Any Human Heart by William Boyd

If you’ve never read a William Boyd novel, this is a good one to start with.

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Any Human Heart is a fictionalized journal of a fictional character, Logan Mountstuart. It is a story of a life well-lived and a journey deep into a very human heart. The book is easy to read, the chapters weren’t too long, it is powerful, realistic and a beautiful story.  Logan is generous, smart, naïve and selfish which makes him so real and interesting. And like any human journeys, his life has its own ups and downs, accidents, coincidences, tragedies and triumphs.

Aging is also addressed in this book in which there are moments where it is absolutely depressing, you see Logan at his worst. But there are also moments where you’ll see how aging made him wiser. He was never envious of youth.

William Boyd was able to make it like everything is true and that it is indeed from a dead man’s journal. I don’t know if others will agree but this is such an amazing novel where it’s hard to believe that Logan Mountstuart never existed.

And in the end, we get to ask ourselves, “What defines success?” “What is a life well-lived?” Logan reassures us that, “Every life is both ordinary and extraordinary – it is the respective proportion of those two categories that make that life appear interesting or humdrum.”

Quotable Quotes:

“I have to start my real life soon, before I die of boredom and frustration.”

“It’s true: lives do drift apart for no obvious reason. We’re all busy people,we can’t spend our time simply trying to stay in touch. The test of a friendship is if it can weather these inevitable gaps.”

“I felt shocked and then saddened. life does this to you sometimes – leads you up a path and then drops you in the shit, to mix a metaphor.”

Rating : 5/5 stars

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

mydarkvanessaMy Dark Vanessa was one of the books I’ve been curious about for some time because of the many 5-star ratings I’ve been seeing on my WP feeds as well as in Goodreads.

This is the dark and disturbing story of Vanessa Wry, who at 15 was abused by her 42-year-old teacher, Jacob Strane. The book is written in alternating chapters between Vanessa’s past and present life.

In as much as I want to like this book the way I was expecting to like it, I just couldn’t. This is a very important and note-worthy subject to read but I guess I was expecting to feel more like anger or something but many parts of the book just made me felt indifferent and bored. Moreover, I think that the story dragged too long and I didn’t find enough growth or character development from Vanessa. To be honest, I didn’t like her, I don’t feel for her at all. She was so naive to believe and trust everything Jacob tells her when it’s obviously full of crap.

Although I understand the importance of the hard subjects of this book, it didn’t turn out to be a great read for me. It was repetitive, vague and long with unnecessary fillers. I didn’t like a single character in the story as well. I do, however, acknowledge how the author showed how abuse affects young girls and how topics like this should be talked about more.

Quotable Quotes:

“People will risk everything for a little bit of something beautiful.”

“Sometimes it feels like that’s all I’m doing every time I reach out—trying to haunt, to drag him back in time, asking him to tell me again what happened. Make me understand it once and for all. Because I’m still stuck here. I can’t move on.”

“Because even if I sometimes use the word abuse to describe certain things that were done to me, in someone else’s mouth the word turns ugly and absolute. It swallows up everything that happened.”

Rating: 3/5 stars

The Book of Night Women by Marlon James

thebookofnightwomenThe Book of Night Women is the story of a green-eyed girl named Lilith born in a Jamaican sugar plantation sometime in the 18th century where colonies are in transformation and maybe the worst time for slaves suffering from British cruelty.

To be quite honest, this book was hard to read. The dialect made it quite difficult to get through, I had to reread so many passages in order to understand but it was part of the story itself so it was worth all the reread and focus specially in the first 100 or so pages. Next, this book is so brutally honest, raw, real, compelling. The violence and inhumanity the slaves had to endure may it more difficult to read. It hurts to read about the brutality, cruelty and other horrifying things the slaves suffered from during those times.

I must admit, this book was slow but there was a moment where I got hooked and didn’t slow down anymore from there. It is a gripping story. Very informative, educational and thought-provoking read. It was beautifully written and my first from Marlon James. And I’m planning on reading another.

Quotable Quotes:

“Hate and love be closer cousin than like and dislike.”

“Bad feeling is a country no woman want to visit. So they take good feeling any which way it come. Sometime that good feeling come by taking on a different kind of bad feeling.”

