The Plus One
A hilarious and heartwarming debut novel about a brilliant but socially inept robotics engineer who builds her own wedding date to her sister's wedding, and learns more about love than she ever expected.Meet Kelly. Twenty-nine, valedictorian, and a brilliant robotics engineer to boot. While her professional life is on the rise, her personal life is struggling to get off the ground.With her sister's wedding looming and her attempts to find a date becoming increasingly cringe-worthy, Kelly does the only logical thing: she builds her own boyfriend, if only to get her mom off her back about being perpetually single. Kelly planned to pass off her robotic masterpiece, Ethan, as her other half just until the wedding. But then she can't resist keeping him around even after the "I do's."Ethan is just too perfect--gorgeous, attentive, smart (he does have Google for a brain), all topped off by a mechanical heart endlessly devoted to her. When Kelly is with him, she becomes a more confident, spontaneous version of herself. Plus, for the first time, her mother is actually proud of her.But as the struggle to keep Ethan's true identity a secret threatens to detonate the career Kelly has worked so hard for, she knows she has to kiss her toy boy goodbye.There's just one problem: she's falling for him.

The Plus One Details

TitleThe Plus One
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 2nd, 2019
PublisherG.P. Putnam's Sons
Rating
GenreRomance, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit, Contemporary, Adult

The Plus One Review

  • Toni
    January 1, 1970
    I actually had so much fun reading this book! I guess I'm only human... There were bits that reminded me of Jane Austen's dry wit (esp. Kelly's parents) and others that were clearly uncomplicated super relaxing chick lit, and I loved this summer read for both its entertainment value and how close it made me feel to the protagonist.Let's face it, the robot boyfriend arc is kind of predictable, it has to be, which means that you can focus on the characters, relationships and their evolution. Kelly I actually had so much fun reading this book! I guess I'm only human... There were bits that reminded me of Jane Austen's dry wit (esp. Kelly's parents) and others that were clearly uncomplicated super relaxing chick lit, and I loved this summer read for both its entertainment value and how close it made me feel to the protagonist.Let's face it, the robot boyfriend arc is kind of predictable, it has to be, which means that you can focus on the characters, relationships and their evolution. Kelly was just brilliant in her social awkwardness and willingness to learn from the data life is stubbornly providing her with. The fact that I found her very relatable is something I'd need to reflect on :-) Priya was another great character. I was really glad that their friendship withstood the trials and tribulations of Kelly's brief and illuminating relationship with a robot.At the heart of the novel is Kelly's journey to understand herself. Her lack of a wedding date at the ripe age of twenty nine didn't come out of blue, it was deeply rooted in her fear of getting too close to somebody, fear of ending up in a relationship where nobody talks about things that matter, fear of indifference and giving in. The way she chose to go about it was creating her ultimate version of a safety net, a boyfriend that is programmed to love her unconditionally the way she is. Eventually, she does realise love isn't love where there is no free will.A charming debut novel and a perfect summer read. I'll be definitely looking forward to reading more books from Sarah Archer in future.Thank you to Edelweiss and G.P.Putnam's sons for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.My reviews can also be found on:https://readingtonic.home.blog/
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  • Nicole ❤
    January 1, 1970
    "[...]About the fact that she really did still want to find the right guy, in spite of all the bruises that come with cracking your heart from its exoskeleton. About the growing suspicion that she couldn’t find the right guy because she wasn’t the right person." Thank you, Edelweiss and GP Putnam for the advance copy to review! This review is voluntary and opinions are fully my own. Buy This Book 📖 📚 Series: No📚 Genre: Sci-Fi Romance📚 POV: Third person.📚 Cliffhanger: No.⚠ Content Warning "[...]About the fact that she really did still want to find the right guy, in spite of all the bruises that come with cracking your heart from its exoskeleton. About the growing suspicion that she couldn’t find the right guy because she wasn’t the right person." Thank you, Edelweiss and GP Putnam for the advance copy to review! This review is voluntary and opinions are fully my own. Buy This Book 📖 📚 Series: No📚 Genre: Sci-Fi Romance📚 POV: Third person.📚 Cliffhanger: No.⚠ Content Warnings: Self Esteem Issues. Blackmail. Engineering Stereotypes.⚠ Read if: you are fascinated with human-robot relationships.I have just finished reading this book, and as I write this review, I still have not fully decided whether I like this read or not. It's crazy why I am at a loss to where I stand on this one.The Plus One is the story of Kelly, a robotics engineer, who at a loss of finding a date to her sister's wedding used a prototype of her project Confibot and created Ethan, the robot. Ethan is a unique and very realistic humanoid that is programmed to give care to people (a la Baymax of Big Hero 6). He is a self-teaching robot who can adapt to the mind and behavior of his owner. Problems ensue when Kelly finds herself falling for him, and, Ethan, as he is programmed, reciprocates her feelings as well.This book reminded me of Chobits, a Japanese manga and anime that revolves around Chi, a persocom or humanoid robot.The story was dependent on how the reader will feel toward Ethan. I admit I like him, but I was weirded out by the sex with robots part. I mean.. you have to admit it's weird. Also, when it happened with no context, and explanations was skipped in the book, too.It was hard to love the book because Kelly, the main character was hard to love. She comes of as unlikeable because she tends to look at herself so low, and looking at others so low, too. I hate how much she was bearing grudges to her own family and extending to a tangled web of lies.I was a bit meh with the ending, but I guess it was a way to relay the overall message of the book.. which frankly is saying that this is not a romance. This book is about Kelly learning to love herself.Overll, I think the book was promising, but failed to deliver likeable characters and interesting love story. ☁ THE CRITERIA ☁🌻 Blurb:⭐⭐⭐⭐✩🌻 Hero:⭐⭐✩✩✩🌻 Heroine:⭐⭐✩✩✩🌻 Support Characters:⭐⭐⭐✩✩🌻 Writing Style:⭐⭐⭐✩✩🌻 Character Development:⭐⭐⭐✩✩🌻 Romance:⭐⭐⭐✩✩🌻 Pacing:⭐⭐⭐⭐✩🌻 Ending:⭐⭐⭐✩✩🌻 Unputdownability:⭐⭐⭐✩✩🌻 Book Cover:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ☁FINAL VERDICT: 3.18/5 ☁ Review also appears on my blog.
