Plus One [NOOK Book]


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 ...

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Plus One

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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, Elizabeth Fama's Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights, and a fast-paced romantic adventure story.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a world divided into Day and Night—less designations of time than of social class—Sol and her older brother, Ciel, are the surviving children of “equal-opportunity terrorists” who sought to overthrow this schism. Born as Smudges, or denizens of Night, they are separated when Ciel is arrested and, shockingly, offered reassignment to Day for his computer skills. Sol’s story begins when she hears that Ciel has fathered a child. Their dying grandfather longs to hold the baby, but Ciel has turned his back on the family. In Sol, Fama (Monstrous Beauty) creates not a revolutionary, but a sullen rebel without a cause except the love of her grandfather; her wild scheme to kidnap her brother’s child has repercussions far beyond one family’s estrangement. Abetted unwillingly by a Day boy, D’Arcy, Sol staggers and dashes through the checkpoints and barriers of a corrupt social order, mayhem ballooning around her. Fama smoothly unspools the details of her alternate Earth’s history in conversational flashbacks that never impede the brisk pacing, yet enhance the sense of connection with her very human characters. Ages 12–up. Agent: Sara Crowe, Harvey Klinger. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
"Breakneck-paced story." —School Library Journal

"Sol makes an intriguing heroine, someone who is driven by grief and desperation . . . and her gutsy determination to help the people she loves, whatever the cost, will stoke a fire under even the most passive of readers." —BCCB

"The plot’s twists and surprises make for an eventful read. . . . A uniquely imagined adventure." —Booklist

"Fama smoothly unspools the details of her alternate Earth’s history in conversational flashbacks that never impede the brisk pacing, yet enhance the sense of connection with her very human characters." —Publishers Weekly

Voya Reviews, April 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 1) - Sarah Cofer
Sol Le Coer, a Night-dwelling “smudge,” purposefully injures herself before curfew in order to get to the hospital to see her newborn niece. Sol plans to kidnap the baby so that her blind and terminally ill grandfather can hold her before he dies. At the hospital, she is treated by D’Arcy Benoit, a Day-dwelling Medical Apprentice, whom she blackmails into helping her get to the nursery. While D’Arcy’s back is turned, Sol escapes with the baby. Upon returning home, she discovers that her grandfather has been abducted. A note states she must trade the baby in return for her grandfather. D’Arcy shows up to inform Sol that she did not kidnap her niece; she unknowingly kidnapped the Night Minister’s baby. Somehow Sol walked into a trap and has unfortunately taken D’Arcy down with her. Desperate to find her grandfather, Sol and D’Arcy become tangled up in a major conspiracy that puts them in more danger than they ever could have imagined. Fama has written a wonderfully unique and believable “what if” novel about a dystopian society caused by the 1918 flu pandemic. The pandemic led to class reassignments which created strictly enforced, segmented populations of Night and Day. Night dwellers are only allowed to work and attend school at night while Day dwellers are only allowed to go out during the sunshine. This will make for a great discussion on civil rights and government conspiracies. This novel has all the makings of a teen lit hit with its well written characterizations, high level of suspense, and a sizzling romance between Sol and D’Arcy that enhances reading pleasure. Some steamy scenes between Sol and D’Arcy make this more appropriate for older teens, but overall, this is a fantastic read that would be a great choice for fans of Divergent. Reviewer: Sarah Cofer; Ages 12 to 18.
Children's Literature - Sandra Eichelberger
Soleil is a seventeen-year-old Smudge, a night dweller. People are separated into two groups: those who live during the night and those who live during the day. There are strict rules separating the two groups and they do not interact. While one sleeps, the other enjoys life. Raised by her loving grandfather, Sol (Soleil) is desperate to grant him a final chance to hold his new great-granddaughter one time before he dies. That might never happen since Sol’s brother Ciel has abandoned his sister and his grandfather after he was chosen to work for the authorities because of his technical skills. Sol cannot forgive her brother for turning his back on the family he once loved. Her plan is to get injured at work so that they send her to the hospital, where she plans to steal her brother’s newborn baby for a few hours. At the hospital Sol is feisty and belligerent when accused of maiming herself and she’s especially angry with the young medical assistant who turned her in to the police. Her anger is further fueled by her resentment of this boy who apparently lives a life of privilege as a Ray, a daytime dweller. Fama has created a world where the two factions of society have been segregated, functioning independently of each other and there are penalties if caught at the wrong time of day. Things get very tense when Sol’s plan goes awry and she’s on the run. Adding to the suspense, there’s more at stake than just a simple baby snatching. The alternate world is creative and well thought out. The rights of the two societies are not quite equal and the Smudges live under more oppressed conditions. This leads to more serious issues for the characters and the circumstances they find themselves in. Characters are strongly realized and romance builds along with tension. The cover is alluring, well suited to the plot and has great visual appeal. Fama wrote the book as a stand-alone but the ending may leave the reader wanting more. Reviewer: Sandra Eichelberger; Ages 12 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—In the alternative reality of Fama's plot-driven latest, American society has been divided into "Smudges," people who are awake at night, and "Rays," privileged individuals who get to live during the day. Sixteen-year-old Sol le Coeur is a factory-working Smudge who is willing to risk everything to make sure her ill grandfather holds his great granddaughter before he dies. Her plan lands her in the care of a young Ray medical apprentice, handsome D'Arcy Benoît. Sol's mission goes awry when she accidentally kidnaps the son of the Night Minister. She and D'Arcy are thrown together on a romance-laced adventure that takes them from the caves of a nature preserve to the steam tunnels of Chicago University. As they run from the authorities, the teens uncover government and family secrets. At times, the language can be awkward or clumsy (e.g., "Thousands of years of this running water must have carved the cave, with a serene patience that only nature and cancer victims had."), and Sol and D'Arcy are not particularly memorable heroes—dystopian fans have seen their likes before. With this title, it's the breakneck-paced story, which takes place over the course of a few days, and characters such as the Noma (F-bomb-dropping, heavy-makeup wearing rebels) that will keep readers invested until the cliff-hanger ending.—Chelsey Philpot, formerly at School Library Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374360085
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 4/8/2014
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 93,404
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • File size: 810 KB