“Make me tell you something else about reading. You see this? Every time you open this you get free. Freeness up in here and nobody even have to know you get free but you.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 28-Oct-2020

Hi there, Homo sapiens! Welcome to another WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished

As I have mentioned last week, I find The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue a bit slow for my taste but I must say, I’m glad I didn’t abandon it. I enjoyed the last third of the book so much so I’m giving it 4-stars. I also read Pigeons from Hell, a short story and it was a good one, too, so another 4-star read.

Currently Reading

Both What the Wind Knows and The Turn of the Key are interesting reads, so far, so I hope to enjoy it to the end. I thought I could finish them quite quickly but there’s just too much work to be done these days so I have less time for my reading.

Up Next

I hope to start with The Ten Thousand Doors of January soon which I have been wanting to read for some time now. The Year of the Witching was a recommendation, while Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 was an unexpected find.

Have you read any of these books? What have you been reading this past week? I’d be delighted if you share your WWWs, too. Leave a link or share your lists on the comments section so I can check them all out!

Happy reading and keep safe, Homo sapiens!

A Reread: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite RunnerI’ve loved this book ever since I’ve read it in 2013. It’s one of the books that really left something in me. One of the very few that emotionally drained me. I watched the film adaptation and for those of you who have been following me for some time now, I’m not a big fan of movies based on books, so of course, I was disappointed. The only thing I liked in the movie was the boy who played the role of Hassan. Hassan has always been one of the top book characters very dear to me since I’ve read this and he’s the only thing that didn’t disappoint in the movie.

I’ve decided to reread this a few days before Christmas. I knew that the book is gonna make me sad and might affect my mood for the holidays, but I read it anyway.

The Kite Runner is the story of Amir and Hassan while growing up in Kabul in the early 1970s. Amir, a Sunni, is the son of a wealthy businessman (Amir calls him Baba) while Hassan, a Shia, is the son of Ali, their Hazara servant. The two boys are best friends but cultural and social barriers still separate them. Baba treats them equally as much as he could. Amir started to feel jealous of Hassan as Baba always admires him and always catches his attention without even trying while Amir on the other hand is trying too hard to impress him but Baba always gets disappointed.

Amir decided to impress Baba in the coming annual kite-flying/fighting tournament. This is where the story really started. My heart broke for Hassan the first time I’ve read this. And it still did the second time. And if I continue writing about it, I might delve into spoilers even though maybe most of you must have read the book already.

This is a book about friendship, father and son, brotherhood, relationships, jealousy, guilt, redemption, love, trust, freedom, forgiveness and mistakes. Mistakes we either make or make us.

Khaled Hosseini used a very descriptive and simple writing style. The way and the amount of historical background he provided in the book was good enough so as not to overwhelm the reader. I liked how the story was told as it made me get attached to the characters which is one of the important things to me when I read a book.

I was once again blown away by The Kite Runner and this will definitely stay on top of my favorite books, quietly seeping into my being.

Quotable Quotes:

“For you, a thousand times over.”

“And that’s the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does, too.”

“It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime.”

“It was only a smile, nothing more. It didn’t make everything all right. It didn’t make ANYTHING all right. Only a smile. A tiny thing. A leaf in the woods, shaking in the wake of a startled bird’s flight. But I’ll take it. With open arms. Because when spring comes, it melts the snow one flake at a time, and maybe I just witnessed the first flake melting.”

“When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness.”

Rating: 5/5 stars

Blindness by José Saramago

fullsizerender-1-19Book #26.

I attempted to read this book four or five times since I received it but hadn’t gotten way past ten pages. It’s not that it’s a difficult read, I just couldn’t get a grip on it. Anyhow, I gave it a shot again last week and I guess the timing’s quite right because I was able to finish it in just a few days.

In a nutshell, Blindness is about a society that collapsed following a worldwide plague of literal blindness. The story begins with a man in his car at a stoplight waiting for the lights to change. Inexplicably, he goes blind. Soon, everyone he goes in contact with go blind. And it follows. So the blindness spreads out all over the nameless place.

All the characters are also nameless. We only get to know them as the doctor, the doctor’s wife, the boy with the squint, the dog of tears, the old man with the black eye patch and so on. This for me adds up to the goodness of the book.

Having had the chance to read The Gospel According to Jesus Christ earlier this year prepared me enough, I guess, to get used to his way of writing. Yes, for me, it needs a bit of getting used to it at first. For one, it’s written in a very dense way, there are no speech marks and no breaks for dialogues, it’s all written in the same lines. I get lost at some points while reading because everyone’s words merge altogether that I have to read it again to make sure I understand who’s saying what. I kind of felt blind, too, in a way as I get lost in the book at times. But I must say that the way the book’s written heightens the enjoyment of reading this book.