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  • Corina
    January 1, 1970
    This is going to be short review. Since I don’t have much to say about this book. But I should start with saying that not every debut novel this year is working out for me.I really loved the premise of the story. BUT….It’s not easy to fall in love with a robot. A character, even a robot, needs personality, some kind of personality, humor, sarcasm or just plain weirdness. But it needs something I can identify him with. Being just a robot is not enough. And that was part of the issue.Not being abl This is going to be short review. Since I don’t have much to say about this book. But I should start with saying that not every debut novel this year is working out for me.I really loved the premise of the story. BUT….It’s not easy to fall in love with a robot. A character, even a robot, needs personality, some kind of personality, humor, sarcasm or just plain weirdness. But it needs something I can identify him with. Being just a robot is not enough. And that was part of the issue.Not being able to fall in love with the hero is one thing, not caring for the heroine is something altogether different.The female character has to be likable since she often carries the overall story. It’s hard to connect with her if she is being stereotyped (socially awkward, and nerdy) and turns out to be just plain uninteresting. I’ve read quite a few books about socially awkward characters, Eleanor, OVE, Don – they all were expectational characters because the authors were dedicated on making them different but still relatable.Nevertheless Kelly grew as a person throughout the book, which was something that gave the story depth and meaning. Because even though I loved the idea of the premise, it turned out to be a bit more unrealistic and strange than expected. And yes, the outcome was predictable, because Ethan was a robot, it can only end one way!!!What I ended up enjoying the most about this book was Kelly’s family, their interactions and love for each other. That also confirmed that the author has potential. I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes up next.✵ ✦ ✷ ✫ ✷ ✦ ✧ ✵ ✧ ✵ ✦ ✷ ✫ ✷ ✦ ✧ ✵ ✧ ✵ ✦ ✷ ✫ ✷ ✦ ✧ ✵ ✧ ✵ ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review.For more book recommendations, follow me on Instagram✵ ✦ ✷ ✫ ✷ ✦ ✧ ✵ ✧ ✵ ✦ ✷ ✫ ✷ ✦ ✧ ✵ ✧ ✵ ✦ ✷ ✫ ✷ ✦ ✧ ✵ ✧ ✵
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  • Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
    January 1, 1970
    The biggest problem with this book is that it relies on the reader falling in love with Ethan, Kelly's robot lover, and so feeling the same angst as her over the impossibility of their romance. I couldn't give less of a &*!$ about Ethan. He just never struck me as having a real personality. He didn't have a sense of humour. He had no hobbies or interests. His entire being was literally crafted by Kelly. It felt like I was reading a romance between a mother and her son, because the author ne The biggest problem with this book is that it relies on the reader falling in love with Ethan, Kelly's robot lover, and so feeling the same angst as her over the impossibility of their romance. I couldn't give less of a &*!$ about Ethan. He just never struck me as having a real personality. He didn't have a sense of humour. He had no hobbies or interests. His entire being was literally crafted by Kelly. It felt like I was reading a romance between a mother and her son, because the author never made Ethan into a real, distinct guy. Also, I'm not saying I want to read cyborg porn, but come on - Kelly has sex with a robot. Surely an explanation of how she made that biologically possible isn't too much to ask for. How does a robotic erection work? Did she give him semen? Can he orgasm? GIVE US THESE ANSWERS!!!So yeah, since I never felt for Ethan at all, I couldn't comprehend how Kelly would. It just made her seem even more pathetic, desperate, and lonely than she really was. I'm not at all one to judge: I'm hardly a social butterfly. But Kelly just took it to ridiculous levels. (view spoiler)[The blackmail plot also resolved itself far too easily. Am I really supposed to believe that somebody with such juicy information on Kelly would go away that easily? (hide spoiler)]Still, the book had a few good one-liners. Mostly from Kelly's older brother Gary, who needed a lot more page time than he got. Speaking of brothers, the family dynamics in general were awesome - I loved Archer's exploration of them, and how Kelly slowly grew into herself there. It's just a shame that she needed Ethan to help her do it. (Random side note: you know what's weird? This is the second ARC I received in 2018 called The Plus One. Both are chick lit. Both are debut novels. Both have authors whose first names begin with S...) ARC received in exchange for an honest review - thank you! [Blog] - [Bookstagram]
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  • Amina Ibrahim
    January 1, 1970
    The Plus One is a humorous story about a robotics engineer Kelly, who has no luck in dating. With her sister's wedding close and her mother matchmaking her with different people so she can have a date to the wedding, Kelly decides to make a robot for a boyfriend to prove to her mother that she can get a date for herself. As her personal and professional life are clashing, Kelly has to decide what she wants more, a rising career or a robotic boyfriend.I liked the plot. The humor was just perfect. The Plus One is a humorous story about a robotics engineer Kelly, who has no luck in dating. With her sister's wedding close and her mother matchmaking her with different people so she can have a date to the wedding, Kelly decides to make a robot for a boyfriend to prove to her mother that she can get a date for herself. As her personal and professional life are clashing, Kelly has to decide what she wants more, a rising career or a robotic boyfriend.I liked the plot. The humor was just perfect. I couldn't connect with Ethan (I know he's a robot and all) but he just had no emotion, which is a vital point for me. I liked Gary (Kelly's brother) more than kelly herself. I'd love to see him as a main character.I didn't like Kelly from the very beginning. It felt like she was arrogant being a robotics engineer and looked down on people. Though she did made herself slightly better as the story progressed, so it was not as bad.I received an ARC from the publisher and am giving my own opinions.
