Me Before You By- Jojo Moyes

25# Book Review– ★★★★☆

Me Before You

By-

Jojo Moyes

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*Slowly wipes tears from my eyes. Proceeds to write the book review*

So y’all probably know about the basic plot of the book, since the movie is coming out in a couple of days. But for those of you who live under a rock, here’s the basic story-line:

“I told him a story of two people. Two people who shouldn’t have met, and who didn’t like each other much when they did, but who found they were the only two people in the world who could possibly have understood each other.”

Twenty six year old Louisa Clark has lead a simple, stable life. She has a job at the local café, a gorgeous boyfriend who she has been with for seven years, and a messy hyperactive family who love her to bits. She lives in a small, basic town wherein nothing ever happens. She can’t see beyond this little bubble she has built around herself, can’t see past the horizon And she doesn’t care, she loves it.

“You know, you can only actually help someone who wants to be helped.” 

Thirty Five year old Will Traynor lost everything the day he had that accident with the motorcycle, damaging his spine and leaving him paralyzed from the chest below, with only little sensation in his hands.  He hates the life he lives now. In fact, he barely lives. A man who used to love everything that involved the usage of his limbs, can’t use them anymore. He hates being trapped in a wheel chair. He’s lost the desire to live.

Then Lou aka Louisa loses her job, that too in the middle of recession, and the stable life she’d been wrapped up in, shatters in front of her eyes. Suddenly the future she’d been so easily predicting, vanishes before her eyes and she doesn’t know what to do anymore.

So she takes up a job—an unusual one. She has to be Will’s care taker. The pay is great, and the hours are decent, even though Will is a pain in the arse, and definitely not the most pleasant person to be around. He thinks she is dumb, and an unwanted intruder. He just wants to be left alone.

“I needed to tell him, silently, that things might change, grow, or fail, but that life did go on. That we were all part of some great cycle, some pattern that it was only God’s purpose to understand.” 

“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.” 

But when they give each other a chance, everything changes.

“I know this isn’t a conventional love story. I know there are all sorts of reasons I shouldn’t even be saying what I am. But I love you. I do.

If only their time together didn’t have an expiration date…

“I had a hundred and seventeen days in which to convince Will Traynor that he had a reason to live.” 

*sigh* another novel that reminded me of ‘The Fault in Our Stars’. I enjoyed the characters. Despite being a sad romance novel that’s supposed to make you cry, the characters were quite likeable. They weren’t depressed and grouchy all the time, so that was great. The story was mildly amusing, and the characters weren’t two dimensional. I could relate to Louisa Clark every now and then. It was of course, hard to relate to Will, if you’re not going through something as extreme as him. But that doesn’t mean it was difficult to understand his feelings, his motives and actions and his situation. That’s one of the remarkable things about this novel. I don’t want to give a spoiler or anything, but the way the author wrote this book…she made it easier for us as readers to accept and understand Will’s choices. Which is a big feat in itself.

The supporting characters were realistic and weren’t just there for the sake of being there. They all had some role to play.

Despite being a romance, I found the book to be slightly plot centric, and not as emotion-centric, for some reasons. I believe the romance could have been enhanced in some parts, but it wasn’t. Emotions were expressed more through actions, instead of dialogues and feelings. And the story didn’t focus as much on the development of the relationship between two people, as it did on the other major events. The character-relation dynamics were quite stagnant in some parts which makes me feel that way.

As for the writing style, it wasn’t anything exceptional. It was simple enough, and likeable, slightly entertaining, and overall fine.

If anyone of y’all is emotional af (because god knows I’m not) and wants to get a decent cry, you should go read this book. It’s sweet and sad, and it plays in your head like a movie. (Tip: watch the trailer before you read the book, it helps) All you fans of John Green and Nicholas Sparks will enjoy this book.

Happy Reading! x

Missing Pieces By- Meredith Tate

23# Book Review–★★★☆☆ 

Missing Pieces

By-

Meredith Tate

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The book is set in a dystopian world where the government decides who you will marry, and bear children with. At the age of six, you are assigned a partner (based on how compatible your genetic codes suggest you are) and your whole life basically revolves around the institution of marriage. You have to say ‘I love you’ to this assigned partner of yours every time you meet. At age seventeen, you have a first kiss ceremony. After high school you have to live in together & only after marriage at age 24 are you allowed to have sex and then, bare children. Those who go against this norm, commit adultery, love someone else, are homosexuals, are shunned from the society. Their faces are scarred and they are sent to Lornstown, a remote town on the outskirts of the state where you have to live with the rest of the outcastes, isolated from the society.