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Fama is the author of Monstrous Beauty, which was a 2013 Odyssey Honor Audiobook. She lives with her family in Chicago, Illinois.
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Read an Excerpt

4:30 a.m.
It takes guts to deliberately mutilate your hand while operating a blister-pack sealing machine, but all I had going for me was guts. It seemed like a fair trade: lose maybe a week’s wages and possibly the tip of my right middle finger, and in exchange Poppu would get to hold his great-granddaughter before he died.
I wasn’t into babies, but Poppu’s unseeing eyes filled to spilling when he spoke of Ciel’s daughter, and that was more than I could bear. It was absurd to me that the dying should grieve the living when the living in this case was only ten kilometers away. Poppu needed to hold that baby, and I was going to bring her to him, even if Ciel wouldn’t.
The machine was programmed to drop daily doses of CircaDiem and vitamin D into the thirty slots of a blister tray. My job was mind-numbingly boring, and I’d done it maybe a hundred thousand times before without messing up: align a perforated prescription card on the conveyor, slip the PVC blister tray into the card, slide the conveyor to the right under the pill dispenser, inspect the pills after the tray has been filled, fold the foil half of the card over, and slide the conveyor to the left under the heat-sealing plate. Over and over I’d gone through these motions for hours after school, with the rhythmic swooshing, whirring, and stamping of the factory’s powder compresses, laser inscribers, and motors penetrating my wax earplugs no matter how well I molded them to my ear canal.
I should have had a concrete plan for stealing my brother’s baby, with backups and contingencies, but that’s not how my brain works. I only knew for sure how I was going to get into the hospital. There were possible complications that I pushed to the periphery of my mind because they were too overwhelming to think about: I didn’t know how I’d return my niece when I was done with her; I’d be navigating the city during the day with only a Smudge ID; if I was detained by an Hour Guard, there was a chance I’d never see Poppu again.
I thought Poppu was asleep as I kissed him goodbye that night. His skin was cool crepe paper draped over sharp cheekbones. I whispered, “Je t’aime,” and he surprised me by croaking, “Je t’adore, Soleil,” as if he sensed the weight of this departure over all the others.
I slogged through school; I dragged myself to work. An hour before my shift ended, I allowed a prescription card to go askew in the tray, and I poked my right middle finger in to straighten it before the hot plate lowered to seal the foil backing to the card. I closed my eyes as the press came down.
Even though I had only mangled one centimeter of a single finger, my whole body felt like it had been turned inside out and I’d been punched in the heart for good measure. My fingernail had split in two, blood was pooling through the crack, and I smelled burned flesh. It turns out the nerves in your fingertip are ridiculously sensitive, and all at once I realized mine might be screaming for days. Had I thought through this step at all? Would I even be able to hold a baby?
I collapsed, and I might have fainted if the new girl at the machine next to mine hadn’t run to the first-aid station for a blanket, a gauze tourniquet strip, and an ice pack. She used the gauze to wrap the bleeding fingertip tightly—I think I may have punched her with my left fist—eased me onto my back, and covered me with a blanket. I stopped hyperventilating. I let tears stream down the sides of my cheeks onto the cement floor. But I did not cry out loud.
“I’m not calling an ambulance,” the jerk supervisor said, when my finger was numb from the cold and I was able to sit up again. “That would make it a Code Three on the accident report, and this is a Code One at best. We’re seven and a half blocks from the hospital, and you’ve got an hour before curfew. You could crawl and you’d make it before sunrise.”
So I walked to the emergency room. I held my right arm above my head the whole way, to keep the pounding heartbeat in my finger from making my entire hand feel like it would explode. And I thought about how before he turned his back on us, Ciel used to brag that I could think on my feet better than anyone he knew.
Screw you, Ciel.
Text copyright © 2014 by Elizabeth Fama
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 9, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    A thrilling, romantic, fast-paced read, Plus One was a wonderful