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  • Jackie
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway! Honestly I’d give it 3 stars but this book has such low reviews that I bumped it up. I can see some people really enjoying this while other night not. It’s a rom-com where the main character is weak and everything just somehow magically solves itself. I think this would be better as a tv special than a book
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  • Jen | Jen Talks Audiobooks
    January 1, 1970
    First off, I'm giving this 5 stars because while it is only a solid 4 stars in my opinion, there is no way it deserves the 2.76 rating it currently holds. It's a far better book than the rating indicates. There was a lot I liked about this debut and a bit I didn't. I liked the characters, the setting, the plot, and even the ending - which made me cry. It was sweet and hopeful and inevitable, but Archer handled it with such grace that it really was perfect. I liked the way time passed in this sto First off, I'm giving this 5 stars because while it is only a solid 4 stars in my opinion, there is no way it deserves the 2.76 rating it currently holds. It's a far better book than the rating indicates. There was a lot I liked about this debut and a bit I didn't. I liked the characters, the setting, the plot, and even the ending - which made me cry. It was sweet and hopeful and inevitable, but Archer handled it with such grace that it really was perfect. I liked the way time passed in this story. Conversations between the characters were insightful and led Kelly to be appropriately introspective. It was evident to me that this happened in a near future when robotics has advanced. I could go on and on about what I did like, which is probably 90% of the book. The bit I didn't like was the way things were overly drawn out. The whole indecisiveness of the main character Kelly went a little too long for me. I loved Ethan, but I wish he'd been more clearly defined, even exaggerated as someone who could only think of the world as it related to Kelly. And there was a slight confusion for me about Kelly having so much trouble on a project when she whipped another better one up in a weekend; in that respect Ethan should have been a lot more simple. This lent to the believability of the story overall. Kelly kept a lot to herself and that got a little frustrating, mainly because she couldn't solve the problem alone.There's probably more I could pick at, but honestly, why? I enjoyed this book thoroughly. Great characters and an interesting plot. And there were funny little zingers popping up unexpectedly. Some of the metaphors were hilarious. I will definitely pick up more books from this author.Lauren Fortgang is always great on any audiobook - I know I'm going to love her narration and this time was no exception. She really brought it to life.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Y'all need Jesus was the main though as I was reading this book - which is a lot for a non-southern atheist to feel about a story.I was emailed by the publisher that I was pre-approved for the arc of this book, and as I was about to embark on an 8hr flight, I downloaded it. My thought process based off the cover looking like a cute rom com and my love of attending weddings sans plus ones. The lesson to read the summary first was learned from this book.Plot twist, this is a gender flipped retelli Y'all need Jesus was the main though as I was reading this book - which is a lot for a non-southern atheist to feel about a story.I was emailed by the publisher that I was pre-approved for the arc of this book, and as I was about to embark on an 8hr flight, I downloaded it. My thought process based off the cover looking like a cute rom com and my love of attending weddings sans plus ones. The lesson to read the summary first was learned from this book.Plot twist, this is a gender flipped retelling of Weird Science (remember that pervy TV show I was likely too young to watch, which was based on a movie I've never watched, yeah). Yay? I'm thrilled feminism has evolved to allow women to design their wish fulfillment robots now. 2019, it's not just men that are creeps anymore!Kelly is trash (newsflash everyone is socially awkward, maybe try calming down for a second and realizing you're a background player for strangers overhearing your social disasters) and Ethan is Google in physical form (to borrow from Shania, that don't impress me much - the internet was made a human right years ago so the search button is blase in the first world)If the robot science process had been discussed like it is in Robin Sloane's Sourdough, I might've been more forgiving toward this story - but it is more like ,"I 3D printed this and clicked this button and solved everything".The background characters are more interesting than Kelly and Ethan, which is a bold choice for a book marketed as a rom-com. I do not recommend this story, but the author does show potential.Thank you to the publisher, via Edelweiss, for providing me with an e-arc of this novel. That did not influence my opinion in any way.
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  • Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
    January 1, 1970
    FYI: The top shelf on GR on this book says it's a romance, but it is not a romance novel. This is a character arc story. Romance is a topic in the novel but it is not a romance novel.
  • Heather Trudeau
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a fun read! While a bit predictable, and unrealistic, I would recommend it to anyone looking for good chic-lit!