Tracey & Piren are two best friends, part of this system, assigned to someone else, someone they are not compatible with. Partners are supposed to be like two puzzle pieces, who fit together perfectly, but not in their case. While the world around them shows couples who are made for each other, they feel like a bunch of misfits. As they grow up, their platonic relationship morphs into something more. They feel this connection that gets too difficult to ignore. Add in strict parents and teachers who are constantly trying to keep you apart because it is forbidden to be close to a member of the opposite gender unless they are your partner or family.

This book traces their journey, of how they slowly become best friends, then fall in love, and then go against everything they’ve ever known to pursue what means the most to them.

Okay, so let’s get one thing straight. This book is a shitty Dystopian novel. As for romance, well, it’s pretty average. I’ve read a few best friend romances, written one myself actually, and this one didn’t even live up to that. You might argue that the premise here is different, which is why it isn’t fair to compare it to a normal romance novel. But that’s the thing, the premise does nothing for this book. It isn’t as strong and believable as a premise in Dystopian novel ought to be.  It fails to establish the history and context behind its existence. Like, I get it, health and diseases inspiring the government to genetically determine one’s mate. But something rather severe and life threatening should have happened to morph the government into a totalitarian one.

Here’s the reason I would have given if I’d written this book:

A deadly virus spread through Earth killing off major parts of the population, almost bringing humanity to extinction. Worried, scientists tried to create a cure, but failed. So as an alternative, they tried to create off springs with strong immune systems, very healthy off-springs. For this, they matched the genetic codes of the DNA of the people. Then a select group of people were put in quarantine and they had to mate and create very healthy babies. Eventually society was reborn, through them, and a gazillion years later—this is the system.

Seems legit.

So yeah, like I was saying, the book wasn’t successfully able to create a believable historical context. This is one of the biggest reasons this book doesn’t work as a Dystopian novel. Even after, we do not see the concept of ‘partnership’ being promoted by the govt. and law as much as you see the parents and teachers doing it. Like sure, I get it, it’s usually people in your nearest vicinity who promote such things, but I wish the role of the govt. was more, to get a feel. I wish it felt more…dangerous, to love someone you’re not supposed to. You get sent to Lornstown? Cool. Sure it might be bad, but they don’t even harm you that much, and let you go with the one you love. So how can that be bad? It wasn’t exactly the scary, forbidden love I would have preferred. It felt essentially normal. Kinda like a strict bunch of parents and teachers from orthodox communities constantly telling you to stay away from the opposite gender. So Dystopian? Not much.

Now, moving onto the romance part. I’ve read a bunch of best friend romances. They were much better than this one, in all honesty. The book was too long. 371 Pages I think, was a little too much for a story that focuses solely on the relationship & drama of two people. The drama wasn’t that dramatic. It was pretty basic and mundane, and kind of a drag. Like I get that the author was trying to establish the character’s bond and everything, but some of the chapters were just not needed and served no real purpose. There were too many filler chapters.

The characters were pretty basic, and normal. I didn’t get attached to them, or connected deeply.

I see all these people giving away five star reviews, they’ve obviously not read good romance novels or dystopian novels. It was a decent blend of both, leaning more towards the romance part. This wasn’t a page turner, I’m sorry. It didn’t make my heart race, and didn’t melt me in a puddle of goo. It was okay. The ending was a little rushed. The author did not exploit the dystopian premise of the book effectively. True dystopian lovers will obviously not be happy with this book. As for romance lovers, well if you’re as picky as me you might feel a little disappointed but it’s a decent one time read.

November 9 By- Colleen Hoover

21# Book Review– ★★★★☆ (4.5 Stars)

November 9

By-

Colleen Hoover

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So my best friend suggested me to read this book, and honestly, I had been a little sceptical. You can’t be too wary of all those NA Romance Novels out there that spout out the same crap book after book. So yes, I’d been a little hesitant. But thankfully, this book didn’t turn out to be a waste of time. Quite the opposite actually, it was a really entertaining read. It reminded me why writers are such dangerous species and how they can stomp on your heart and play with your feelings using just a bunch of words. What even…

I’d shed a couple of tears by the time I finished reading this book. Surprisingly, the tears were tears of happiness. So surprising, right? Like I’m sure we’ve all come across books that make us bawl our eyes out and clog our noses and just make us realize how sad life can really be. But this, oh this was entirely different. This made me laugh out loud, and wipe my tears as I tried to regain the control of my emotions. If you want to feel content and happy and realize how beautiful love can really be, you definitely need to read this book. It reminds you that sometimes very ordinary people can experience extra-ordinary love. It made me want to fall in love with someone right now and experience all those intense beautiful things. But it also inspired me enough to wait for that kind of love to come along, to settle for nothing less than extra-ordinary.

