continue.
I’m not going to say “Don’t read Plus One!” because I don’t necessarily think this book was bad or should be avoided. It obviously didn’t work for me, but there is an interesting underlying idea there, and judging by some 4 and 5 star reviews, some people do love this book. It may not have been for me, but other people may still enjoy it. Give it a shot if you don’t mind a slightly silly plot and very little romance. Unfortunately for me, both those points bothered me!