  • Claire
    January 1, 1970
    I feel like there's a lot to unpack here. Diving in, I was full aware this was a romance, and not a story about female engineers, but considering engineering is (supposed to be) a big part of Kelly's life and her character, I was still a bit disappointed how trivial it was in the book. Another thing that disappointed me is Kelly's personality. Kelly is a typical engineering stereotype: awkward, nerdy, unsociable, difficult to maintain relationships both platonic and romantic. I'm not sure if she I feel like there's a lot to unpack here. Diving in, I was full aware this was a romance, and not a story about female engineers, but considering engineering is (supposed to be) a big part of Kelly's life and her character, I was still a bit disappointed how trivial it was in the book. Another thing that disappointed me is Kelly's personality. Kelly is a typical engineering stereotype: awkward, nerdy, unsociable, difficult to maintain relationships both platonic and romantic. I'm not sure if she's supposed to be quirky, or just... different, but Kelly isn't likable. On the contrary, I disliked her—which surprised me the most because I noticed that I have a soft spot for engineers (especially girls) in books and tv shows. A lot of them are among my favorite characters. And yes, some of them have stereotypical traits and behavior, and yes sometimes those stereotypes aren't negative and are actually true, but with Kelly, everything was just so over the top to the point that she started sounding like a caricature. There are also a lot of contradictory things about her that are extremely confusing. She's arrogant, but also extremely insecure. She thinks of her self highly, but also has a very low self-esteem. She's aware her social skills aren't the best and she admits it, but she also gets insulted when someone points it out. She's incredibly immature and horrible at working in groups—something that is a huge red flag, in my opinion. Gone are the days when engineers sat in their own corners, isolated from their colleagues, bosses, other employees, the customers, and the entire world. Engineers aren't required to be social butterflies, but some skills are still needed, especially if you're working in education or industry. "Frankly, the fact that AHI had brought in the hottest psychologist in Santa Clara County to assist her on the project was just rude." KELLY, GIRL, I'VE NEWS FOR UMost of the engineers work in groups, and a lot of the times they collaborate and work with teams and individuals from different fields and with different areas of interest and expertise. Kelly isn't a god who knows everything. Is she really putting her own pride over the hard-earned reputation of the firm she works in?Engineers MUST be strong team players. No one will hire you if you don't have some basic social skills and you just insist on saying "I don't understand people uwu", "DON'T SAY ANYTHING THAT ISN'T A PRAISE I'M FREAKING SENSITIVE", and "You can't challenge me, GET TF OUT. I'M ALWAYS RIGHT." like a broken record as you continue to be difficult to work with. What Kelly doesn't get is that she's a not a special snowflake and is very much replaceable. "She needed to focus on facts, not Dr. Masden's insights." Just because you don't like the person you're working with, or you think the other person's branch doesn't match yours in importance, doesn't mean you can dismiss their competence in their field. If an engineer is acting like a petulant child who can't put aside their stupid pride for greater good then they're not a good engineer and they don't deserve the job, no matter how brilliant they are. With engineers like Kelly, there is always a chance that they'll endanger lives, projects, and reputation.If a professional tells you your product needs to be adapted to actually suit your customers, you don't just dismiss him by saying, "Oh, but I'M trying to build stuff here. IT IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE." Yes, it is, Kelly. But your goal for it is to be usable to someone. And it's your goal that your product works as intended. Otherwise, it's just a bunch of scrap metal. "Then this guy had to come and get his big hands all over her. That is, all over the project. Insinuating that she didn't understand people. So much of why she had gone into engineering in the first place was because it didn't ask her to try to make sense of people, who let's face it, were often nonsensical anyway." KELLY, GIRL, I'VE SOME MORE NEWS FOR U............ Customers are sometimes nonsensical and they don't even see it or want to admit it, that's true. But engineers have to try to make sense of people, especially if they work with/for customers. As mentioned above, they have to adapt whatever they're working on so that non-professionals can use it. That means understanding and predicting the way the targeted customers would use the product and ensuring that the product is safe and satisfying to use. And honestly, if Kelly wanted to avoid people, she should have considered being isolated sheep herder in Iceland. "Don't go out with anyone who works in robotics. He'll hack your phone while you sleep, looking for company secrets." wHY iS eVeryone terrible? Is this a thing in the US? WTH??? I've never met anyone nearly as awful as described in this book.Characters must be flawed, but it's a problem when they don't have one positive trait that really shines through. With her behavior, Kelly seems like a freshmen in college, not a grown woman entering her 30's.One thing I really liked was actually seeing Kelly change and admit her mistake. However brief, it was still addressed (much to my surprise) and I really appreciate that.I had some expectations when I picked this up, so that was probably the main problem. I also didn't see Kelly as a main character of a romance story, I saw her as a professional. I was drawn to the story at the mentions of AI and mechatronics, but most of the readers will probably choose this for the actual, marketed, plot and will probably end up enjoying it much more than I did. (view spoiler)[(Although, if they root for Ethan, I'm not sure how satisfied they will be with the ending.) (hide spoiler)]*I received a free copy of this book in an exchange for an honest review.*
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  • Georgia
    January 1, 1970
    3.5, would have been more fun with robot sex!! i honestly wouldn't really characterize this as a romance, the strongest and most interesting relationships in this book were with her family and her best friend/coworker
  • Autumn
    January 1, 1970
    Kelly Suttle is a wiz at her job, but she’s atrocious at finding a date for her sister’s wedding. It doesn’t matter how many men that she encounters, none of them tick all the boxes. So with the date looming ever closer and nonstop interference from her well-meaning mother, she decides to take matters into her own hands.“By your age, I was married with two kids, and a third on the way! Gary was married at twenty-seven. Your sister will be married in less than two months, and she’s only twenty-fi Kelly Suttle is a wiz at her job, but she’s atrocious at finding a date for her sister’s wedding. It doesn’t matter how many men that she encounters, none of them tick all the boxes. So with the date looming ever closer and nonstop interference from her well-meaning mother, she decides to take matters into her own hands.“By your age, I was married with two kids, and a third on the way! Gary was married at twenty-seven. Your sister will be married in less than two months, and she’s only twenty-five. I’m getting worried for you. Who will take care of you when you’re old and alone?”“Socialized medicine or the apocalypse, whichever gets there first. I can take care of myself, Mom. For someone who talks about me being twenty-nine like I’m some Bronze Age corpse fished out of a bog, you don’t seem to realize that I’m an adult.”“All right, then, who are you bringing to the wedding?”“I don’t know! The Jolly Fucking Green Giant!” Kelly threw her left hand up in exasperation.“Kelly Suttle. Do you think this is all a joke?”“I think it’s a party, not a Navy SEAL operation, and you’re taking it way too seriously.”