The major themes include the presence and lack of morality in a damaged society and the consequences of doing right and wrong. The murder of the leader of the troublemakers in the asylum is one example of making a difficult moral decision in the novel. Prior to this, the doctor’s wife finds out that she actually brought a pair of scissors. She never used it but just hangs it on the wall. She soon made use of it later in the story after the tragic thing that happened to her and the other women in the asylum.

The novel also showed us how fragile a society and how weak/strong humans can be. We see all the characters turn blind (except for one) reduce to animal instinct in order to survive. Señor Saramago blames the authorities for not being able to provide for its people in times of crisis. This is very true and happens almost everywhere nowadays. Furthermore, he tells us that we’re not far from sheer chaos even though we are now living in a modern world that relies mostly on technology.

Blindness is an allegory that people who can see are blind in reality. People don’t see what’s really happening in the world. Blindness is present in the failures of authorities to give what is expected of them. It is present in major issues the world is facing now. People fail to perceive the suffering around them thus resulting to failure of achieving a better community. Towards the end of the story, the characters start to recover their eyesight which strengthens the story’s status as an allegory. This shows that their blindness was just a way of teaching or letting them see and rethink the kind of life they’re living.

This is a very thought-provoking book that will remind every reader to look, or moreover, see everything around us as clearly as we could. Let’s always try our best not to turn a blind eye to the real cruelty/terrors that surround our lives.

Quotable Quotes:

“Inside us there is something that has no name, that something is what we are.”

“I don’t think we did go blind, I think we are blind, Blind but seeing, Blind people who can see, but do not see.”

“When all is said and done, what is clear is that all lives end before their time.”

“Words are like that, they deceive, they pile up, it seems they do not know where to go, and, suddenly, because of two or three or four that suddenly come out, simple in themselves, a personal pronoun, an adverb, an adjective, we have the excitement of seeing them coming irresistibly to the surface through the skin and the eyes and upsetting the composure of our feelings, sometimes the nerves that can not bear it any longer, they put up with a great deal, they put up with everything, it was as if they were wearing armor, we might say.”

“If we cannot live entirely like human beings, at least let us do everything in our power not to live entirely like animals.”

Rating: 5/5 stars

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

download-1Book #8.

I have to admit I was really intrigued when I first saw this book on my feeds in Goodreads. The idea about the butterflies is just sick but I was definitely hooked. The story started with Maya being rescued by the FBI and we learn of the story during the interview process. It’s not easy to talk about the plot without spoilers so I won’t say more.

The story was brilliantly written, Dot Hutchison’s writing style is excellent and characterization was also good. I have to say, however, that the ending left me feeling off, I don’t know, but I think the plot twist didn’t work out well for me.

I don’t think this book is for everyone since it has several disturbing themes — rape, suicide, murder and sexual assault. All in all, it’s a great read and I think this could be an excellent movie.

Quotable Quotes :

“You seem to have this strange image of me as a lost child, like I’ve just been thrown on the side of the road like garbage, or roadkill, but kids like me? We’re not lost. We may be the only ones who never are. We always know exactly where we are and where we can go. And where we can’t.”

“Some people stay broken. Some pick up the pieces and put them back together with all the sharp edges showing.”

“The trouble with sociopaths, really, is that you never know where they draw their boundaries.”

“At some point, maybe you have to break.”

“Some wanted the freedom to be anyone they wanted, some of us wanted the freedom to be left alone.”

Rating : 4/5 stars

After Dark by Haruki Murakami

downloadBook #6.

This basically follows the story of five characters — a 19-year old girl named Mari, Takahashi a jazz musician, Mari’s sister Eri who is in a very deep sleep, a Chinese prostitute assaulted in a “love hotel”, and a salary man, Shirakawa, who works late to avoid his family — one autumn night in Tokyo.

How Murakami-san managed to capture the happenings and feelings of time from midnight to dawn at a brisk but natural pace is amazing. Every beginning of a chapter shows a clock and as the night progresses, the story does, too. I didn’t particularly like any of the characters but I also didn’t hate any of them. But the point is probably not to like or hate them, but to connect to them which I think Murakami-san effectively did.

This is not as bizarre as his other works but neither it is a straight narrative. It stays surreal because Murakami-san doesn’t bother with explanations and in his world, nothing is simple.

