Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Fine Print

Reading is something I've always loved - I actually keep myself from reading during the work week because I find myself staying up way too late to finish a book, as I did this past Sunday... My family and friends constantly joke with me because I'm a fast reader - to the point that when I was a kid, my mom stopped taking me to the bookstore and instead made me get a library card because I would have the newly purchased book finished by the time she finished running errands and we made the hour drive back home. And I was definitely that kid who found joy in A.R. (an Accelerated Reader program in which you get to read books, take tests, and get points for them -- weird, I know.) But for me, books have been my escape, my hiatus from what is going on around me.

Over the weekend, I spent much of my time by the pool reading two new books - one which I've wanted to read for awhile and the other that was a spur of the moment purchase as it was on sale and I like the author. I started with Me Before You, written by JoJo Moyes - I'm probably a little late to the game, but as the movie is coming out soon, I decided I wanted to read it before heading to the theater. The second? Emily Giffin's The One and Only. I loved her Something Borrowed series, so when I saw it was NY Bestseller and only $6 in the hardback version, I decided I would definitely read that one as well. 
Me Before You:
I was a little hesitant to read this book at first, as it's about a caretaker for a young guy who is a quadriplegic. I am not a caretaker, nor was my grandmother paralyzed, but I did take on some very basic care-taking responsibilities for her when she had ALS, and spent hours on end witnessing the care and love that those caretakers gave to her. It was something I would do over and over again in a heartbeat, but I was a little concerned it would make me hyper-emotional. Surprisingly enough, I didn't cry throughout the whole book. I teared up a little bit at the end, but I was expecting major emotional breakdowns (dramatic, I know). I must've been having an off weekend, because I cry at the drop of the hat. Or it could be that I knew exactly what the book was about so I didn't have the shock factor of what was going to happen - instead, I spent the entire time waiting for the hammer to drop.

My thoughts? Without giving much away, I have mixed feelings on this one. Overall, I loved the book but was left wanting a little more. Me Before You is a beautifully crafted novel, one that I will probably read again, and one that discusses a topic that, for a while, was a huge debate here in the United States. Louisa and Will are characters so different than what we often see in fiction today, which I appreciated. I love Louisa's pragmatic yet whimsical nature, her loyalty to her family, and her dedication to what she believes in. And I love Will's sense of humor, despite what he's faced, and his adoration of Louisa, even when it seems as though he'll never care for her. It's a love story that goes against odds, that fights for something worth living for, literally, and in the end, I definitely wanted that to be enough. But to that same tune, the story is what makes this novel so profound. 
The One and Only:
What an interesting read. It's a book I'm still thinking about, and a large part of that is because I can't decide what I actually think about it. The protagonist, Shea, starts out in a methodical relationship that she ends shortly after the start of the book. She soon gets caught up in a whirlwind romance with a professional football player, all the while suppressing her feelings for "Coach," a man who has been a father-figure to her. I had a feeling that the relationship with Ryan, Dallas Cowboys quarterback, was too good to be true, as it developed too soon in the novel, but I was wanting it to work out, as it seemed as though Shea was just an "ordinary girl" who could win over the heart of this immensely successful guy. 

I also found that the book's synopsis inside the front cover gave me a different idea of what the book was actually going to be about. About 3/4 of the way through, I found myself re-reading the summary, as I was waiting for something else or something more and I knew there wasn't enough time for that. 

My thoughts? It was a good and easy read that I tackled in one setting, but I'm still unsure of the story line. I love a good love story and always have, so I always want to fight for the romances, but with this one, I couldn't decide if I should pull for them or not. Her love interest was also a father-figure for her, which made things a little...interesting. I don't want to give too much away if you have yet to read it, but if you have, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Any good beach read suggestions?


  1. Both of these looks sound like great beach reads. I would rather read a book before I see a movie, so I need to check out Me Before You soon. Thanks for your reviews!
    xo, Whitney and Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

  2. I read Me Before You a few months ago and I think that I spent most of it crying! I've never read her other novels but I'll definitely have to check them out!

  3. That whole first paragraph could be me talking about myself! I have to be even more careful now about reading a book during the week because I read mostly on my Kindle now... and have the app on my phone. It drives my fiancé up the wall sometimes because I can sneak in some reading whenever, wherever. Also, The One & Only? Loved the book, but didn't really like where the storyline ended up. That one was just... odd?

  4. I dont think I've read the one and only before and I thought I read most of her books!! Adding it to my list now!! I loved Me Before You and can't wait for the movie! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  5. I just started Me Before You and The One & Only is on my list!

  6. I appreciate your honest feedback about Me Before You! I'm starting that book as soon as I'm finished with my current read. I've heard nothing but rave reviews about it, so I have pretty high expectations but your review brings it back down to reality a bit.

  7. The ending of Me Before You was so sad, and I definitely was way overly emotional reading it, haha. I think you described The One & Only so well-- I enjoyed that football was such a big part of the storyline, but the romance part of the book left something to be desired and I just wasn't into it.

  8. These are both great reviews, Zelle! I loved Emily Giffin's Something Borrowed series as well, so I would definitely be interested in reading The One & Only. Interesting about her love interest in this book though...haha! I will have to check both of these out!

    xo, Rachel
    A Blonde's Moment

  9. I've read both of these and I feel the exact same way about you on them! I love Emily Giffin but I was unsure about The One & Only. I need to download her new book and see how it is though! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

  10. I love to read too. Having the time to relax with a good book feels so leisurely. I need a good one right now. Thanks for the info.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  11. I love reading too. I always have a book next to me on my nightsatnd.


    Tamara -

  12. I think that sometimes when hype over certain books gets SO built up, they end up falling short. That's kind of how I felt about The Girl On The Train. I did love Me Before You though and can't wait for the movie!

  13. It seems like everyone is reading Me Before You! I see it everywhere! I had no idea what is was about and now that I know, I'm not sure if I want to read it. Things like that tend to make me really emotional but maybe like you, I think I'll be really emotional and then I'll surprise myself and I won't!
    Evelina @ Fortunate House

  14. I agree with you on Me Before You...I enjoyed it, as much as you can but it is a hard book. I read the follow up book as well and it wasn't nearly as good. I have mixed emotions on seeing the movie...pretty sure I would end up crying the whole time.m

  15. Great reviews Zelle! I can't wait to see Me Before You in theaters!


  16. The One and Only is probably my least favorite Emily Giffin book. Her relationship with Coach really weirded me out. Living in Texas though, it was pretty interesting to see the football dynamic played out in the book.


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