“Oh, so it’s just a party. The biggest day of your sister’s life and my life’s work is just a party.”“I didn’t mean—”“When I started in the wedding industry here, this was just another middle-class town,” Diane forged on. “Now it’s one of the most expensive zip codes in the country. Everyone expects the moon! Last week a bride demanded that I find her a dress that changed color according to her mood. I’m not Merlin. These people think that I’m a Google and they can just enter their dreams into me and I’ll spit back whatever they want—”“I met someone,” Kelly blurted out. “You met someone?” Diane was utterly confused. “Do you mean on LinkedIn again?”“No, a guy. I went out tonight with Priya and met this guy and we really hit it off.” Kelly winced, biting her lip. Palliating her mother might buy her some time. Or she might have just royally screwed herself.“You met someone!” Diane’s tone was suddenly full of sunshine. “Who? What’s he like? What’s his name?”“His name is—” Kelly drew a panicked blank. She looked wildly around the room. A spotlighted billboard caught her eye through the window—eSan, for all your hardware cleaning needs.“Esan. I mean, Ethan. His name is Ethan.”“Ethan, Ethan. I like it, it’s a good name. What does he do? Where does he—”“I really have to go, Mom, it’s been a long night.” When Kelly got off the phone, she threw her head down tiredly on her desk. If only it were so easy to create a boyfriend out of thin air.Ethan is Kelly’s dream man brought to life. He should be. She designed him. When she goes out with him, she no longer feels inadequate or awkward. With him, she can let down her guard and just be the brilliant funny girl that she really is.When they are out together, she can’t help but notice how people seem to be happy when he’s around. And with each passing day, she falls just a little more in love him.But what kind of future can she really hope to have with a robot?“So why the stars?” she asked him later that night. She would never have imagined this scenario in her quest to invent an engagement story. She saw now that the problem with all the other stories she had told was that they were about Ethan, but they hadn’t come from him.Ethan shrugged. “It seemed appropriate. When I think of stars, I think of you.”“Same here,” Kelly said, snuggling back against him as they lounged in bed, still watching the citrus-colored light washing over the ceiling. “You’re the one who showed them all to me.”“Oh no.” Ethan stiffened a little, looking as if he was struggling to understand something. “It’s the opposite. Before you, I had never even seen the stars.”The Plus One isn’t your everyday love story. It’s a search for something so utterly elusive these days – simple human connection.Sarah Archer brilliantly captures the modern dating dilemma in all of its hysterical and brutal glory. With everything from meddling relatives, trips to Target and adventures in shapewear, she still allows her characters vulnerability shine through. And it’s Kelly’s feelings of overwhelming loneliness that touched me most of all.I adored how Ethan introduces Kelly to the wonders of the world again. Because of him, she finally learns just how strong she really is. And that’s the best lesson of true love…
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  • Jadine
    January 1, 1970
    Free uncorrected proof on Goodreads. I liked this book but I wanted to like it more. The editor had a letter at the beginning of the book, comparing it to The Kiss Quotient by Helen Huang- which I loved, but I don't think this book was up to that level. It was trying but just didn't quite make it. I did find myself laughing out loud at some points but I was getting frustrated in the middle of the book. I kind of liked how the book ended but felt like there could have been more. I'm not sure what Free uncorrected proof on Goodreads. I liked this book but I wanted to like it more. The editor had a letter at the beginning of the book, comparing it to The Kiss Quotient by Helen Huang- which I loved, but I don't think this book was up to that level. It was trying but just didn't quite make it. I did find myself laughing out loud at some points but I was getting frustrated in the middle of the book. I kind of liked how the book ended but felt like there could have been more. I'm not sure what changes will come before the release date. (view spoiler)[I couldn't understand how she could put together Ethan in one long weekend but couldn't finish her Confibot in a few weeks/months. I get that we were supposed to feel like Ethan was different for her but he was exactly what she was trying to build! Maybe I don't get the technical stuff with building an android and the difference she was trying to get with the Confibot but it just seemed too easy of a fix for me.(view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)]
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  • Christy
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of The Plus One from Goodreads Giveaways in return for an honest review.The premise of this books sounded really cute and I was excited to get a copy. Unfortunately, not a lot happens, just a lot of the same thing over and over or for far too long (her mother going in and on about her getting married is one example).The characters are not overly likeable or sympathetic. The whole relationship with a robot borders on creepy and weird. I think the idea of this story is good, but I received a copy of The Plus One from Goodreads Giveaways in return for an honest review.The premise of this books sounded really cute and I was excited to get a copy. Unfortunately, not a lot happens, just a lot of the same thing over and over or for far too long (her mother going in and on about her getting married is one example).The characters are not overly likeable or sympathetic. The whole relationship with a robot borders on creepy and weird. I think the idea of this story is good, but once it got past the first couple chapters, it was not able to keep my interest or keeping me from being kinda grossed out.If you like unusual rom-coms or are super into STEM, it might be right up your alley. It was just not the book for me.
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  • Kathleen Gray
    January 1, 1970
    This seems to have unfairly engendered much back and forth but you know what- read it as it was intended and relax. It's the tale of Kelly, who hasn't been able to "have it all" and decides to build her own man. Yep. She builds Ethan who might be perfect even if he's well, a robot. Give up all pretense of reality and admire Kelly for her ability to actually built a robot (I know she's a robotics engineer) that can fool people. She grows as a person in the process. The family wedding which precip This seems to have unfairly engendered much back and forth but you know what- read it as it was intended and relax. It's the tale of Kelly, who hasn't been able to "have it all" and decides to build her own man. Yep. She builds Ethan who might be perfect even if he's well, a robot. Give up all pretense of reality and admire Kelly for her ability to actually built a robot (I know she's a robotics engineer) that can fool people. She grows as a person in the process. The family wedding which precipitates all of this is a good example of family politics- there are some chuckle worthy moments and you might like one family member (Gary) more than the others. Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC. This is a nice light debut and a good summer read.
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  • Kristen
    January 1, 1970
    This was just overall a hard book for me to get into and finish. The whole book was just very bland to me. Ethan is very blah and not very likable, All of Kelly's problems are solved far too quickly and easily, and I couldn't get past the fact that she had sex with a robot. What the heck how does that even happen because I mean he's a robot. Also how not even other robotics engineers could realize that they were around a robot is beyond me.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed her writing which kept me reading the story, but in truth it was not very realistic and not the fantasy I was expecting. I felt it was a good, quick summer read!