After Dark ended far too quickly for me and as usual, I was left with too many unanswered questions. I would recommend you read this in a coffee shop, overnight, with cups of brewed coffee. And maybe some music, too. Well, if you haven’t yet! 😉

Quotable Quotes :

“In this world, there are things you can only do alone, and things you can only do with somebody else. It’s important to combine the two in just the right amount.”

“What seems like a reasonable distance to one person may feel too far to somebody else.”

“A brand-new day is beginning. It could be a day like all the others, or it could be a day remarkable enough in many ways to remain in the memory. In either case, for now, for most people, it is a blank sheet of paper.”

“…people’s memories are maybe the fuel they burn to stay alive. Whether those memories have any actual importance or not, it doesn’t matter as far as the maintenance of life is concerned. They’re all just fuel.”

“The silence is so deep it hurts our ears.”

Rating : 4/5 stars

All the Ugly and Beautiful Things by Bryn Greenwood

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Book #4.

I am a big fan of relationships between unlikely people and this book captured my attention from the beginning and saw me through to the very last page.

Wavonna “Wavy” Quinn is the daughter of a meth dealer and she knows that she shouldn’t trust anybody even her parents. She is selectively mute and acts as a parent to her younger brother, Donal, even at a very young age. She struggles but she is very responsible. Several times while reading, my heart ached for Wavy and her brother for they never had the chance of a normal childhood. And then came Kellen. And everything changed from there.

I personally think that the book is beautifully written. The alternating viewpoints is one of the things I like most about this read for it seems to be so effortless for Ms. Greenwood because it did not, in any way, disrupt the flow of the story. It’s also for this reason that I’m looking forward to more of her works.

On the other hand, I am not sure I can recommend this book to everyone even though it’s beautifully-written. Several themes here would require a mature mind I guess to appreciate the book as a whole. However, it will make you pause and reconsider and somehow for me, I was left asking when is love appropriate then? And how?

Quotable Quotes :

“Feeling dead was better than when my heart hurt. Sometimes I thought it might burn through my ribs while I was asleep, and smolder in the sheets until the whole house caught fire.”

“Sometimes waiting and being disappointed was good, to remind me he didn’t belong to me. Nothing belonged to me.”

“He squeezed me tight, almost as tight as I needed… Tight enough to tell me I was important to him. A little tighter and I would know I was more important than anything else. That was what I wanted.”

“I liked learning things. How numbers worked together to explain the stars. How molecules made the world. All the ugly and wonderful things people had done in the last two thousand years.”

Rating : 5/5 stars

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

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Book #18.

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.

This famous opening line begins the story of our unnamed heroine, the second Mrs. de Winter. Young and shy, she met the much older, wealthy widow, Maxim de Winter (I so love the name!). An unlikely friendship started and eventually, courtship followed.

They soon got married and went to Manderley where Mrs. de Winter found it difficult to fit in. Throughout the story, she’s in constant battle of Rebecca’s (Maxim’s first wife) legacy.

There’s much to enjoy in this book, however, I just wish there’s more about Rebecca. Ms. du Maurier made her sound so intriguing. Her presence is strongly felt in the novel but I think I didn’t get enough of her. Was she really a strong-willed woman or was she a psychopath or something? She somehow reminded me of Amy in Gone Girl. 🙂

I also think I have to mention Mrs. Danvers. I personally think she stood out the most among the characters. She’s creepy.

All in all, this book is beautifully written, great characters, terrific plot and pacing. And the ending? Awesome! Yes, I love the ending!

Anyway, I don’t read classics very often but I always find myself pleasantly surprised when I do. And maybe tonight, I’ll dream of Manderley again…

Quotable Quotes:

“If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again.”

“I suppose sooner or later in the life of everyone comes a moment of trial. We all of us have our particular devil who rides us and torments us, and we must give battle in the end.”

“We’re not meant for happiness, you and I.”

“The moment of crisis had come, and I must face it. My old fears, my diffidence, my shyness, my hopeless sense of inferiority, must be conquered now and thrust aside. If I failed now I should fail forever.”

“I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say.”

Rating : 5/5

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker

He suddenly disappeared. No explanation. Four years later, Julia has a letter that might lead her to him… Book #17.

