Me Before You.

62-me-before-you

It may look like a standard chick lit from the front cover, but DO NOT LET THAT FOOL YOU. This is far from your average romantic boy-meets-girl book.

This is a heartbreaking, funny, poignant, story that will make you want to really live. 

Amidst hundreds of books being published in this digital day and age, I think it’s rare to find a book that truly opens up your heart, cuts you deep, leaves you breathless, vulnerable and makes you question the way you are living your life now; whether you are living it to your full potential and how maybe, just maybe, you could be living it so much MORE?

Me Before You did just that for me and so much more.

When I found myself wishing for the Powers That Be and some other Divine Force for this book to miraculously turn into the NeverEnding Story, I knew I’d found an absolute treasure.

The Story
Will Traynor was all about living the high life. A successful businessman, an adrenaline junkie and someone who had travelled all over the world, he knew how to live. However, after being involved in a nasty motorcycle accident, Will is now a quadriplegic. Growing bitter and more miserable each day, he is now in the caring hands of middle-class, ex-waitress, Louisa Clark, his new and reluctant/desperate-for-money care assistant. And as they start to form a friendship, they both end up changing each other’s lives in a way neither thought possible.

As soon as I had opened up the first page, I could not put it down. I was so anti-social, ignoring my parents and guests. But my eyes were glued to each page, trying to absorb every word as I was drawing near to the end. And I was dreading it because I just wanted it to go on and on. I ended up finishing this book at around 1.30am. And once I was done and had settled my emotions, all I wanted to do was read it again.

Because I was BLOWN AWAY.

This was the first book I had read from the author and it certainly will not be the last. Moyes creates characters that may at first seem stereotypical – Louisa is bubbly and awkward, Will is miserable and withdrawn and you may think, pah, typical!

NO.

Will and Lou are not your average characters and you will, without a doubt, fall in love with them. Lou is pretty, funny and awkward but also wears her heart on her sleeve and doesn’t believe she is someone who can be into things like foreign films and travelling, or even bright enough to carry on with education. Will is unhappy and reserved but also handsome, sexy, sarcastic and is extremely knowledgeable. And the two mesh so well together, you cannot help but reach out to try to grasp some of their happiness and store it in a safe place so it comes to no harm.

There is a dark, controversial subject that aids the entire story: euthanasia. Moyes grapples with this tough subject with such ease. She handles assisted suicide with sensitivity and perfection, taking the reader on an emotional journey with the characters, making it all realistic and finally, leaving you to tackle your own thoughts about it. She doesn’t drown the book with complicated words so it sounds like a medical dictionary, nor does she shy away from the physical pain the paralysis brings on Will (and there are plenty) or the awkwardness people feel when faced with a quadriplegic. A perfect example is when Lou’s dad Bernard, meets Will for the first time and he embarrassingly holds out his hand, then stammers, “I don’t know how to greet a… I can’t shake your-” Moyes’ strong humorous reply from Will, “A curtsy will be fine,” breaks the tension and draws a laugh from the reader. A perfect balance.

I won’t carry on more about the story. All you need to know is that you NEED to read this. And I cannot stress that enough. It is a powerful story, combining love, heart ache and humour in such a way, that it will leave you in awe and possibly change your outlook on a few things. It changed mine.

So thank you Jojo Moyes for writing a story that will follow me forever. It has a special place on my bookshelf and in my heart and is definitely a story that I will never, ever forget.

Will Traynor and Louisa Clark are forever “scored on my heart.”

You told the world something good.

Advertisements

Love…

Such delicate, beautiful words, it had to be shared…

You shall love whether you like it or not. Emotions, they come and go like clouds. Love is not only a feeling; you shall love. To love is to run the risk of failure, the risk of betrayal. You fear your love has died; perhaps it is waiting to be transformed into something higher. Awaken the divine presence which sleeps in each man, each woman. Know each other in that love that never changes.

This is Javier Bardem’s voice over for the new film To the Wonder. (Also starring: Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams and Olga Kurylenko.)

I’ve already been won over by the voice over.
I cannot wait to watch the film.

 

 

The Vow and Other Little Things…

I recently went to watch The Vow in cinemas and even though Rotten Tomatoes didn’t give it a very high rating, I loved it. This film was inspired by true events and what an event to be inspired by.

