Thursday, August 23, 2018

Teen/YA Review: Plus One

Earlier this month, I listened to another wonderful audiobook that I downloaded free from SYNC last summer: Plus One, a YA dystopian novel by Elizabeth Fama that combines suspense, action, family drama, and romance.

Seventeen-year old Soleil (Sol, for short) lives in a world where people are divided into day-dwellers, called Rays, and night-dwellers, called Smudges. Though her family are Smudges, and Sol goes to school and works at a factory at night, her older brother was transferred to daytime (a rarity) as the result of a court order a few years back. Since then, they have been living separate lives, able to see each other only during the occasional Unity Days. But, now, her brother and his wife have had a baby girl, and Sol's beloved grandfather, who raised them, is dying. Sol hatches a risky plan in the desperate hope that her grandfather can hold his new granddaughter before he dies. She injures herself at work in order to get to the hospital during daylight hours, with the intention of kidnapping the baby and bringing her home to her grandfather. To accomplish that, she must break a lot of laws and take a lot of risks. A Ray doctor's apprentice named D'arcy gets pulled into helping Sol, and the two of them end up on the run together.

I liked that this novel was set in an alternate reality of our own real world, where people were split into day and night following the flu pandemic of 1918 that decimated the world's population, so it's a dystopia but not set in a fantasy world. Sol and D'Arcy - and the supporting characters - feel real and relatable, and I was quickly pulled into the story. There are lots of unexpected twists and turns here, and the story went to places I never expected, but it was all compelling and engaging. Plenty of action and adventure keeps the novel moving along at a fast pace, but it is countered with emotional depth and both romantic and familial love. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the audiobook, which also features an original song composed and performed by the author's adult son.

400 pages, Square Fish
Audio by Dreamscape Media

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Listen to a sample of the audiobook here.

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  1. I downloaded it and didn't read it. Now I will have to get to it. So many books....

    1. I understand completely! As you can see, I am just now getting to some of my 2017 SYNC downloads! Making my way through them, slowly but surely...

      I enjoyed this one!

  2. What an interesting premise! I may need to read a dystopian again; it's been far too long.

    1. I'm reading another one now :)

      I really enjoyed Plus One.