ARC Review: Plus One by Elizabeth Fama

April 4, 2014 Review 44 ★★

ARC Review: Plus One by Elizabeth Fama
Plus One by Elizabeth Fama
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Source: Publisher
Pages: 373
Release Date: April 8th, 2014
Genres: Dystopia, 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.

I received this book for free from the source listed above in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


This is a DNF review. Only 40% was read, the rest was skimmed.

My initial expectation of PLUS ONE was that it was basically going to be like a Romeo & Juliet retelling, or another THESE BROKEN STARS. Apart from the forbidden romance, this book could not be more different.

PLUS ONE started out confusing, and only got more confusing. Being thrown right into the story where terminology and new words are being thrown around is no fun. It was frustrating not knowing any background or having any explanations until later in the book. I even would have preferred an info-dump to ignorance.

I’m still not entirely sure what the book was about. I read almost halfway through, and I’m still pretty sure it’s about babies. No joke. Secret babies, stolen babies, misplaced babies, and super special babies. But mostly just people stealing babies.

Steal Yo Baby Gif

On my way to steal yo baby.


The characters are pretty eccentric, and the dynamic they have together is even more weird. Because of that aspect, I did not buy into the romance. At all. When the love  interest was first introduced I didn’t even think he was going to be the love interest, I had no clue. Trust me, that’s not a good thing. It was more of a “this guy can’t possibly be the love interest. Please don’t let him be the love interest.

The writing itself is very descriptive and easy to read. It’s… well, it’s pretty.

“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.”

So if unconventional characters and … babies? are your thing, PLUS ONE is definitely for you. On a more serious note, the concept and writing are two huge positives but I wouldn’t put too much weight on the other aspects of this book.

Rating Report
Overall: 2

44 Responses to “ARC Review: Plus One by Elizabeth Fama”

  1. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    oh dear. i do believe that this is my first negative review that i’ve read on this book! looks like the characters just did not work for you, it sucks when there’s a romance but you don’t ship it at all.

    great review, darling! <33
    Melanie (YA Midnight Reads) recently posted…Blog Tour: Disruption

    • Alise

      Yeah, I am definitely in the minority. Could be the slump I am in as well. You’re pretty much right about the characters, didn’t feel any of them. Thanks!

  2. Ebony @ Paperbacks & Protagonists

    Although I have seen quite a bit of this book around the blogosphere, I have yet to read many reviews. I added this book to my TBR list apprehensively if I’m honest…I think it was mostly a cover-add. I’m definitely not in a rush to read it I’m sorry that you did not enjoy this a lot, but thank you for the great review!
    Ebony @ Paperbacks & Protagonists recently posted…Five Friday Favourites #9

    • Alise

      Yeah, I never get tired of looking at that cover-the more I look at it, I like it even more ;) Sure! Thanks for stopping by.

    • Alise

      Pretty much all of them mention at least something about the stolen babies LOL. So funny. Thank you! Same to you, enjoy the weekend!

  3. Leila

    Totally agree! I read it in french so I kind of bought a little bit more into the romance but yeah… great review! Have a nice day <3

  4. Kirsty-Marie

    Oh dear God HAHAHA. That dog. But damn, I was really looking forward to this one. :( Mainly because of the cover, so. pretty. Not knowing what’s going on is so freaking annoying, and yeah I’d prefer info dump over that. It just seems like the kind of story you NEED to know what’s going on to understand it, no reading between the lines. Is it actually about stealing babies? :S. Weird. If the characters are just as weird, then bye bye. Yay for beautiful writing though! :)
    Kirsty-Marie recently posted…Review: The Geography of You and Me

    • Alise

      Seems pretty strong for a little dog, huh? xD You may still like it! It definitely has some positive points, and I think a lot of it was my mood at the time. It really is, especially since the amount of terminology is very large. Haha, not quite but there sure was a ton of it :P

    • Alise

      I really hope you like it! And yeah, it may not bother you as much now that you know what you expect. If you ever do read it, let me know!

    • Alise

      Thank you! I know a lot of people still managed to enjoy this one so maybe you will still like it! The baby thing was just really weird.