If you don’t know the story: Leo and Paige are newly weds. A tragic car accident causes Paige to lose 4-5 years of her memory – meaning she has no idea who Leo is. Because of this tragic event, Leo attempts to win his wife back and make her fall in love with him all over again.

*Spoilers as you continue to read*

Soppy? Romantic? Mushy? Hell yes. But oh so sweet. 

This film got me thinking about how couples sometimes can take each other for granted. They forget to appreciate the little things and because of this, your partner’s eyes begin to wonder and flirt with other girls, you begin to argue more than usual, they become distant and start telling you endless lies and before you know it, you don’t even recognise your partner any more.

I believe it’s so important to show your partner how special they are and vice versa, no matter how long you have been together. If that person has been there for you through your worst times and helped you in any way possible, then where is the harm in showing them just how much you love them? The ‘Honeymoon’ period may have passed but that doesn’t mean the romance has to too.

Aside from the usual relationship rules, staying faithful, honest, loyal and caring, these little gestures, the surprise hugs/kisses, the thoughtful gifts, (the gifts do not have to cost you a penny) are what counts in relationships. Next time you’re with your other half, why not try a few of these suggestions?

If you see each other every day:

  • Try lighting a few candles to make the atmosphere appear romantic, and if it’s not a regular occurrence, make dinner at home. Your partner will appreciate the time and effort you put in to surprise them.
  • The same with the candles but instead of dinner, how about a surprise massage with a bubble bath?
  • Going for something small? A simple surprising kiss, either in the privacy of your own home or in public, or a squeeze of their hand.
  • A small, thoughtful surprise, maybe his/her favourite food? You saw it in a shop and couldn’t resist? Maybe a book/DVD they have talked about, or anything that makes you think of them, just to show them you were thinking of them.

    Saw this and thought of you...

If you’re in a long distance relationship:

  • If you know your partner is coming to visit, try making your house/flat/room appear romantic by lighting a few candles and putting on some slow, romantic music in the background. A personal favourite will make your partner appreciate the thought you put behind the surprise.

  •  If you’re going to surprise your partner, maybe wear some sexy lingerie to add spice to the surprise.
  • If you’re having to text/talk for a while, speaking for all the women in this advancing technological age, surprise texts/phone calls just to say that you miss us or that you love us will leave a smile on our face for the rest of the day and make us feel special, warm and fuzzy. Even if some of us won’t admit it, it really will.
  • Send something through the post. For the real romantics out there and if you know it’s something your partner will love, try writing a love letter. A tangible token of love and affection is more personal than an email or a text and it is something that your partner will always cherish.

Leo went to great lengths to make Paige fall in love with him again. And I know he’s thanking his lucky stars because the characters the film was based on, are now happily married (again) with children. She never regained her lost memories but she made perfect new ones.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to effort and how much you’re willing to put in. Celebrate your anniversaries, make a big deal out of any occasion, make memories, capture them, write them down, do something for them that would take you out of your comfort zone because it will make you appreciate each other more and keep your love and the sparks alive.

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Valentine’s Day is Commercialised Poo…

So. Tomorrow is the big V-day.Val-en-tine’s day. I know for some of you out there, mentioning Valentine’s day is like shouting VOLDEMORT when you’re suppose to be whispering You-Know-Who. 


I can see why the day can be depressing.

If you want to take a casual walk around town, you are constantly reminded of the fact that you are alone as giant hearts cover every inch of every shop you walk past with discount offers on the cutest teddy bear to buy your loved one or the biggest bouquet of flowers that will basically, get you laid.

He makes you want to slap that smile of his face doesn't he?

And the prices are RIDICULOUS! When we’re in an economic crisis, why on earth would you want to pay £40 for a bunch of flowers that will die in a few days?

My advice?

Take a picture. It’ll last longer.

Look how pretty they are. And you don't even have to water them.

I am all for romance (if you’ve read my earlier blog posts, you will know that I’m the RomCom Queen). But to dedicate this day to your other half when really you should be doing that every day of the year, it annoys me. It seems to imply that you’re allowed to treat them like crap 364 other days of the year but on THIS day…?

It's Valentine's day. So say that to me ONE more time...

