These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.
Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.
Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.
Sunday, 3 July 2016
Review: Me Before You
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Did I expect to find this story so engaging? No.
Did I expect to sit and read this in one sitting? No.
Did I expect to want to read the second book? No.
Did I expect to get a little bit emotional? No.
Did all of the above happen? Yes.
You simply have to look at my bookshelf to realise this book falls completely outside of my norm. I prefer darker books – tales of murder, kidnapping, and other crime – or those made up of fantasy worlds – stories with magic, dragons and other fantasy beings – yet every so often I fall in with peer pressure. Everyone was reading this. Everyone seemed to be thoroughly enjoying this. Friends were nagging me to give it a read. Friends were giving me spoilers because they thought I never would read it. Like the weak willed person I am when it comes to books, I crumbled and brought it. I admit this probably wouldn’t have happened had it not been included in an offer… but still, I craved.
Thus, Me Before You was added to my list of contemporary/chick-lit/romance books that I read because of my weak will and curiosity. I should point out, however, that I was shocked once before by one of these reads. The Rosie Project managed to pull a surprising five star rating out of me, and as I did not expect the same thing to happen again… well, four stars is a pretty damn good rating from me for a book in the genre.
I admit there were moments in the book where I considered knocking it down to three stars. At the same time, though, there were the occasional parts where I thought it deserved five stars. The raw emotion in the story was five stars in and of itself, but when it is all thrown together it became a four star book.
I should apologise at this point, as I realise my review is all over the place – such is the effect the book has had upon me.
When I first entered the book I was hit by a number of different thoughts. To begin with, it was a pretty accurate representation of British life. Lou’s family were real, their problems real, and I could connect and understand. Many points in favour of the book right there. At the same time, I wasn’t quite as engaged with her as a character as I would have liked to have been. This didn’t come along until later in the story – but once I was engaged with her, I was all for her.
The biggest thing that hit me, however, probably shouldn’t have hit me. It is relating to the movie that is to come out. I couldn’t help but think the cast are nothing like the images I created of the characters in my mind. Don’t get me wrong Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke will be wonderful together, I have no doubt of that, but they are not what I was imagining. I mean Daenerys and Finnick – these guys are nothing at all like Will and Lou. So, of course, my mind went down that route for a while until the story pulled me back in. At which point I thought ‘hell, forget it, they’re both hot so just enjoy the fact that the cast is going to be damn fine’, in my usual childish mentality.
Being aware of how the story was to end – I’m pointing fingers at certain people here, and they know who they are – I wasn’t as caught off guard by certain things as I should have been. Perhaps if I’d been unaware twists and turns would have hit me much harder than they did, but as it was I accepted these things. The fact, however, that there were emotional responses later in the book show how hard this book worked to pull at heartstrings.
I know some people are against how this book ended. I know some argue that this book suggests that there is no hope. However, through working with the disabled I know that Will is a rare case. I cannot say I have ever seen the mentality of Will in any of the people I work with. He is an extreme – and extremes do exist. There are people in the world like Will. There are people who will not be swayed in their views. We all want things to turn out differently, for things to be better, yet such cannot always be the case. This book is fatalistic in the most realistic of manners. It is heart-breaking that such a thing can come to pass, but it does happen. We’re to open our eyes rather than put the book aside and saying ‘oh what a sad story’.
Truthfully, I think the book is much deeper than most people seem to realise.
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