Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Review of 'Me Before You' by Jojo Moyes

Review of 'Me Before You' by Jojo Moyes -

Review of 'Me Before You' by Jojo Moyes -

2016 so far for me has been a year for actually attempting to keep up with popular new releases and getting to grips with bestsellers from the past few years. As the trailers for the film of You Before Me look absolutely stunning, and this book has been recommended to me time and time again, I HAD to give it a go. And let's just say I wasn't disappointed. I was told before I started that *spoiler alert* it is a bit of a tear jerker, but I never expected to be the sobbing mess that I was at the end of this book. Me Before You definitely takes you on an emotional journey, and teaches you some incredible lessons. If you want to read a book that will change your perspective on the world, this is one to go for.


When Lou loses her job at a local cafe - the only form of employment she's had in the last six years - she's at an utter loss as to what to do. Her parents rely on her for her income, as she still lives with them at the ripe age of 27: she needs to do something (anything) to support them. After a series of horrific placements at the hands of the job centre, Lou finally attends an interview for a carer position. Unsure why they want her as she has absolutely no previous experience, Lou is more than shocked to discover she has the job.

Lou is now the daily carer of Will Traynor, a quadriplegic who largely cannot control his body beneath his chest. Initially he behaves hatefully to her, seeing her as simply another attempt by his mother to control his life; a life that he already has such limited control over. Will was once a rich businessman, used to going on swanky holidays, having the hottest girl on his arm and not having to worry about the future. That is, until the accident. Now Will is in constant pain and can no longer do anything he once enjoyed. 

After overhearing Will's mum and sister talking, Lou realises she hasn't simply been hired as a carer, but as a babysitter and saviour. Will's unhappiness with his current condition has led to an agreement between him and his mother: he will try to find a light at the end of the tunnel within six months, but if he still can't he is going to go to Dignitas to be euthanised. Lou is horrified when she finds out and considers handing in her notice before realising that she might be the one chance he has to survive. She sets out to change his mind in the time they have left - but will it be enough?

Final thoughts and recommendation

I absolutely love this book. If you're a fan of rom-coms or a heavy duty chick flick, then this is definitely something you should give a go. It also does an incredible job at understanding the trauma of having a body that does not comply to your wishes. I believe that Will's character is incredibly well written and does justice to the tricky topic of being a quadriplegic. 

Have you read it? What did you think?

Steph x

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Review of 'What Doesn't Kill You'* by Laura E James

Before I go any further with this review, I would like to state several trigger warnings. The book contains topics including rape, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and self harm. Although this makes the book sound incredibly depressive and dark, it is actually an incredibly uplifting and well written story. 

The author doesn't simply allude to serious instances of rape or self harm and make them appear standalone in their impact on the story or the character, but rather has a much more realistic approach, making the impact of them on the characters shown throughout the novel. Indeed, she handles these sensitive storylines with such care and dexterity that it is probably the most accurate portrayal of teenage self harm I have ever read in a novel. 

Aside from these themes, the book largely deals with love and loss, and how these two have infinite connections. I loved the fact that both of the main adult characters, Griff and Evie have baggage that they bring to the relationship. It is both realistic and endearing. Indeed, the tough family dynamic with an ill father, a grumpy teenage stepdaughter and young son is also incredibly well done.


Griff simply can't understand why Evie doesn't want him in her life anymore. They've built a life together, and a family together - what has happened? With no home to go to, and no one to lean on, Griff throws himself into his work as a coast guard. little does he know that Evie hasn't stopped loving him - she loves him more than ever and that's why she's distanced himself. As well as looking after her daughter from a previous relationship and her and Griff's young son, Evie has become the full time sole carer for Griff's decrepit father. This is something she loves doing, but there's one problem: he wants her help in euthanising himself. She knows that if Griff found out he could never forgive her, so distancing herself from him seems to cause the least pain. But does it really? And what will happen when someone else enters the scene to rock their marital boat even further?

Buy it here

Have you read it? What did you think?

Steph x

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Review of 'In the Darkness: That's Where I'll Know You'

I'm a big fan of books that are, to put it lightly, filled with a bit of 'mindfuckery'. What's the point in reading something that won't make you question your existence, or the universe? Smitherd does this to the extreme in In the Darkness, with his creation of a myriad of universes and the mind-boggling ability to hop between them. 

I absolutely loved this book. I believe originally it was published in three separate parts, but since then it has been amalgamated into one long piece, which is what I've been reading. This book was thrilling, terrifying and had a good dose of romance thrown in, which is pretty much exactly the combination I've been loving in 2016.


When Charlie wakes up one morning in someone else's head, he is absolutely petrified and utterly clueless as to what is going on. As if this wasn't bad enough, where he is is completely dark, squishy and ... he's naked. But, he can see out of the eyes of the person's head he is in. This person? Minnie Cooper. Yep, you heard right - she's spent years convincing people that it is her real name, and yes, her parents did think they were funny giving her it.

Soon Charlie has to let Minnie know that he's residing in her head. After the initial shock wears off, he sets out to prove to her that he does exist as an entity outside her head. This leads the pair into a trail of confusion, as Charlie and Minnie meet another Charlie Wilkes who looks like him and talks like him, but isn't him. Realising that something far bigger than they originally thought is going on, Charlie and Minnie bond over their investigation into what exactly is happening to the pair of them.

Have you read it? What did you think?

Steph x

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Review of 'Lucky Jim' by Kingsley Amis

This has been on my TBR pile for YEARS. It was recommended to be by a teacher when I was still back in school! I'm selling a load of my books at the moment, and don't want to sell any that I haven't read, so I finally picked this up a couple of weeks ago. 

I'm not going to lie, despite it being a so-called 'classic' I really wasn't all that sold. I felt a similar kind of disappointment in this as I did to The Catcher in the Rye. Nothing really happened in either novel, and I know that sometimes that is the point of the book, but I really don't think this was done very well. It was simply a slow-paced standard boy-meets-girl text with elements of humour that I didn't find especially funny.


Jim hates his job. He wanted to teach history, but here he is stuck as a Medievalist professor, ugh, To add pain onto punishment, Jim's boss is a total pain in the arse and the only student that actually has an interest is neither female, nor hot. 

The story follows Jim's various attempts to get some pretty young ladies to join his course and to seduce a lady for himself. However, the Welches (his boss, his boss' wife and son) seem determined to ruin this for him.

Have you read it? What did you think?