Bitches be crazy.

My message to all you singletons out there: Don’t be bitter about being alone. Valentine’s day is just another way of companies and all the industries taking advantage of women’s emotions and men’s bank accounts. Yes, you’re going to see smoochey couples huddled in every possible corner sucking face but that doesn’t mean you have to hide away at home, watching Bridget Jones’s Diary, wallowing in self-pity. Go out with your girls, celebrate being you, because in reality, tomorrow really is just another day.

If, however, you are in a relationship and there is another meaning behind that day, say it was your first date/kiss etc, then by all means, go crazy with the celebrations. But don’t fall for the consumerist orientated nonsense that fools everyone else.

Love or Evol?

Can Love really be just as romantic as the films suggest?

Ryan Reynolds. Need I say more?

I am a HUGE fan of romantic comedy films and yes, I have my own little (big) DVD collection and I re-watch them sometimes (all the time) and to some of my friends (all of them) I sound like a pathetic little girl who can’t get her head out of the clouds and refuses to get over the notion of believing in Mr. Right, Prince Charming, your True Love or whatever title fits the blank space. This idea of the right person has been ironed into my head ever since I read a book called Highland Hearts by Maggie Hayes when I was 10 years old. Imagine that. 10 years old and I’m dreaming about my wedding day.

I clearly needed to get out more.

Being a fan of those films and books, I was fooled into thinking that ‘happily ever after’ is the destination – the be all and end all of relationships. But after watching an episode of One Tree Hill and having friends with extremely messy and confusing relationships, I realised life can be so much more fulfilling than watching a couple express their true feelings. Coz you see, it’s what happens after those first moments that count.

For example, when a couple dates, you both want the other person to only see the best part of you. So if you’re a girl, you splash on the make-up, you may buy a new outfit or you wear your best one, you make sure your hair is in place and that you have minty fresh breath. If you’re a guy, more or less the same rules apply. One wise person once told me that this can be known as ‘False Advertising.’ I disagree. It’s not false advertising, it’s called Marketing. You don’t want to reveal too much in case you scare the other person off and still want to maintain an air of mystery to your identity. It’s like a cage fight.  You’re both in their, sizing each other up before going in for the kill. Only of course, without the blood and the gore and potentially killing the other person. And the cage. (Unless you’re kinky.)

Thoughts are constantly running through your mind, ‘is my hair ok? Why did I just say that? Does he/she like me?’ it’s like treading on thin ice – be careful of saying too much and you fall face down into icy cold water, choking and turning blue. You say the right things and smile at the right times, you’re going to make it to the other side of the ice rink safely, hopefully hand in hand.

If you’re lucky and these dates turn into a relationship, eventually the guards come down. Enter the ‘Comfort Zone.’

UN-SHAVED LEGS AND POOPING HABITS BEYOND THIS POINT

Now to some people I know, the ‘Comfort Zone’ has a bright red flashing light blinking away with an extremely loud alarm. Very much a restricted zone. Now, I cannot fathom why this could scare some people off. The idea of knowing your partner’s toilet habits, seeing them puke and helping them by rubbing their back or holding back their hair, wearing joggers and not shaving your legs…
The romantic comedies just happen to miss out that little detail don’t they? Not as romantic as it sounds right?

Well that’s because it isn’t romantic and it isn’t suppose to be. The idea that some people get about Love is that it’s all about red roses, poetry, rainbows in the sky and sun shining out of their partner’s ass. And yes, it’s not our fault we believe that. The media plays a HUGE part. But once you break it down, you realise it’s really about being there for the other person when they’re not 100%, working at your relationship, compromising and knowing that Romance never leaves the building; it just sits in the waiting room.

So yes, romantic comedies do make Love look extremely warm and fuzzy but in reality, it is so much more.

So Eminem, thank you for that enlightening backward spelling of the word, but Love becomes Evol if you never had a good, strong foundation from the start. And as the wise Bethany Joy Galeotti’s character Haley once said, ‘The day that you start thinking that love is overrated is the day that you’re wrong.’

So all you romantic comedies out there keep the clichés; keep making people believe that love can conquer all and most importantly, keep making people believe in Love.

Coz if you don’t, we really are f****d.