ISBN #: 978-0615524320
Page Count: 356
Copyright: February 17, 2012
Publisher: Brian Baleno
(Taken from back cover)
In + One, Brian Baleno has rendered in vivid contours and colors the age-old human struggle between love and work, a conflict made all the more acute when one happens to love one's work, as well as one's romantic partner. Jake, our protagonist, finds himself wedged into an impossible predicament, and what endures most within the reader - besides the sheer, smooth skill of the language - is this man's valiant attempt to navigate between the Scylla and Charybdis of his existence. This novel will stand as an emblem for all those whose life course takes them down the road less traveled, a road not meant only for couples.
Jake, a self-professed workaholic, struggles in + One to strike that delicate balance between his working passion, and the passion for his girlfriend. Ultimately, he is unable to do so before she calls it quits, and we watch him move forward into a new chapter in his life. Although Jake moves cross-country, loves his new location and job, has immeasurable income and a flashy lifestyle, he still finds it difficult to live in a world where relationships seem to define the man. + One follows his road to acceptance and maturity as he learns to live his life, exactly as he chooses, without regret.
I can't say that this was a book that had impressive language, exotic locales, or even climactic details, but I loved it. In its simplicity, you see the raw character and get to know him personally. As the story progressed, Jake became a friend, and even though I wished for a long-term relationship for him (being the romantic I am), I loved the fact that he didn't sacrifice his true self for the supposed "right thing." This is a light, addictive read that shows that the road less traveled isn't necessarily a bad thing. The writing style is such that I felt a connection with the story that I normally don't feel, as if I was actually witnessing it, not reading about it. I would love to see a second book that continues Jake's story, as I became attached to his contemplative ways.
I highly recommend this book!