Long Lost Review: Me Before You (#1) by JoJo Moyes

Long Lost Reviews is a monthly meme created by Ally over at Ally’s Appraisals which is posted on the second Thursday of every month. The aim is to start tackling your review backlog. Whether it’s an in-depth analysis of how it affected your life, one sentence stating that you only remember the ending, or that you have no recollection of reading the book at all. 

Published: 1st April 2012Goodreads badge
Publisher:
Penguin Books, Limited
Pages: 502
Format: Paperback
Genre: Romance
★   ★   ★   ★   ★ – 5 Stars

Louisa Clark is an ordinary young woman living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A love story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

I heard about this book when the movie was to come out and managed to read it before I saw the film. Always a good practice because you pick up a lot more story that way. I remember some parts quite well, and others not so much. I recall loving their relationship. The love/hate thing they had going on: his bitterness, her desire to please. The outsiders play their own roles and stitch everything together but while they are developed characters in themselves there is a lot of focus on Louisa and her own journey and how that journey is reflected on and impacted by Will.

This is a romance, but it also about friendship and compassion; understanding someone else and truly loving who they are. The emotional connection is always more fulfilling than the physical and Moyes mixes both in this together without making it all about the romance. It comes naturally, comes slowly, but it also shares the pages with a wonderful story about people being people and real life unfairness.

This is a really important novel because of the themes it covers: choice, quality of life, the right to die with dignity. Moyes doesn’t throw the issue in our faces, but she does take us through both sides in a way, telling us why each side has a valid point through a natural story progression and character interaction. I am glad she went with the ending she did. I think it was important not only as a message, but to the story and it was respectful to the characters.

Louisa is strong but also lost at times. I like that she got to discover who she was through Will, not that she became someone because of Will. He helped her stand on her feet and she helped him soften around the edges and see the colour of life again. I went from disliking Louisa to enjoying her character and in a small way the same is said for Will. His brashness comes from his circumstance, his first impressions are from a long and weary life and I enjoyed his growth as well as Louisa’s.

Moyes is a vivid writer, I could picture the walk to the castle, Lou’s quaint little life and her family situation. Her own suffering and suffocation is evident and I think Moyes created unique characters that all still mash together as family is want to do. On top of one another but with love as well.

I enjoyed this more than I thought I would and I liked seeing not only the different kind of story than I was used to reading, but that Moyes gives Lou such wonderful uniqueness and quirkiness unabashedly and with pride without making her the butt of jokes or less because of it.

Giveaway Winners!!

Giveaway winnersThe time has come to announce the winners of the Summer’s Gone giveaway as well as the Valentine’s Day one. I should be doing separate posts but instead I am being sneaky and combining them into one.

I would like to thank everyone who entered and I am even more pleased that the Rafflecopter worked which was a nice change!

 

Summer’s Gone by Charles Hall

Using Rafflecopter’s random drawing, the lucky winner of Summer’s Gone is

Diane Cummins! 

Congratulations!

Valentine’s Day Giveaway

booklove

 

I have drawn the winners of each book using Random.org, and I am pleased to announce the following:

Congratulations to allvce who has won Twisted Heart by Eden Maguire

Congratulations to allvce who has won Velvet Touch by Zara Devereux

Congratulations to John McCready-Huntsman who has won Because You are Mine by Beth Kery

All winners have been notified by email.

Congratulations again and I hope you enjoy your books!

Weekly Wrap Up

Weekly wrap up header

This week on the blog


Library Lovers Day

 

Book Bingo: the Road So Far

 

The Liar Charms by Lorain O’Neil

  ★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

 

Summer’s Gone by Charles Hall + Giveaway

 ★   ★   ★   ★  ★  – 4 Stars

 

Valentine’s Day Giveaway

Valentine’s Day Giveaway (Aust)! DRAWN

Valentine's Giveaway

Seeing as it is not only Valentine’s Day, the most romantic of days, but also International Book Giving Day, I am giving away three books filled with romance to three lucky people. I won these books are part of the Sydney Author Event last year and since romance/erotica is not my style I thought I would share them with people who may appreciate them more than I. Click the book title to read their Goodreads blurbs.

If you are interested in books other than romance/erotica I also have two other giveaways currently running: one for my blogiversary and one to win Summer’s Gone by Charles Hall.

Twisted Heart by Eden Maguire (Paranormal Romance)

Velvet Touch by Zara Devereux (Erotica)

Because You are Mine by Beth Kery (Erotica)

To enter: Simply leave a comment on this post letting me know which book you would like to win. If you want to enter to win more than one that’s perfectly fine.

Giveaway runs from 14th February 2015 until midnight AEDST 28th February 2015

Winners will be drawn on 1st March 2015 with the winners being notified by email. Good luck everyone!

booklove

If you would like more information about International Book Giving Day go to their website and read the latest news,

learn how you can participate, or grab some fun goodies like posters and  bookmarks!

International-Book-Giving-Day-300x212

Love Day

I have chosen this 14th of February as a time to reach out to those of us who tire of the ‘romance thing’ and think (like I did) that they wouldn’t read a romance novel. Now I understand the Romance genre is a huge selling point and for years there have been books written that indulge this love of romance, and entice the mushy side of our brains, aide the yearning people feel…perhaps venturing into a little too much towards Daisy and Keeping Up Appearances there. But the fact still remains that we cannot ignore the Romance. And on my tireless quest to fulfil the expected and probably unnecessary post for this strange “holiday”.

We once again turn to the goodreads crew who like to catalogue the book world for our easy convenience. Under the category Best Romance Novels of All Time I am greeted with covers for Twilight, 50 Shades of Grey, and The Hunger Games. Now I haven’t read The Hunger Games, I have been meaning to but it hasn’t happened yet, but from what I understand it is about a dystopian world where children fight and bread comes into it at some point, not so much the romance. I am just quite simply and blatantly ignoring the other two in obvious bias towards literature and yes even romance. What I did discover in this list of Top 100 books is I recognised a few, particularly The Notebook, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, and The Time Travellers Wife. I have actually read Jane Eyre and didn’t think of it as Romance at the time but I now see there are varying types of Romance, not all sex in the jungle with Fabio, nor over the top sensual desires of women and teenagers. I may also have forgotten that Nicholas Sparks is a romance writer and I did actually want to read The Notebook (perhaps less Dear John), and I have The Time Travellers Wife waiting patiently on my shelf as well so my whole anti romance stance may need a readjustment. There are as many on that list I do want to read as not, though in the minority I will admit, so having redefined Romance to myself I am now participating in the genre. I will say that well written romance is fine, what I don’t like is the mushy, sexual, Mills and Boone, quivering member type stories. And we once again head towards Daisy and Onslow…

So as we impeccably link the Romance back to the oh happy day I do hope you are having a great Valentine’s Day. I may not enjoy it myself, but I see the appeal. There is actually a book the Google god tells me that is called The Trouble With Valentine’s Day by Rachel Gibson, however much like the disappoint one discovers that The Lottery does not help you win the lottery, neither does The Trouble with Valentine’s actually give you clear and concise listings of what is wrong it. I shan’t get into it now or my cynicism will flare up again.

I have linked you all to this Best Romance Novels of All Time list so feel free to peruse and expand your Romance collection, perhaps you too will discover The Hunger Games is romantic, and I would like to veer you towards the Bronte’s and Austen’s hidden in the list amongst the strange vampiric, sensual, sappy, and perverted novels. The comments do raise arguments as people disagree with the list but it has been voted for by users of the site so you have no one to blame but yourselves.

Enjoy your day and read something spectacular.