    A thrilling, romantic, fast-paced read, Plus One was a wonderful YA book. I really enjoyed reading it. It didn't have the best start, but it turned out to be a fantastic read.

    Sol was a wonderful heroine. She was strong and very determined to get what she wanted, even though her plans weren't always rational. She was clever and definitely held her own in a world of secrets and betrayals. My only issue with her was that she was a a tad too impulsive, getting herself into ridiculous situations, and prickly, seeing insults and enemies when there weren't any. Otherwise, I really liked her.

    D'Arcy was the love interest and he was wonderful. He was very sweet and very intelligent. He was just wonderful. I loved how determined he was to help Sol, just because, at first, he thought it was the right thing to do. I absolutely adored him.

    The romance was lovely. Despite their rocky start, Sol and D'Arcy were very sweet together and one hell of a bad ass team. I loved the twist of how far their relationship actually stretched. And, I loved how they were willing to go through so much for each other and, ultimately, willing to wait for each other when it seemed things weren't going to go their way. I thought they were a wonderful couple.

    The pace was the weak point in this book. It started off slow. The first half dragged a bit, but something kept me interesting, so I kept reading. And, I'm glad I did because, about halfway through, the plot picked up and I got totally hooked. There were tons of thrills, surprises, secrets, and betrayals and it all kept me on the edge of my seat. I really enjoyed the story and the ending had me excited to see what happens next.

    Plus One was a fantastic YA romance. It was thrilling, romantic, and full of deeply hidden secrets. I really enjoyed reading this wonderful book. Romance lovers, this is definitely a book not to be missed.

    *I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    **I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchang

    **I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review**

    5 stars

     To start out with, “Sol” Soleil Le Coeur is a brave girl.   She is bound and determined to allow her dying grandfather, Poppu, to hold his brand-new great-granddaughter…the child of her brother Ciel that was reassigned from Night as a “Smudge” to Day as a “Ray” about three years prior.  And in a system where Smudges are looked upon as the “less significant” of the population and live at night, and sleep all day, it was the worst possible thing that Sol could imagine – especially when her Poppu’s health is declining rapidly.

     So she makes the decision to get into the hospital somehow during the “day” shift once she’s heard of her niece’s birth…and how does she do this without getting a curfew violation?  But obtaining an injury that doesn’t look intentional…everything goes as planned until she meets her doctor, a young medical apprentice named D’Arcy Benoit who cares for her while she’s getting her finger mended.  And when she sees the opportunity to so what she has promised, she strikes and removes her niece from the hospital nursery to meet Poppu…but things go downhill quickly for Sol – especially when she realizes she has taken the wrong baby.  D’Arcy or “Day Boy” as Sol calls him comes looking for her once he realizes what she has done, and throughout the story, they start to appreciate that they are more similar than they would like to admit.  They end up protecting each other – until the end.

     The story starts out a little slowly, but once it gets started, it doesn’t stop throughout.  There are a few slightly confusing parts if you’re not paying attention where the story jumps from past back to present – but it does show the times and days when they jump back to present, where the past scenes are usually just labeled with a title instead of a specific time.  I thought the story was extremely well written and had some element of surprise around every corner.  I love Sol’s fierce protective nature – she wants to take care of those that care for her.  But she still is a very spirited girl that wants to buck against authority.  Sol is definitely that sun – and I was captivated from the first paragraph.  I’d without a doubt recommend this book to anyone looking for a non-paranormal YA coming of age story that is a soul bearing story of love and loyalty.

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  • Posted August 3, 2014

    I took one look at this cover and knew this book had to be mine.

    I took one look at this cover and knew this book had to be mine. Yes, I did the whole "judging a book by its cover" on this one
    but LOOK AT IT. It's breathtakingly gorgeous. And that lip lock screams my name in a serious way.  Certainly this is a mushy gushy
    love story, right?  Oh, no. This story is one part romance and fourteen parts action/adventure/science fiction/dystopian/drama
    goodness all wrapped up in cover worthy of being hung on a wall and called art. 

