Plus One Plus None Book Cover Plus One Plus None
by Emica Mao
Women's Fiction, Romance
Pub Date 16 Jul 2019

Plus One Plus None is a candid monologue of a single introvert named Zita who expected to be married someday but instead ended up single in her 40s. Like most girls, when she was in her 20s, she felt like she had all the time in the world and everything would just fall into place within the usual timeline. Except that sometimes, things don't turn out the way you expect them to be which you may only realize after several years have slipped by.

In Plus One Plus None, Zita retells her story as how it unfolded. She shares her unfiltered thoughts, reflections, actions (and inactions), mistakes, imperfections and realizations at every stage in her life. Her musings and anecdotes include various topics from dating, pursuing personal goals, dealing with intrusive questions like "how old are you?" and "when will you get married?", to facing the possibility of not being able to marry and get pregnant within one's prime years, and coming to grips with the possibility of staying unmarried and growing old alone.

Who may learn from Zita's story?

- unattached singles in their mid-30s or 40s who sometimes wonder why they are still single or ended up single because it is when you reach this age when you begin to realize that there's a chance that some of the things you expected to happen in your life may not happen after all (versus when you are in your 20s to early 30s when you're brimming with confidence that everything would happen within your expected timeline);

- the single who complains about her single status and blames it on her busy schedule, lack of dating opportunities and other external factors;

- the shy single or the homebody single who doesn't go out a lot but expects to find a boyfriend;

- the choosy single who starts zoning out on the first date the moment she spots something she doesn't like about her date or who refuses to go out on a second date once the guy isn't her type but claims she's open to "dating";

- the praying single who asks God to send her The One but doesn't do her part to make it happen;

- the single who says she wants to get married and have kids someday but her actions and innermost thoughts say otherwise;

- the single who relies on pure hope and luck in meeting her Plus One someday; and

- the single who claims every new year is going to be "the year" but doesn't do anything new or different each year.

Just remember - each person has different values, fears, challenges, imperfections and reasons for being single and though Zita's fears, challenges, imperfections, circumstances and reasons for being single maybe different from yours, you may use Zita's story as a cautionary tale to reflect where you are right now in your single life and determine what needs to be done to make things happen in your life within your target timeline.

If you are single and you are already doing something about your single situation, or you never run out of dates, or you love to go out to mingle, or you already have a boyfriend, or you are right on track with your relationship goals, there is no need to read Zita's story unless you are naturally curious about other people's life stories or curious to hear one's story of unexpected spinsterhood.

Plus One Plus None is a short and concise read that gives a snapshot of single woman's introspection of 15 years of her single life in 140 pages (for paperback) and 178 pages (on kindle).

Don't let another year quickly slip away only to realize that you are a year older and nothing significant happened in your single life again.

 I rather liked this story and the way the story was told by the narrator - who seemed to be somewhere on the spectrum, but determined to live as normal a life as she could.
However, I do have some criticisms -one of which was on every page and nearly every statement - the use of LOL. Not only is this very outdated in terms of current language use, but it really irritated by the time it was repeated and repeated and repeated. 905 of these should have been cut out.
The bit about prayers was not for me and in my opinion seemed not to fit the the general trajectory of the story. Which led to the final chapter. Oh dear. Where did this come from? It turned into a self-help book. Which was not what it originally appeared to be, but reading the author’s comments it clearly was. This really reduced my admiration for the story as it turned each chapter on its head and even though it was not aimed at me, it felt too prescriptive as a self-help book.
So my star rating zoomed down to a 2.

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