This is the story of Julia who traveled to Burma in search of the truth behind her father’s disappearance. In Burma, she met U Ba and learned of the story of Tin Win and Mi Mi. If I continue to tell more about the story, I would surely spoil it for you so I won’t say anything more.

I have never heard of Jan-Philipp Sendker before but I will surely look for more of his books. He knows well how to write a very inspiring story. And this book speaks of that — inspiration, life, love, heartbreak, loss, hope and believing.

The simplicity of the prose and the passages in this book were beautifully written. It may even sound old-fashioned yet it is so powerful.

A must-read!

Quotable Quotes :

“Life is a gift full of riddles in which suffering and happiness are inextricably intertwined. Any attempt to have one without the other was simply bound to fail.”

“Love makes us beautiful. Do you know a single person who loves and is loved, who is loved unconditionally and who, at the same time, is ugly? There’s no need to ponder the question. There is no such person.”

“Only a few days earlier he had explained to her that he did not merely read books but traveled with them, that they took him to other countries and unfamiliar continents, and that with their help he was always getting to know new people, many of whom even became his friends.”

“We wish to be loved as we ourselves would love. Any other way makes as uncomfortable. We respond with doubt and suspicion. We misinterpret the signs. We do not understand the language. We accuse. We assert that the other person does not love us. But perhaps he merely loves us in some idiosyncratic way that we fail to recognize.”

“…there are wounds time does not heal, though it can reduce them to a manageable size.”

Rating : 5/5

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

This is my first Colleen Hoover read and I really loved it!!! 

This book really blew me away! I didn’t expect this to be so good! This is my first Colleen Hoover read and I really, really loved it! From the beginning of the book, you will love the characters and the storyline right away. It’s one of those books that can make you feel so much and talk about it all day with anyone.

I felt happy, I felt sad. I fell in love, I got my heartbroken. I felt angry. I felt betrayed. But I loved how it all came together in the end. I had major butterflies the whole time I was reading this — so cheesy here and there! 🙂

I liked reading from both of the main characters’ perspective. It seemed like these two were just talking right in front of me and it just felt so natural. The chemistry between them was just there.

I don’t know what else to say, I just really, seriously, loved this book a lot! It still makes me smile every time I’m reminded of it. It’s been a while since a book made me roll when it starts becoming cheesy and experiencing that again while reading November 9 was truly a wonderful feeling! I’m really glad I picked this up the moment I saw it in the shelves.

Highly recommended! 🙂

Favorite quotes :

“It’s as if the world chooses this moment to go silent.”

“A body is simply a package for the true gifts inside.”

“You’ll never be able to find yourself if you’re lost in someone else.”

“When you find love, you take it. You grab it with both hands and you do everything in your power not to let it go. You can’t just walk away from it and expect it to linger until you’re ready for it.”

“If we’re going to kiss, it has to be book-worthy.”

Rating : 5/5 stars

Moloka’i by Alan Brennert

This novel spans the 80-year life of Rachel Kalama, who was born in Honolulu where when she was seven, she was taken away from her family and lived most of her life in involuntary exile on Moloka’i as a leper. In this island where lives are supposed to end, Rachel’s life begins.

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I enjoyed Rachel’s character and everyone else’s in this book. Rachel refuses to let her condition get in the way of a life well-lived. Seeing her grow up with leprosy along with her new-found family and friends made it an interesting read though I teared up here and there.

Alan Brennert evidently researched quite well since a lot of historical facts intertwines with the story which gave me a snapshot of Hawaii in the past.

Given its rich history and well-developed characters, this story will stay with me for a long time.

Favorite quotes: “There’s only one disadvantage, really, to having two mothers… You know twice the love… but you grieve twice as much.”

“With wonder and a growing absence of fear she realized, I am more than I was an hour ago.”

“But there was still a bottomless hole inside her, and she began to think that there always would be.”

“I’ve come to believe that how we choose to live with pain, or injustice, or death….is the true measure of the Divine within us.”

“Fear is good. In the right degree it prevents us from making fools of ourselves. But in the wrong measure it prevents us from fully living. Fear is our boon companion but never our master.”

Rating : 5/5 stars

Book #52 – 2015 Reading Challenge – Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa

The perfect read to end my 2015 Reading Challenge! Book #52…

 If you don’t have any idea about the Palestine-Israeli conflict, this book offers an excellent introduction about it and about the suffering of the people of Palestine.

1947 — the year that was — for the Jewish, the creation of their homeland, the state of Israel; for the Palestinians, the year their land was taken from them, the year they became refugees.

