Book Review: Still Me by Jojo Moyes

Sometimes, a book comes into your life at the right time. That was the case for me with the third installment of Jojo Moyes’s Me Before You series.
Originally, I decided to read this book with the hope of finding redemption for the main character Louisa Clark. If you read my review of After You, you probably know that I was not a fan. I’m glad to say that after reading Still Me, I felt the same connection to the story that I had with the first book. Other than mentioning a few characters that appeared in the second installment, this story veered away from the direction of the sequel.
Still Me follows Louisa as she sets off to New York City to begin a new chapter in her life. Having obtained a position as an assistant for a wealthy family, she finds herself immersed in a culture completely different from the one she left back in England. Finally able to put much of what had happened over the last few years behind her, she works toward a new beginning with her job and her personal life. However, the past has a way of reinserting itself whenever you least expect it.
It just so happened, I began reading this book at a time of transition for myself. After almost a decade, I left a job that I was comfortable in so that I could begin a new adventure of my own. As Louisa was figuring things out day to day, so was I.
Overall, I am glad that Jojo Moyes continued Louisa’s story in the way that she did. I recommend reading this, especially if you were a fan of Me Before You. 

Book Review: Lily Collins Unfiltered

I’ve always been one to glamorize the Hollywood lifestyle; in fact, I’ve become kind’ve addicted to checking tabloid websites several times daily. It wasn’t until I saw Lily Collins in the movies The Blind Side, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and Love, Rosie as well as the Amazon series The Last Tycoon that I decided to try her autobiography.
I’ll admit, when I first started reading it I didn’t think that I’d get very far. I mean, who really wants to read about a misadventure tweezing your eyebrows? However, I am really glad that I persisted.
This book is filled with stories of Lily’s inner struggles with self confidence, an eating disorder, her unhealthy obsession with working out (which is always what you want to be reading about while on the exercise bike at the gym), and how she battled to become her best self. In today’s society, if I had a pre-teen or teenage daughter this would be a book that I would recommend that they read. The constant reminders that your uniqueness is what makes you beautiful are empowering, and I found myself pulling strength from her words.
This is a good book to read if you struggle with insecurities. I, myself, struggle with self self-esteem issues, low self-confidence, and an almost daily battle with anxiety and/or depression. This is just a part of who I am, and I can’t let it dictate my life anymore. So, in honor of finishing this book, I plan to make 2018 the best year ever and not let my insecurities hold me back. I hope you give this book a chance, and are able to connect with it as well.

2018 Book List

As the end of 2017 nears, I’ve been compiling a list of books to read in the coming year. I’ve probably way over reached on my goal, but isn’t that how it always is? I’d love to hear what you all are currently reading or planning to read.

Here is what I’m currently reading:

On Writing- Stephen King (audiobook)
Down the Rabbit Hole- Holly Madison
Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me- Lily Collins

 

My 2018 List:

Outlander- Diana Gabaldon
Dragonfly in Amber- Diana Gabaldon
Voyager- Diana Gabaldon
American Ghost- Hannah Nordhaus (Thanks for the suggestion Lorelei)
Scrappy Little Nobody- Anna Kendrick (I might do an audiobook for this one)
Love, Rosie- Cecelia Ahern
This Side of Paradise- F. Scott Fitzgerald
Murder House- James Patterson
The Da Vinci Code- Dan Brown
The Nightingale- Kristin Hannah

Book Reviews: Me Before You and After You

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

I loved this novel! Honestly, this is probably one of the best books I’ve read and one that I often recommend.
The story mainly takes place over a 6 month span, so things are not drawn out. It’s well written, and really connects the reader to the characters of Louisa Clark and Will Traynor. Their narrative unfolds in a unique way, and the twists found within these pages often left me yearning for more.
In 2016 this book was made into a movie and it did the story justice. Emilia Clarke and Sam Clafin portrayed the characters well, but in the end some of the connection between Louisa and Will didn’t translate well to the big screen (which happens a lot with screen adaptations). But, if you don’t read the book the movie is a good option.

After You by Jojo Moyes
After reading Me Before You I had high hopes going into the sequel, but I was quickly disappointed. In my opinion, this book takes away from the strength of Louisa Clark and most importantly I felt that it actually discredited the wonderful story of the first novel. To everyone that I have recommended Me Before You to, I have told them not to read the sequel.
There were a few redeeming qualities in this novel but honestly I wish I had never read it. Of course, these are just my opinions but After You was not what I expected.
I hope you find these helpful!

 

Movie vs. Novel: Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

Most times a movie doesn’t do its novel counterpart justice, but Brooklyn written by Colm Toibin is an exception. The film stays true to the main storyline found in the novel without changing much along the way.  Based in the 1950s it tells the story of a young Irish immigrant trying to make a life for herself in Brooklyn, New York.

The biggest differences between the two is that the novel introduces characters that aren’t present in the film, but this happens a lot with screen adaptations. Also, you get more of a backstory for the main characters and more details regarding what I think is a critical part of the storyline (I promise, no spoilers); the movie just brushed over this section of the book without much of an explanation.

If you’re like me, you saw the movie before reading the novel, but I highly recommend picking this book up. It’s an easy read and kept me interested (even with knowing what was going to happen). If you don’t have the extra time to spend reading this one, at least try the movie; the story is well written and in my opinion the actors portray the characters the way the book suggests.

If any of you have either read this book or watched the movie, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

Book Review: A Good Woman by Danielle Steel

As promised when I posted Summer Reading, I wanted to give an update on what I thought about Danielle Steel’s A Good Woman. I don’t want to go into too much detail with the review incase any of you plan on giving this book a try; I don’t want to spoil anything.

The story continued to be a bit predictable and the dialogue repetitive. I will admit to liking the main character and the strength that she embodied throughout the pages. The second half of the book held my attention more than the first, but I don’t think that I would recommend this one to anyone I know. It definitely wouldn’t be one that I will read again.

However, if you are looking for a good Danielle Steel book set in the early to mid 1900’s, I will stick to recommending No Greater Love.

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