  • Dianne
    January 1, 1970
    Unless you are a huge fan of AI and/or work in Silicon Valley and in the high tech industry, this may not be the book for you. It wasn't for me.At first, when I was reading this all I could think of was Kelly was going for something like DATA from Star Trek then we got a little on the more personal side when she decided to 'steal' her own design and make herself a plus one that somehow turned into something more. All in all, it started to seem a little creepy to me.I could never quite get into K Unless you are a huge fan of AI and/or work in Silicon Valley and in the high tech industry, this may not be the book for you. It wasn't for me.At first, when I was reading this all I could think of was Kelly was going for something like DATA from Star Trek then we got a little on the more personal side when she decided to 'steal' her own design and make herself a plus one that somehow turned into something more. All in all, it started to seem a little creepy to me.I could never quite get into Kelly and her many issues. They seemed so childish for someone like her.(Did she have Aspergers ?)I had to finally put this book down at about halfway. I couldn't stand to see where this book might have been leading to and with what the synopsis said, it would have been too uncomfortable for me. Maybe someday I'll be able to pick it back up and give it a fairer read, but I think not. *ARC supplied by the publisher.
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  • Cristine Tanjuakio
    January 1, 1970
    Twenty-nine year old robotics engineer Kelly, in desperate need to find a date for her sister’s wedding, decided to just make herself one. Hence, she created Ethan! This novel is so out of the ordinary. Kelly, the main character reminds me of Elinor Oliphant. One challenge for me in reading both story is the feeling of disconnection from the main character(s) but other than that The Plus One is still an enjoyable read.
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  • Nicole Wagner
    January 1, 1970
    3.49 stars :-) This is a lot less science fiction-y than I had hoped, based on the description, but in no way am I ashamed to admit my fondness for the occasional feel-good wholesome romance, and that's closer to where this one lands. I probably should have paid better attention to the big, glaring hints of the cover tropes, but alas. My hunger for imaginative sci-fi strikes again!My number one gripe about this book is that the main character's really unpleasant. She's self-centered and obtuse. 3.49 stars :-) This is a lot less science fiction-y than I had hoped, based on the description, but in no way am I ashamed to admit my fondness for the occasional feel-good wholesome romance, and that's closer to where this one lands. I probably should have paid better attention to the big, glaring hints of the cover tropes, but alas. My hunger for imaginative sci-fi strikes again!My number one gripe about this book is that the main character's really unpleasant. She's self-centered and obtuse. I wondered at times if she was being silently written as having Asperger's, which would have been more sympathetic, but her internal dialogue revealed that nope, she's just really emotionally UN-intelligent. And then she builds a robot boyfriend who loves her for who she really is, and she learns to come out of her shell. It's really unbelievable, and lots of questions go unanswered. The twist at the end is so apparent for so long, and although the reveal is unexciting, I got a lump in my throat at the reconciliation between the main character and her family. This is a good summer read for anyone who likes turning pages and having a bland smile on their face at the end of a book. This one won't change your life, and the artificial intelligence story just basically doesn't exist at all, but if you're used to reading romances and are open to something a bit quirky (that doesn't have any sex scenes), this is a good pick.Thanks very much to the publisher for a free ARC!
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  • Jaclyn Chapman
    January 1, 1970
    This was a fun fast read. I found in hard to put down. What started as a solving for a wedding date became more than Kelly expected as she is sucked down her own rabbit hole per say of her own making. She learns all avout love and relationships and well as more about her self.
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  • Jillian Doherty
    January 1, 1970
    A light-hearted story about finding yourself, and new opportunities along the way.Kelly is a refreshingly quirky character, and science forward protagonist. Here we see a women who’s less focused on romance but must contend with it. With her sister’s wedding is quickly approaching, and family pressure to bring a date the story comes to ahead; she does what she knows best and finds so much more in her AI than ever expected. Perfect for YA a crossover with its confidence encouraging promise, and s A light-hearted story about finding yourself, and new opportunities along the way.Kelly is a refreshingly quirky character, and science forward protagonist. Here we see a women who’s less focused on romance but must contend with it. With her sister’s wedding is quickly approaching, and family pressure to bring a date the story comes to ahead; she does what she knows best and finds so much more in her AI than ever expected. Perfect for YA a crossover with its confidence encouraging promise, and sweet emotional growth- we should have more stories where the tech girl finds her value in all things! Galley borrow from the publisher.
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    OH MY GOODNESS. I am so thankful for this book.I usually don't go for books that have less than a 3.5 rating on Goodreads, but the blurb interested me enough to forgo this rule. And how glad am I for going with my gut feeling. This book, although not perfect, got me out of a months-old reading funk. The first few chapters made it seem like a 3 star book (which by Goodreads standards might not seem all that good, but in my standards means a book that was well written but not particularly striking OH MY GOODNESS. I am so thankful for this book.I usually don't go for books that have less than a 3.5 rating on Goodreads, but the blurb interested me enough to forgo this rule. And how glad am I for going with my gut feeling. This book, although not perfect, got me out of a months-old reading funk. The first few chapters made it seem like a 3 star book (which by Goodreads standards might not seem all that good, but in my standards means a book that was well written but not particularly striking), but the book got better towards the end and earned itself a solid 4 (maybe even a 4.5, just for getting me to finish a book - finally!). Kelly, the main character, was so full of flaws - very, very many flaws that made her very, very unlikable. In fact, I maintained a steady feeling of dislike for her throughout the entire book until the last few redeeming pages. She's insecure. She suffers from an inferiority complex. She whines on about how no one in her family truly listens to her or cares about her but seemingly is the same way herself about them. She's so wrapped up in self-pity that she doesn't realize the parts of her life where she actually has it really good - a brother who always takes her calls (during which she spouts out her life's woes and wearies) even though he's exhausted from taking care of his triplets all day, and a friend who does the same. I'm sure there was more that I didn't like about her, but you get the point.And usually, I can't stand books where I can't like the main character (the only exception I can think of at the moment is the Harry Potter series, because seriously, that boy needed chill). But the fact Kelly had so many flaws - and so many realistic flaws at that - was what made the book so relatable and made it all work.If you couldn't tell, I'm really trying to recommend this book. (I feel like I'm failing.)If you were expecting a Black Mirror-esque book exploring complicated themes about how robots cannot truly replicate that human touch - maybe not your book.On the other hand, if you were looking for a floof piece about an awkward but lovable heroine facing hilarious situations caused by her decision to build herself a robitic boyfriend - yeaaah, maybe not for you.But if you're looking for a book about family connections, or all human connections at that, amidst a self-reckoning of an exasperating but relatable main character - this might be your book.Again, I wish I could write better.+) I read some of the other reviews that talk about how the book didn't work for them because they couldn't connect with Ethan. But I think that's kind of the point? He's literally not real... And despite that, of course Kelly couldn't help but "love" Ethan. In a world where she feels unloved and unheard, here is a guy who is unconditionally on her side, mirrors her likes and dislikes, and looks like a god. What's not to fall for? (Just my opinion though. If the book fell flat for you because of this reason, that's entirely your prerogative.)
