Tag: fiction

Me Before You

15507958  26067879

Author: Jojo Moyes
409 Pages in Paperback

Published: December 31, 2012
Dates Read: June 27- July 14, 2016

Rating: 5 Stars

 

Book Summary from Amazon:

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl 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?


My Review:

***This review will have spoilers- so stay away if you don’t know the ending or what will happen in the book. Me Before You has become very popular this summer with the movie being released in June. (It will be available for digital download on August 16th, and the dvd comes out August 30th). ***

I saw the trailer for the movie and I came close to crying watching it. I knew I had to see the movie and read the book! Then I learned about the ending. I had some doubts about the book and read about the controversy, but I still wanted to read Me Before You and give it a chance and decide for myself and have my own opinion of the book. I knew I would cry at the end. Knowing the ending, I tried not to care for Will. I failed at that. As I read Me Before You, I got attached to both him and Lou.

I love the title of the book. Me Before You. So much meaning there. The title could be about either Lou or Will, or also both of their lives individually before their lives intersect. We get Lou’s story as she is the protagonist of the book. We also get a small part of Will’s life before the accident in the Prologue. We get a glimpse of who he was as a person before the accident.

Me Before You is not a love story. This is a life story. And the decision that one man has made and how that affects everyone around him. And two characters happen to unexpectedly fall in love.

Lou is living her life working at The Buttered Bun. Then the owner decides to sell the place and she has to find a new job. She gets the job as caregiver for Will. I found it a little hard to believe that she got that job with no experience care-giving. I feel that was Will’s mother’s decision because of the type of person Lou is. I feel that was Will’s mom trying to find some way to get him to change his mind by hiring Lou as Will’s caregiver.

Once Lou finds out what’s Will’s plans are she goes on a mission to show Will that life is worth living. She plans adventures and fun.

My heart got a few tugs in a few places: When Will gave Lou the bumblebee hose that he had made for her as a birthday gift. When we found out what the tattoo says that Will got at the tattoo parlor. I teared up a little there.

When Will finally admitted to Lou that he had fallen in love with her, but that it wasn’t enough I was heartbroken. At this point I wish we could have gotten inside his mind as we got in the mind of Lou’s sister and Mr. Traynor for some chapters. Euthanasia is a touchy subject with people. And the fact that Will had everything possible available to him and he still chose death upsets some. The book makes it apparent that Will clearly knows what his life will be like and the pain and what his health will most likely be for however long that life would have been.

Ultimately, Will did not change his mind and went through with euthanasia. It was apparent that his mind was never going to be changed, despite the fact that at the end of his life he had a woman who was willing to take care of him for the rest of his life, however long that would have been. And also a supportive family that loved him. It was ultimately Will’s decision on his life and he deserves that respect. HE was the one that was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Which caused the accident to totally change HIS life when he became a quadriplegic. HE was the one who had to live in that chair. HE was the one that could barely move his had. HE was the one with the injury that he was never going to recover from. HE was the one to have pneumonia 3 times in two years. HE was the one who had attempted suicide previously. He was never going to change his mind as heartbreaking as it was to read.

Some feel that the book is negative towards the disabled. Some feel that the book says that the disabled are better off dead than alive. Some may feel that way. Every person is lives their own life and that is the decision Will made. We can not judge him as only HE knew what HIS life was like in that chair.

The end of the book does have hope to it. Lou is a different person at the end. I look forward to the sequel After You.

Author Spotlight: Suzanne Redfearn

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Courtesy of Suzanne Redfearn

Suzanne Redfearn has written two novels. I have read both and enjoyed them both. I look forward to future novels written by her. Both novels will be featured in this post today.

Suzanne’s Writings:
Hush Little Baby
No Ordinary Life


 

17333460

Hush Little Baby
368 Pages in Paperback

Published: October 8, 2013
Dates Read: Feb 22, 2014- March 6, 2014

My Rating: 5 Stars

Book Summary from Amazon:

If I stay, he will kill me. If I leave, he’ll destroy Addie and Drew.

Jillian Kane appears to have it all – a successful career, a gorgeous home, a loving husband, and two wonderful children. The reality behind closed doors is something else entirely. For nine years, she has hid the bruises and the truth of her abusive marriage in order to protect Addie and Drew, knowing, if she left, Gordon would destroy her-destroy them.

When, in an act of desperation, she flees, her worst nightmare is realized, and she finds herself on the run with her two young children, no money, and no plan. With Gordon in hot pursuit, there is only one inescapable certainty: No matter where she goes, he will find her. Kill her. And take her children.

A riveting page-turner, HUSH LITTLE BABY exposes the shame and terror of domestic violence as well as the disturbing role manipulation and sabotage can play in the high-stakes game of child custody. Suspenseful and unforgettably moving, it’s a novel about the unbreakable bonds of family and the astounding, terrifying devotion of a mother’s love.