“I’ve never loved someone I hate so much, and I’ve never hated someone I love so much.”

Ever since the terrible fire that burnt away 30% of her body when she was sixteen, and on her way to becoming a successful actress, Fallon has been insecure. A girl who once loved her appearance and was confident, now hides behind her curtain of hair and clothes that hide her scars. Then on the fateful day of November 9th, she stumbles across Benton Kessler.

“She’s not the kind of girl you choose your battles for. She’s the kind of girl you fight to the death for.”

When Benton Kessler, the so-called writer in the making,  hears Fallon’s asshole-ish father making his insecure daughter feel even more insecure and unworthy, he can’t control himself. So before he can stop himself, he barges in on their conversation, pretending to be Fallon’s “boyfriend”.

“If she’s not careful, I might just fall in love with her. Tonight.”

What starts as a thirty minute fake relationship, extends throughout the day with both of them spending the whole of November 9 together. There’s this undeniable instant connection that is impossible to ignore, and before the day has ended Ben gets to observe the deeply destroyed parts of her soul, her low self esteem and all the insecurities attached with it. But he’s different. Fallon has never come across a guy like him before. Instead of flinching at the sight of her scars and shying away from them, he embraces her for who she is. For the first time in two years she feels beautiful, and wanted.

“He presses his mouth to mine and kisses me with so much emotion, I forget all the things. Everything. I forget where I am. Who I am.”

Before long the day ends, and they have to accept the fact that as much fun it had been, Fallon is moving away to New York. But this connection they had…it’s too good to be true. Too precious to let go of so easily. So they make a pact. That they’ll meet each other every year for the next five years on the same day—November 9, at the same place. Fallon also suggests him to write a book about it—to write a book about those five coming years in which they’ll meet once a year. Between that annual meeting, they’ll have no connection what-so-ever. So they block each other on every social media, and don’t exchange phone numbers. And then they wait, for a whole year.

“But the only thing that makes me sad—the biggest thing—is that I think about you every second of every day and I don’t know how to get over you.”

“Don’t,” I beg her. “Please don’t get over me.”

The idea seems harmless. What’s the worst that could happen?

“Because it’s easy to fall in love, Ben. The hard part comes when you want out.”

Actually, everything.

Okay, first thing, do you have any idea how many beautiful, heart-touching quotes this book has? A lot. Like a lot lot. (You can read them in the Quotes Section of my blog) The book has been written so beautifully. The dialogue work is splendid. It’s absolutely magical. So yes, the writing style is good, like romance novel-worthy good.

Now, about the characters. The female protagonist, Fallon; she just has this…thing about her, you know? That makes it so easy for you to step into her shoes. I don’t know about you, but as a girl, I’ve been insecure about my appearance and my body quite a lot. So, her insecurity and vulnerability is very…believable. You see a part of yourself in her. You can step into her shoes. Despite that, she’s not a cry baby or anything. She’s actually quite spunky and funny and like a really good person. So you don’t get sick of her.

Ah, and what do I say about Benton James Kessler? Reading about Ben was like inhaling a fresh breath of air and I feel so…clean, I don’t even have words to express myself. He was just so refreshing. He was not like those typical book worthy male protagonists that make you swoon but he still was book-worthy. I think that’s because he was…perfect, but in a real, more believable way. Like give me gorgeous billionaires with emotional conflicts and mad bedroom skills any day, but there’s something so…amazing about a normal guy who’s dorky but has this amazing sense of humor and this inner passion, and this humongous capacity to love someone and just be there for them. Someone who is so fucking motivational and says just the right things at the right time. But like he also has his scars and his flaws and his insecurities. And you know, someone who thinks it’s a privilege to be able to love you. You will come to love his character, I promise you.

About the plot: It might seem a little…ordinary and normal during the first eighty page sor so. You know, it might seem kinda predictable and you’ll be like ‘I don’t see anythign special about this novel. It’s…good, but not amazing.’ Give it another couple of pages and you’ll not be able to put this book down. Trust me. It had a lot of romance at the start with hints of humor. But we eventually get the drama we crave oh-so-much! This would be a perfect plot for a RomCom, you know? This really needs to be made into a movie.

Please read this book if you want to get chest pains and feel that your feelings have been manipulated by the author. But most of all, read it to make yourself feel alive and happy (and like a gooey puddle of happiness and tears)

She “loved me” in quotations

She kissed me in bold

I TRIED TO KEEP HER in all caps

She left with an ellipsis . . .

—BENTON JAMES KESSLER