Plus One by Elizabeth Fama
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux on April 8th, 2014
Shelve It: Goodreads
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.
Moments of unrestrained beauty, interspersed amongst the thrill of life in hiding, Plus One kept me entertained from beginning to end. While some shaky worldbuilding and implausible plot points occasionally pulled me out from underneath its spell, Plus One managed to captivate me with its elegant prose and insatiable characterization.
The concept of Rays and Smudges was really fascinating, and while my skeptibrow was raised quite high during the explanation for the division of people, I set aside my initial concerns and just went with it because it was so different from anything I had read before. And while Plus One did much in the way of showing how this type of society could function, and I was pleasantly surprised that it was a division of class based on labour rather than race, I still felt like I needed more – more explanation, more exposure, more details – in order to find this alternate universe plausible. Considering how much being a Ray or being a Smudge played into the characterization, I was disappointed by how little we actually got to see of this division of classes. [Read more…]