 

My review in 2014:
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed this book! Hush Little Baby had me pulled in from the beginning. It was intense the whole time! I did not know how it was going to end or what direction the story was going to go. Hush Little Baby shows what it can be like to be in a domestic abuse relationship, and makes me thankful I am not in one. Jillian’s thoughts show what a woman dealing with domestic abuse thinks and how having children can complicate what she may or may not do. The ending did get a little less realistic to me compared to the rest of the book, but I still enjoyed it and would recommend others to read it.

I also highly enjoyed that the chapters were short- the longest chapters were 6-8 pages. When there are short chapters I feel I can read a book quicker. I am not the quickest reader, but finished it an a little over a week.

 


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No Ordinary Life
400 Pages in Paperback

Published: February 2, 2016
Dates Read: May 20-June 11, 2016

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Book Summary from Amazon:

Faye Martin never expected her husband to abandon her and her three children . . . or that she’d have to struggle every day to make ends meet. So when her four-year-old daughter is discovered through a YouTube video and offered a starring role on a television series, it seems like her prayers have been answered. But when the reality of their new life settles in, Faye realizes that fame and fortune don’t come without a price. And in a world where everyone is an actor and every move is scrutinized by millions, it’s impossible to know who to trust, and Faye finds herself utterly alone in her struggle to save her family.

Emotionally riveting and insightful, No Ordinary Life is an unforgettable novel about the preciousness of childhood and the difficult choices a mother needs to make in order to protect this fragile time in her children’s lives.

 

My review:

With this novel, Suzanne Redfearn has become a Target Emerging Author Selection. That is awesome for a newer author! Congrats Suzanne!

This review will have some spoilers, so beware before you read this review.

I enjoyed Suzanne Redfearn’s first book, Hush Little Baby, so I was excited and anxiously awaited her second book to be released.  Last year(2015) there was also a contest where her readers could give input into the cover and title of the book. I participated.

I enjoyed that the chapters were short. That makes me feel I am reading the book quicker. It also makes it harder to put the book down when you see the next chapter is 1-4 pages!

I loved the premise of the book.

I was pulled into the book from the beginning and found it hard to put down. However, I had to suspend my belief while reading the book. Faye, the mother, was not very likeable for me. She came into the whole experience with such naivete. I mean, not even have a lawyer look at the contract when you know nothing of Hollywood?

Parts of the book seemed to be extreme in the situations that happened. Yes, you have one child discovered, but then your middle child can also act? I found that hard to believe as well. And, your boyfriend who works behind the camera ends up being a former child star?!?!

Despite the issues I had with certain parts of the book I did enjoy it and would recommend it. It was hard to put down. Unlike some reviewers, I did not have an issue with Molly’s lisp and the way it was put on paper. I LOVED Molly and could see how America fell in love with her in this book.

**I will continue to read Suzanne Redfearn’s books and look forward to her next one being released!!

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The Leftovers

10762469

Author: Tom Perrotta
AUDIOBOOK

Published: August 30, 2011
Dates Read: August 7-14, 2012

My Rating: 1 Star

 

Book Summary from Amazon:

What if your life was upended in an instant? What if your spouse or your child disappeared right in front of your eyes? Was it the Rapture or something even more difficult to explain? How would you rebuild your life in the wake of such a devastating event? These are the questions confronting the bewildered citizens of Mapleton, a formerly comfortable suburban community that lost over a hundred people in the Sudden Departure. Kevin Garvey, the new mayor, wants to move forward, to bring a sense of renewed hope and purpose to his traumatized neighbors, even as his own family disintegrates. His wife, Laurie, has left him to enlist in the Guilty Remnant, a homegrown cult whose members take a vow of silence but haunt the town’s streets as “living reminders” of God’s judgment. His son, Tom, is gone, too, dropping out of college to follow a crooked “prophet” who calls himself Holy Wayne. Only his teenaged daughter, Jill, remains, and she’s definitely not the sweet “A” student she used to be.

Through the prism of a single family, Perrotta illuminates a familiar America made strange by grief and apocalyptic anxiety. The Leftovers is a powerful and deeply moving book about regular people struggling to hold onto a belief in their futures.


My review in 2012:

Great premise, terrible execution! I heard that one of the people behind Lost is turning this book into a show for HBO, so that got my attention. I read what the book was about and thought it sounded GREAT! Well it is not. I was not interested in the characters at all or what was going on with them. They were not interesting at all! The only characters I was interested in was Tom and Christine. I REALLY hope it is changed A LOT when it becomes a tv show. I guess reading the premise of the book gave me high expectations and the book failed miserably.

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