This is such a powerful story about the sufferings of the Palestinians in the hands of the Israelis that will leave you raging with emotions that I have to keep reminding myself that it was a work of fiction (though most happenings were based on facts).

A beautifully written book that gave me a different view about the Palestinian people and everything they have lost. It’s one of the most heart-breaking books I’ve ever read, I recommend it to everyone.

What a perfect read to complete my 2015 Reading Challenge! 🙂

Favorite quotes : ““Always” was a good word to believe in.”

“He brushed his lips against mine, pulled me closer, and I felt as if I had lived all my life for that kiss.”

“I was a word drained of its meaning. A woman emptied of her past. The truth is that I wanted to be someone else.”

“Baba’s absence since the war had grown as big as the ocean and all its fishes. As big as the sky and earth and all their birds and trees. The hurt in my heart was as big as the universe and all its planets.”

Rating : 5/5 stars

Book # 48 – 2015 Reading Challenge – Stoner by John Williams

Another book that will stay with me for a long time… Book #48 for my 2015 Reading Challenge…

Stoner is a book that has nothing to do with marijuana or a drug addict. 🙂 It is actually the name of the book’s protagonist. 🙂

On the surface, it looks like a very simple tale. However, the simplicity of it masks the depth and brilliance that runs throughout the story. I personally enjoy books with real, believable characters and situations and this is certainly one of them. I can’t express well why I found this to be such a page-turner because it lacks that “excitement” most people look for in a book nowadays, but it is so deep, significant and captivating.

Being one of the finest books I’ve ever read, I hope you readers can get a chance to read it as well. It’s not that big, life-changing kind of book but it might be a good reminder to everyone that people are important and that your contribution to the world doesn’t have to be something huge, it just have to be relevant and meaningful.

Favorite quotes :

“Sometimes, immersed in his books, there would come to him the awareness of all that he did not know, of all that he had not read; and the serenity for which he labored was shattered as he realized the little time he had in life to read so much, to learn what he had to know.”

“…the person one loves at first is not the person one loves at last, and that love is not an end but a process through which one person attempts to know another.”

“You must remember what you are and what you have chosen to become, and the significance of what you are doing. There are wars and defeats and victories of the human race that are not military and that are not recorded in the annals of history. Remember that while you’re trying to decide what to do.”

Rating : 5/5 stars

Book #44 – 2015 Reading Challenge – Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Life is what you make of it and Book #44 in my 2015 Reading Challenge made me realize to start making more of mine…

This book really hits you in the heart. Total tearjerker. It’s an amazing story about life and death and love and everything in between. It made me laugh but it also made me cry.

Will Traynor (Oh, Will!!!) and Lou Clark are very likable characters, unlikely but interesting pair brought together by circumstance. I really enjoyed how their relationship changed and grew because it’s very realistic.

The controversial issue of euthanasia was very carefully dealt with by Ms. Moyes in this novel. I already had an opinion about this topic even before I knew about this book and that still hasn’t changed. I strongly believe that a person with a fatal illness/disease or something like Will’s has the right to choose to die in their own terms. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m entitled to my own opinion, let me know yours in the comment section. I’d love to hear them.) It was very dramatic how Ms. Moyes presented this issue up to the later part of this book, making Lou look for every possible way to let Will change his mind, keeping her hopeful and letting her be more attached to him. Little does she know that Will had firmly made his decision.

This story will definitely stay with me for a long time and continue to reflect/contemplate about it. I don’t know how it’s like to live a life being once a man-of-the-world suddenly turned into a quadriplegic where you have to live the rest of your life in a wheelchair but somehow, the author managed to make us feel that while reading this book. It leaves me with sadness but inspires me to step back a little and have a look at my own life.

If you haven’t read this book, do yourself a favor… Read —  and feel it — because sometimes, six months can be the best six months of your life.

Favorite quotes : “Push yourself. Don’t Settle. Just live well. Just LIVE.”

“Some mistakes… Just have greater consequences than others. But you don’t have to let the result of one mistake be the thing that defines you. You, Clark, have the choice not to let that happen.”

“…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.”

“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 am conscious that knowing me has caused you pain, and grief, and I hope that one day when you are less angry with me and less upset you will see not just that I could only have done the thing that I did, but also that this will help you live a really good life, a better life, than if you hadn’t met me.”

Rating : 5/5 heartbreakingly beautiful stars