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?
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