Friday, July 31, 2015

Book: Me Before You (Me Before You, #1) by Jojo Moyes

I accidentally came across Jojo MoyesMe Before You while browsing through Goodreads' regular newsletter. It was listed under Best Beach Reads of 2015. I got intrigued by the somewhat minimalist cover design. And when I looked it up online, I was amazed at how hugely popular it was. Why people voted for this to be a 'beach read'? I have no idea. (Why people would want to be a sobbing mess in a beach, with its azure skies and cool waters... I have no idea either.) But in any case, I did bite into it. AND OH MY GOD, what a wonderful experience it has been.


Book Blurb:
Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.
What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time. 
(via Goodreads)

Words cannot describe how much this book means to me. This is not your typical chick lit. Heck, I can't even categorize it as strictly 'chick lit'. It's not even your ordinary romance book, either. It's a complex book which is so much more than the genre we restrict it to. It's about life... living the life, getting a life, or just even missing THE life. It taught me so much about myself and the way I lived my life till now that I can never in a million years get without maybe reading this book. It shook me and cause me to ask myself what the hell am I doing in my life right now.

Am I happy with the way things are at the moment?
Am I playing it too safe?
Are the things I am doing right now worthy to be given my limited time?

And yes, this book managed to draw out huge things from me in a span of 300+ pages. The thing is... it's so easy to get caught up with everything and pass up all the opportunities to truly live our lives. We often seem to choose to ignore the fact that life is short -- and it is indeed. So very few of us realize it and go with their lives just going with the flow. Safe, secured -- sheltered.

Too much realizations, gaah.

Anyway, the real star of this book (at least, for me) was none other than Will Traynor. He's witty, he's charming, he's a real stunner (if you know what I mean) -- he has all the characteristics becoming of a fictional literary boyfriend (he's in my list, tbh). But for me, the thing that sets Will apart from most fictional guys that I've read so far is that he's a realist. I can't say that I fully understand him choosing the things he chose, but I got his point. His chemistry with Lou was palpable. Sometimes, I find myself consciously making an effort not to skip pages to where there maybe a dialogue between the two. It was such a fun to behold, especially with the light scenes. I like the way he calls Lou 'Clark'. I love how Louisa, somehow, shuts him up with Will being like 'you got a point'. I am so in love with their crazy banters, and I spent so much time re-reading and re-reading everything until I got tired -- which was pretty much a very long time. I love them together it's not even funny.

Drowning in my own feels.
(c) Tumblr
I remember shutting the door of my room, and reading those last few chapters in silence -- taking in all the acceptance and resignation that all the characters in those last few pages are feeling, mirroring my own. There was the occasional choking up, and the sniffing game was strong during that time.After reading this, my emotions are all over the place. But luckily, I held my own. It was just emotionally exhausting, but overall, it was really worth it

I love how reading this was such an emotional roller coaster for me. One minute I was giggling at Lou and Will's witty banters, the next I am down in the dumps realizing how sad the situation was. Real art is supposed to make you feel something (ahem, Park Sheridan, ahem). And if those are not indication of real, great art... then I don't know what is.

This book was created with such realness it hurts just even realizing it. Well it did not, in the first place, promise a happy ending -- but that did not lessen the intensity of the blow any bit. It was certainly something to remember.

And though maybe I would never fully understand some choices made during the course of its narrative, I wouldn't have it any other way. It was real as it was painful -- and surprisingly, there's none of that empty feeling you have when you read a book or watched something that's just sad. It was warm and it made me smile (despite the tears). It was like letting something dear to you go with complete acceptance -- painful, but at the same time, you understand the necessity of it.

My Rating: ★★★ (5 out of 5 stars)

First book this year to get a 5 from me. Need I say more? No this is not a 'too-caught-up-in-the-moment' kind of rating. It's just that good. Here's a book that would really stay with you long after you read it. Definitely recommended, a hundred times over! Oh, Will Traynor.

Here's the book trailer, for your reference.
I've been posting about it on my social media accounts that many took notice of and, voila: book recommendations galore.

Quotable Quotes:
(Be prepared for so much after the jump! I've already filtered it at this point, believe me.)
The thing about being catapulted into a whole new life - or at least, shoved up so hard against someone else's life that you might as well have your face pressed against their window - is that it forces you to rethink your idea of who you are. Or how you might seem to other people.

"I just... want to be a man who has been to a concert with a girl in a red dress. Just for a few minutes more." 
"You only get one life. It's actually your duty to live it as fully as possible." - Will Traynor 
"Some mistakes... just have greater consequences than others. But you don't have to let that night be the things that defines you." I felt his head tilt against mine. "You, Clark, have the choice not to let that happen." 
'Sometimes, Clark, you are pretty much the only thing that makes me want to get up in the morning.'

And then he smiled. It was lovely, his smile -- a slow thing, full of recognition. 
Do you know how hard it is to say nothing? When every atom of you strains to do the opposite?

'You're going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. It always does feel strange to be knocked out of your comfort zone. But I hope you feel a bit exhilarated too. Your face when you came back from diving that time told me everything; there is a hunger in you, Clark. A fearlessness. You just buried it, like most people do.
Aye. Forever noted, ser.

1 comment:

  1. Heartbreak collides with humor in Me Before You. A big-hearted, beautifully written story that teaches us it is never too late to truly start living.

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