    Not gonna lie. This book is smarter than me. Like, a LOT smarter. It's so smart that there are parts that went above my head,
    but you know what? I kind of love when that happens.  I don't have to question if an actual THING could happen because I just believe
    that it could.  Boom.  Happy reader.  And the way Fama weaves storylines together is so fun!  I found myself quickly turning pages so
    I could see what happens next. Twists and turns abound!

    While I love a good romance, I think my favorite relationship in this book was between Sol and Poppu, her grandfather.  Oh, heck.  
    Who am I kidding?! I freaking love Sol and D'Arcy.  It's a slow building romance that had me COL (cheering out loud) and D'Arcy is one
    of those good guys that I can't help but fall for. (Though Sol outshines him because she's a remarkable heroine!) But watching Sol
    and Poppu AND her brother, Ciel work through this story really was my favorite part.  For real.

    Now, I hear a lot of people say that they're SO OVER dystopian books, but listen to me.  PLUS ONE is a refreshing story and reads
    more like science fiction than dystopian.  Give it a chance, you naysayers of genres.  I'm willing to bet you'll like it. 

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  • Posted May 17, 2014

    Imagining an alternate reality with a distinct dystopian feel to

    Imagining an alternate reality with a distinct dystopian feel to it is rather frightening. In Plus One half the population live at night and the other half during the day. Curfews are set up to keep these two groups thoroughly separate. If curfew is broken, even by an underage person, the transgression is punishable. Add to this government control of your phone - tracking software included, controlled shopping, and numerous other highly inhibiting rules, and we have a very scary picture.

    Now imagine having a night person, or Smudge, and a day person, or Ray, in love with one another. This is the fate of Soleil and D'arcy. After reporting Sol, the main character, for a self-induced injury, D'arcy decides to aid her in her efforts to steal her niece and to protect her from the authorities. Together these two get involved in much more than the kidnapping of an infant; think dangerous medical procedures and government corruption.

    Sol is a realistic, well fleshed out character. Her impulsive nature combined with an ever present sense of hopelessness and negativity creates an interesting contrast, making her a particularly memorable character. These slightly offbeat, negative attributes are balanced by her open, loving nature towards her grandfather and D'arcy, and her willingness to make enormous sacrifices to see her loved ones safe and happy.  

    For a large part of this book D'arcy is in two minds. Should he protect Sol and let the romantic side win out, or should he think of his future. The other characters in Plus One are vibrant and imaginatively crafted. From Sol's selfish brother, Ciel and the colorful, emotional Gigi to D'arcy's drama-queen mother, Hélène; all these characters enrich the story and made an impression on me. 

    Filled with suspense as well as romance, Plus One is a tale of courage, sacrifice, betrayal and, ultimately, hope. This book should appeal to both YA readers as well as adults. (Ellen Fritz)

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  • Posted April 19, 2014

    4-1/2 Stars. This was a fascinating read into a world divided by

    4-1/2 Stars. This was a fascinating read into a world divided by day and night. I'll admit at first I wasn't sure I was going to buy into why the world was divided this way, but the way Fama set it all up was truly interesting. Using the flu pandemic of 1918, society split in two - Night (Smudges) and Day (Rays). Of course there are strict rules separating the two, and the Smudges are less privileged than the Rays. But this is just the background, because there are so many layers to this story.

    The first half of the book goes back and forth between past and present, and it slowed the pacing down for me a bit, but I'll tell you that the second half was hard to put down. I had to know what was going on and felt at the edge of my seat until the very end. The entire story had such amazing twists and turns that I didn't see coming. I loved not knowing what to expect. I loved the action sequences intermixed with the heartfelt moments. The entire story was put together fantastically.

    Sol, our female protagonist, was amazing, kind-hearted, sacrificial, feisty, tough, and everything you want in a heroine. I loved her. D'Arcy, our male protagonist, was a mystery to get to know, but quickly became swoon-worthy. The way Fama blended their story together was so sweet and beautiful and a real treat to read. I felt their connection. I did have one issue, but otherwise completely loved Sol and D'Arcy and their story. And then there is a terrific blend of secondary characters that complete this unique story.

    Elizabeth Fama has written a really incredible standalone dystopian novel. I didn't realize until I finished it that it was a standalone, and was only disappointed in the end that there wouldn't be another book because I loved getting to know these characters so much. The ending may not wrap everything up in a pretty pink bow, but it does leave the reader with a complete story and a hopeful ending, and I loved it.

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