The Plus One by Sophia Money-Coutts was one of those books that I picked up because I liked the cover and I ended up finding a new favourite author. I completely fell in love with Money-Coutts’ writing style, which does remind me a great deal of another one of my favourite authors, Sophie Kinsella. It’s humorous, witty and draws you in to even the most ridiculous aspects of the story.
The Plus One follows Polly Spencer. Polly is 30 years old, very single and her dating and sex life are a catastrophic. She works as a journalist for Posh! magazine, a high society magazine, covering royals and aristocrats. One day she is tasked with interviewing Jasper, the playboy son of a duke, and travels to the estate in Yorkshire to do so. Jasper’s family is pretty weird and the whole visit seems like a parody of eccentric rich people. Although, I’ve never met any myself, so maybe that’s just who these aristocrats are.
After the job is done and the interview published Polly and Jasper go on a date and a relationship ensues. Not quite sure how professional that is, though, but since Polly is unhappy in her job anyway, I guess she doesn’t mind. Someone who does mind though is Polly’s best friends Bill. He warns her about Jasper’s playboy lifestyle. Polly doesn’t heed to his warning, though, and when her other best friend Lex gets engaged, she is excited to finally be able to bring a plus one to the wedding.
The main story around Polly and Jasper and their relationship is slow paced and at times pretty awkward, given that Polly is very inexperienced with relationships and sex. I understand that that can be frustrating to read, but I’ve found it very realistic and simply refreshing to have a protagonist like that. The most fun part about The Plus One for me were the side stories. Especially the ones about Polly’s work. There was a particular fetish party that she went to where she found out a scandalous secret about Lex’ fiancé and everything that ensued after that.
The most heartwarming part of the book was Polly’s relationship with her mother. Polly’s mum was a single parent for most of Polly’s life after her father died. They have a beautiful relationship with each other. When Polly’s mum is diagnosed with cancer, things get tough, but this mother-daughter duo gets through anything together.
One thing I didn’t like about the book was the constant call to diet culture and weight loss. I know that I am overly sensitive to those because of my own issues with an eating disorder. There where some particularly poor jokes in there, that I think the book could have done without. As I said in the beginning, Sophia Money-Coutts is a new favourite author, so I am happy to say that this issue is not as prevalent in her other books.
All in all, a wonderful debut that I enjoyed very much. The ending was a bit of a surprise to me but I love that I was not able to see it coming. I would absolutely recommend The Plus One, although with a warning for those sensitive to diet culture. For fans of a good British rom com an absolute must-read.
Have you read The Plus One before? Did you enjoy it? Let me know in the comments.
Title: The Plus One/Kann ich jetzt bitte mein Herz zurück haben?
Author: Sophia Money-Coutts
Publisher: HQ/Penguin Verlag
Publishing Date (first publication): 09-08-2018/13.01.2020