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  • Ruthsic
    January 1, 1970
    Truly speaking, I wouldn't classify this as a romance, though plenty of people have already shelved it as such. This book is more about Kelly letting go of her control issues and giving love a chance. Kelly has always had trouble with relationships and interacting with people in general, due to her social anxiety. When forced by her mother to acquire a date for her sister's wedding, Kelly instead builds one. While balancing her upcoming project to make a realistic medical companion bot and her m Truly speaking, I wouldn't classify this as a romance, though plenty of people have already shelved it as such. This book is more about Kelly letting go of her control issues and giving love a chance. Kelly has always had trouble with relationships and interacting with people in general, due to her social anxiety. When forced by her mother to acquire a date for her sister's wedding, Kelly instead builds one. While balancing her upcoming project to make a realistic medical companion bot and her mother's constant intrusion into her life, she comes up with the idea to make the perfect man for herself. Initially impressed with her own work, she slowly grows to love Ethan, and falls into the rabbit hole of letting people believe he is a real person to the point where she doesn't want to let go. There's a random blackmail plot and some friendship drama, too. Kelly's presence in her family is a big indication of where her issues arose from: she is mostly overlooked as a middle child, and her accomplishments ignored by them, despite being a woman in STEM. Her parents' stale marriage doesn't give her any hope for love either, so she mostly thinks she is fine being alone. However, being with Ethan makes her realize how lonely she was, and how much the presence of another fills a space in her life. The 'romance' with Ethan can hardly be called so, because while he is responsive and has a capability to learn, at the end of the day he is like a highly personalized AI assistant. But him being the 'perfect man' sends Kelly's life spinning, as she lies and lies further to show her mother that she is capable of having a stable relationship, and also herself buys into the fantasy of keeping him forever (I have watched Humans, and it wouldn't end well mind you). And there was a lot to unpack in that family's dynamics, but it doesn't really get its due; it builds up to something (at one point, I thought the only way was for her to confront her mother about her nightmarish intrusive behavior) but then fizzles out in a disappointing climax. There is closure after that, but it fits oddly with the pace of the novel, and feels abrupt. Overall, I'd say this is was a nice exploration of loneliness and the concept of love in modern times, but the story lacked a proper ending to tie it all together. Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from G P Putnam's Sons, via Edelweiss.
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  • Laurie
    January 1, 1970
    It's been a couple of days since I finished "The Plus One" by Sarah Archer, and I'm still struggling with my feelings about this book. I can't decide whether I actually liked it or not. In some ways, it was almost compulsively readable, especially the second half, most of which I read in one sitting. However, the reasons I wanted to keep reading were not necessarily positive ones. I mostly wanted to see how deep of a hole Kelly, the main character, could dig for herself before her deception rega It's been a couple of days since I finished "The Plus One" by Sarah Archer, and I'm still struggling with my feelings about this book. I can't decide whether I actually liked it or not. In some ways, it was almost compulsively readable, especially the second half, most of which I read in one sitting. However, the reasons I wanted to keep reading were not necessarily positive ones. I mostly wanted to see how deep of a hole Kelly, the main character, could dig for herself before her deception regarding Ethan was revealed.I did not find Kelly to be an especially likeable protagonist. While I was impressed at the amount of character growth the author managed to demonstrate for Kelly over the course of the story, the overwhelming vibe I got from her was kind of sad and pitiful, not cute or quirky. Further, a lot of Kelly's personality traits felt like stereotypes of what the author thought a robotics engineer should or would be like, and not like someone that she (or I) would interact with in real life. A lot of things about Kelly seemed unnecessarily exaggerated, and mostly, she just seemed like someone who really needed counseling to deal with her serious self-esteem issues.The secondary characters in this story were much more likeable than Kelly, and I think I would have enjoyed reading their stories more than Kelly's (especially her brother Gary and sister Clara, as well as best friend Priya). Kelly's mother was completely over the top and almost unbearable at times, but it seemed like her actions came from love for her daughter, so I could mostly forgive her. That said, I really wanted to see Kelly get mad and say no to her mother just once before the end of the book. Unfortunately, that never happened. Overall, I don't think I can recommend this book. I expected it to be weird, but I also expected it to be funnier than it turned out to be to offset the weirdness. Maybe I just didn't get the humor.*ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
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  • KarenJo Custodio
    January 1, 1970
    The Plus One by Sara Archer will delight sci-fi and romance fans looking for something quirky, charming, and funny.This is one of those books that I wanted to DNF, but I didn’t because I was incredibly curious to see how the story would play out. And, I can tell you now that I’m glad I did. The story isn’t original or super exciting and there are some tidbits I didn’t like, but… I thought the story is quite entertaining, insightful and touching.I love sci-fi and romance so I was really intrigued The Plus One by Sara Archer will delight sci-fi and romance fans looking for something quirky, charming, and funny.This is one of those books that I wanted to DNF, but I didn’t because I was incredibly curious to see how the story would play out. And, I can tell you now that I’m glad I did. The story isn’t original or super exciting and there are some tidbits I didn’t like, but… I thought the story is quite entertaining, insightful and touching.I love sci-fi and romance so I was really intrigued by this