Blog Tour Excerpt: Plus One by Elizabeth Fama

Welcome to my tour stop for Plus One by Elizabeth Fama.

Plus One
by Elizabeth Fama
YA SciFi
April 8, 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)                 


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




One night when I was still a freshman I came to class and there was a new drawing on the desk: an exquisitely rendered human heart. It was not the kind of heart that little kids draw and cut out to make valentines, with two plump cheeks at the top and a pointy V at the bottom. It was an anatomically perfect sketch, tipped slightly as real hearts are, showing the aorta, the pulmonary artery and veins, and the vena cava—although I wouldn’t have remembered the location of any of those if they hadn’t been carefully labeled. My desk partner had drawn the heart as if it had been sliced almost all the way in two by a sharp knife, which was no small feat since the drawing was three-dimensional and looked like real muscle tissue. Below it was a poem. But it wasn’t one I would have ridiculed, or forced Poppu to dissect to expose its pretentiousness. It was raw, an open wound, and it brought tears to my eyes.

I am empty
I am released from a ship
In space
I am unmoored
Vast nothingness
Aching for what was lost
Wanting what will never be
And suddenly
The after-moment of now versus then
The paradigm shift
The world in too sharp relief
The past and future overlap
In front of my eyes
Death and life
Love and its mysterious absence
A knowledge
I am not a player
I am a spectator

I read it again and again until I had it by heart. I heard nothing my teacher said the entire period, not a word. I had no com-fort to offer my friend, even though it’s what I most wanted to do, and in that way I felt an impotence that matched the tone of the poem itself.

A worry forced its way into my mind. Was it a girl he was talking about? Wasn’t that a broken heart he had drawn? Had he fallen in love with someone? Wanting what was lost. Love and its mysterious absence.

I felt socked in the chest, and I didn’t know why. He was the equivalent of a pen pal, after all; a confidant at most. Nothing had changed: if our paths crossed in the hall I still wouldn’t recognize him. If he saw me, I would seem a stranger. He wouldn’t wrap his arms around me, his beloved friend.

The bell rang, and every other student got up to leave, scraping chairs, laughing, stuffing books in backpacks, drop-ping papers. My time to help him was up, and I felt a rising panic that I would fail him.

I was no poet, I had no right to even try. But I hastily added these four lines, and I left the room without allowing myself to reconsider.

But for the stardust

I trail through her heart

About the Author

Elizabeth Fama is the author of Plus One (FSG, 2014), Monstrous Beauty (FSG, 2012), a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection and Odyssey Award honor winner, and Overboard (Cricket Books, 2002), an ALA Best Books for Young Adults. She is represented by Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger, Inc.


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  1. I thought this one would be too sci fi for me but now after reading the excerpt and from the reviews I have seen, I don't think it will be.

  2. It sounds interesting. I've seen good reviews for it. I'm kind of burned out on sci fi right now, but it might be good to read later, when I need to switch things up again.

  3. This sounds fantastic! I'm going to have to read this one. I love finding well-written books that are told from a boy's POV. They are pretty hard to come by.

  4. Oooh…the super heroes are the bad guys. That does sound good. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I think I actually have this one on my Kindle, I think I bought it when it was on sale awhile back. I'll have to double-check. Great review! ~Pam

  5. This one is heading to me from the local library ( I love the library!), and I can't wait. I am a wee bit nervous because I have heard some "meh" things about it, but I must give it a chance. And I wish that I could high five the cover genius/es!

    Check out this weeks TTT post here...The Best Books Ever

  6. This sounds FANTASTIC! What a great review..I added it to my "sooner than later" list..hehe!

  7. I just realized this book came out last year! I have been wanting to read this for 4 months now. The plot sounds so awesome. It's Steelheart, Firefight, Calamity then Mitosis right? idk I forgot the sequence of this sequel. Anyways lovely review and I hope to read this book soon!

  8. I'm intrigued by the day/night dichotomy, and by the excerpt.

  9. It's really not so scifi. Think more of an alternate reality - almost dystopian except it's not a future realistic time.

  10. I've seen good reviews for it as well. It's not as much scifi as it is a contemporary story that takes place in an alternate reality.

  11. I'll be posting a review later on. I know some have loved it, so maybe you will.

  12. It is a really interesting premise, definitely.

  13. This one looks awesome! The synopsis definitely drew me in. And I think the cover looks super cool.

  14. I think the cover is very creative. I like how they worked in the light and dark and that it is so relevant to the story.

  15. This excerpt makes me want to read Plus One even more. I am definitely adding this to my reading list.

  16. I recently picked this up cheap on and I can't wait to try it. Everyone that I know who has read it really enjoyed it.


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