  5. Lauren

    Haha, I love this review! I’ve seen nothing but positive reviews of this, so I’m thrilled to see a different perspective on it, and especially one that includes that hilarious baby stealing gif. :-) Ugh I hate when the romance just kind of pops up and makes no sense. I’m so curious to see what I’ll think about this one now. Great review!
    Lauren recently posted…PARCHED Blog Tour: Interview with Georgia Clark

    • Alise

      Thank you! :) Haha, yeah, black sheep over here, yet again! The romance did not work at all, in my opinion. Don’t know if it got better as it progressed but yeah, not impressed.

  6. Kayla @ The Thousand Lives

    I’ve been going back and forth and back and forth about this book. On one hand: “THE COVER IS SO PRETTY” *grabby hands* On the other hand: multiple reviews saying the same thing – it’s just weird in some parts. I was so hoping it would be one of those pretty-cover-AND-great-story books, but I’m starting to fear that I’ll hate it after being so excited :(
    Kayla @ The Thousand Lives recently posted…Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

    • Alise

      Perhaps print the cover and hang it on your bookshelf xD Actually that’s a good idea, I should totally take my own advice there :p It definitely is weird, but that is what appeals to a lot of people!

  7. Cait @ Notebook Sisters

    *snickers quietly* Your reviews are downright entertaining. JUST SAYIN’. I’ve heard a few bloggers say that the way they stole babies was incredibly unrealistic too….like with newborns and stuff?? Either way, I work with children soooo I’m not so keen on reading stuff about them getting stolen! Noooo. I might pick this one up if it happened to fall in my lap, though, because the cover is still kind of pretty.
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Authors I Would Absolutely Auto-Buy From

    • Alise

      Psh, your reviews take the cake! Love ’em!

      Yeah, these are complete newborns. Not only unrealistic but just weird. Baha, if I were in that boat I probably wouldn’t either! It really is, I love looking at it.

    • Alise

      I know, I feel you. That cover is so amazing, it’s easy to be lured in. It’s not stealing on such a large scale but yeah, baby stealing is never a good thing, ha. Sure thing :)

    • Alise

      I know what you mean, I was pretty excited for this one. It really is, I’m kind of making a joke out of the baby thing but it really wasn’t necessary for the story. Sure! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Alise

      It was at first, especially not knowing any of the terminolgy being thrown about. If you do, let me know! I want to know what you think. Sure!

    • Alise

      Ooh, heading over to your review now!
      I didn’t make it that far so I can’t comment on that but if it still was lame after all the mistakes in the beginning I’m kind of glad I didn’t make it all the way through.

  8. Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    The concept and writing sound intriguing, but the romance…*shudders* doesn’t sound as promising. And what’s up with the whole plot being about babies? Thanks for sharing though Alise! I have a feeling that if I actually planned on reading this one, this review would still be 10 times as entertaining as the actual book! ;) xD
    Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf recently posted…The Winner’s Curse

    • Alise

      Yeah, didn’t buy into it. And I am such a sucker for romance. I have no idea, I mean there is obviously other stuff at hand than babies but everything seemed to revolve around them xD
      Hahaha thanks :D

    • Alise

      Yeah. I have trouble buying into a romance when I don’t particularly care for the characters in the first place anyway.

  9. Angel (Spare Reads)

    LOL you totally made me chuckle on that babies part. The whole day-night divide thing kinda reminds me of the movie Upside Down, which is also bad btw. I really liked the cover though, it’s pretty :P and I looked forward for the romance at least, but now I guess that bit is also ruined. Thanks for the review though Alise :P
    Angel (Spare Reads) recently posted…Stacking the Shelves (3)

    • Alise

      Baha, for that split second I was like “Ooh, same concept, better book!” and then read the it’s almost bad part xD Ah, well. Maybe someone will get it right someday because I do like the idea of the divide. Sure!

  10. Andreea

    Oh no. Why? This book sounded so good and I was curious about it. Now after having read your review I won’t probably read it anymore.

    But thanks for sharing your honest thoughts with us.

    • Alise

      Definitely still give it a shot if it’s something you are really interested in! It just wasn’t for me.

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