One Plus One
The first book I read in 2016 (happy new year!! Here's the books I read in 2015) on the recommendation of my grandmother and aunt was the wonderfully delightful One Plus One by Jojo Moyes. The road trip tale of a single mother and her two kids who need to get to Scotland for a math competition and end up being driven by a tech millionaire who is running away from his own problems is a wacky premise (think Little Miss Sunshine), but it is a book that sucks you in and doesn't let you go.Moyes explains that she wanted to "write a road trip for the ages" and when she "started thinking about the differences between today's haves and Have Nots, it suddenly seemed like the perfect thing to put some very different people together." It's the perfect beach read -- or book to bring on an airplane -- because the story is emotionally engrossing without being too complex (the catchphrase is: "One single mom. One chaotic family. One quirky stranger. One irresistible love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You and After You.") You have a feeling that everything may work out just fine, but you don't quite know. And that small bit of doubt pushes you to keep reading. Moyes masterfully balances funny and sad at the same time creating a heartwarming mix. Ultimately a delight to read. As The Boston Globe writes (and I love the description so much I just have to include it):
Moyes has an unerring sense for the serious as well as for the ridiculous, and “One Plus One” shimmers with both unyielding warmth and canny incisiveness. While it tackles the desperation exposed by the chasm of income inequality and the horrific aspects of bullying, it also catches the more enchanting elements of life’s rich pageant from “the magnificence of total strangers,” to that moment when someone first notices the relaxing effect they’re having on another person and experiences the joyful epiphany of realizing that they are exactly where they belong.