book. I didn't love everything, but I like concept, the humor, the family drama, and the romance. There are lighthearted and amusing scenes that made me smile and some moments are wonderfully bittersweet. The romance part is definitely unrealistic, a bit awkward and weird, and a little cringy at times, but there’s something endearing about it too. The characters are all right and likable enough for me to care. Kelly frustrated me quite a bit with her unpleasant personality, but I felt for her and just wanted her to be happy. Ethan is an interesting love interest and while I'm not swooning over him, he has a few adorable moments. The conclusion is just okay for me and I wanted something MORE, but overall I feel like it's a good ending.A lighthearted and fun summer read, The Plus One is an enjoyable and intriguing story. While this book didn't completely dazzle me, all in all, I’m quite satisfied with the way Archer explores the importance of self-worth, acceptance, relationships, and love. It's an entertaining debut novel that I’m sure plenty of readers will like and enjoy. I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Check out my other ARC reviews on my BLOG
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  • Pamela
    January 1, 1970
    This book had such potential, but the author got bogged down in trying to portray Kelly, her main character, in the negative with her stereotypical attributes. Let’s face it, Kelly is a nerd and she acts like one. If an author chooses a nerd for a main character, the least she can do is to like her character well enough to write her in a respectful and likable way. Kelly is faced with the wedding of her “perfect” sister and a mother who insists Kelly must have a date for the wedding or the weddi This book had such potential, but the author got bogged down in trying to portray Kelly, her main character, in the negative with her stereotypical attributes. Let’s face it, Kelly is a nerd and she acts like one. If an author chooses a nerd for a main character, the least she can do is to like her character well enough to write her in a respectful and likable way. Kelly is faced with the wedding of her “perfect” sister and a mother who insists Kelly must have a date for the wedding or the wedding will fail in the eyes of the mother and her friends. Kelly, who lives in her head designing robots, decides to build a date of her own, literally. The problem is that since Kelly really doesn’t understand dating, men, nor relationships, she builds a male robot who has no personality and, yet, falls in love with the robot. The book continues its downhill slide from there.The author chose an ambitious premise to base her first book on, and, unfortunately, didn’t have the talent to pull it off. Perhaps if she had done more (or any) research on the current state of robotics she would know that Kelly’s task was not doable no matter how brilliant Kelly might be (the author kept telling us she was brilliant, but the reader didn’t feel it). My thanks G.P. Putnam’s Sons and Edelweiss for an eARC.
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  • Shoshana Frank
    January 1, 1970
    When self-absorbed and socially awkward robot engineer Kelly needs a wedding date for her younger sister’s nuptials, building a robot boyfriend appears to be the perfect solution. It will please her over-bearing mother to see her with a successful beau and make her more appealing to her hardnosed boss. Kelly is unbelievably happy with new boyfriend Ethan, yet Kelly is lying to everyone who matters to her. Not unexpectedly, her lies become too much and the situation spirals out of control. Fortga When self-absorbed and socially awkward robot engineer Kelly needs a wedding date for her younger sister’s nuptials, building a robot boyfriend appears to be the perfect solution. It will please her over-bearing mother to see her with a successful beau and make her more appealing to her hardnosed boss. Kelly is unbelievably happy with new boyfriend Ethan, yet Kelly is lying to everyone who matters to her. Not unexpectedly, her lies become too much and the situation spirals out of control. Fortgang completely embodies the voice and very essence of Kelly. Listeners completely understand the unrelenting anxiety and passionate emotions that Kelly experiences through Fortgang’s reading. The narration humanizes Kelly in a way her own controlling self never could. Archer’s humorous coming of age story especially flourishes with the sweet yet inevitable ending. Fans of Helen Hoang, P.Z. Reizin, and Maria Murnane will adore this debut chick lit romp.
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  • MJ
    January 1, 1970
    First of all, I got to read an ARC of this book via Netgalley, but it is out by now! When I read the idea for the story, I was rather intrigued by the whole concept for the plot. Unfortunately, before we go any further, I am going to have to say that this book let me down.•I felt like the characters and the idea behind the story had a whole lot of potential, but then just fell short. The beginning was a bit slow and boring, but when you hit that halfway point? I had to take a break to go rant to First of all, I got to read an ARC of this book via Netgalley, but it is out by now! When I read the idea for the story, I was rather intrigued by the whole concept for the plot. Unfortunately, before we go any further, I am going to have to say that this book let me down.•
I felt like the characters and the idea behind the story had a whole lot of potential, but then just fell short. The beginning was a bit slow and boring, but when you hit that halfway point? I had to take a break to go rant to my friend about the huge leap into craziness this book took.•
I mean, with the way it was written, I didn’t even feel any form of attachment to the characters whatsoever. It felt a lot to me like there was a distance between me and the main character because I COULD NOT relate to or understand where her feelings were heading. And I wonder if maybe that’s why I didn’t see any real character development happening—and why I didn’t really care much when it did. It just felt like an utter mess to me.•
The ending, however, was decent. It was the only part of the story I liked because I felt like the book got the close it deserved and it fit in well with the idea for the story. I just wish that the rest of the story had matched it at that logical level. While I didn't like most of it, I can appreciate that the last chunk of the book was nicely written.•(More to this review on my blog; link in my bio 😁)
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