June 2016 Wrap-Up

Let me start off by saying, JUNE was EPIC!!!! I only read 4 books (finishing the 4th one tonight) this month because LIFE! It was a beautiful month filled with tons of memories that I will cherish til i’m gray & old. I married the love of my life who also happens to be my book soul mate & our little girl graduated from Pre-K as Valedictorian & Killed her speech! *Smiles*. I’m surprised to have even read these 4 books so lets get into them…

1. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes ★★★★★

I changed my rating of this book twice until I realized that if a book can move me to feel such strong emotions about a controversial topic such as Euthanasia, then that means it deserves my 5 stars. The characters in this book will stay with me for a very long time, I still have not watched the movie because I wanted to give it some time but it will def be soon (book to movie reaction post to follow).

My Review: Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

2. Becoming Rain by K.A. Tucker (Burying Water #2)  ★★★★★

An edge of your seat, heart pounding, sexy New Adult novel that I DEVOURED! so far I have loved all of K.A. Tucker’s characters, they all are 50 shades of complex. Fast paced & filled with plot twists, Becoming Rain was better than it’s predecessor Burying Water. Each one of the books in this series follows a female lead and eventually her love interest with occasional guest appearances by some of the other characters from previous books. I enjoy seeing some of my favorites pop up in the next book.

My Review: Becoming Rain by K.A. TuckerBecoming Rain

3.  A Darker Shade Of Magic by V.E. Schwab ★ (4.5 stars)

My 1st V.E. Schwab book did not disappoint. The writing was on point & I truly felt immersed into all of the London’s with the exception of Black London (not yet explored). This was a fast paced read, full of action, and magic however not much character development. One thing I found myself enjoying was the focus that was given to the plot/world building & that there was no love story. Although I do enjoy my ships, I didn’t feel the need to wonder who would be paired with who & instead enjoyed the magic and adventure V.E. Schwab takes you on. My guess is that book 2 will show more character development because of how the final chapters played out in ADSOM. My copy of A Gathering Of Shadows arrived a few days ago & i’m thinking that I will hold off on reading it because A Conjuring Of Light #3 doesn’t get released until February 2017.

My Review:A Darker Shade Of Magic (Shades Of Magic #1)

A Darker Shade final for Irene

4. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows ★

My 1st Owlcrate box was this month’s June Royalty box & it was EVERYTHING & MORE! no regrets here. I switched over to Owlcrate from another subscription box & I loved every single item I received. I was a bit skeptical on whether I would enjoy My Lady Jane because it’s being compared to The Princess Bride & Monty Python, both of which I’ve heard about, but never read/watched. Well, I have NEVER laughed this much reading any book EVER! this book doesn’t take itself seriously at all, in fact it does the complete opposite. Light & silly, My Lady Jane was exactly what I needed for the start of Summer. I’ve got about 70 pages to go tonight & will update this post with a star rating in the morning but it’s looking like a hands down 5 STARS! (Review to come)

***UPDATE*** Finished My Lady Jane today, Review in the link below 🙂

My review: My Lady Jane By Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

My Lady Jane

 

 

Review Me Before You By Jojo Moyes

Me Before You
Series: Me Before You #1
Published by: Pamela Dorman Books/Viking
Date of Publication: December 31st 2012 (first published January 5th 2012)
Genres: Contemporary-lit, Romance
Pages: 369
Format: Paperback
Rating: 5 Stars (previously 4.5 stars because REASONS lol)

 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

 

My Good Reads Mini-Review AKA 1st Thoughts:

4.5✨ I’m a bit conflicted with Me Before You, I gave it 4.5 stars because I am still very attached to the characters. Lou is now one of my fave female protagonists, she embraced her individuality like none other. I loved the witty banter between Lou & Will. Then there was the elephant in the room, often times I found that I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I’m still unsure where I stand on the topic of Euthanasia or assisted suicide. Overall I didn’t take this as a romance, it felt more like a story of friendship, hope, and human rights.

******SPOILERY******

After Thoughts (slept on this for a couple of nights):

I’ve come to the realization that if a book can linger in my head days after I’ve finished it, leaving me questioning my own beliefs…said book was pretty darn GOOD! This was a contemporary romance that tackled the very real topic of Euthanasia & or assisted suicide very well. Each of the characters that loved Will Traynor (Our male protagonist) had their own ideals/beliefs on quality of life however, I appreciate the respect he was given by those closest to him. Will Traynor was introduced as a young & attractive guy on the fast track to success. The type of guy to close deals, wing big, and always get his way in the board room and in the bedroom. The guy who has a type…. tall, blonde, fun, & easy. His whole life was turned upside down by a motorcyclist, leaving him as a quadriplegic in need of around the clock care. After receiving physical therapy to alleviate the pain associated with muscle atrophy & a non-reversible diagnosis, Will decided to end his life through Dignitas

***PAUSE***

Google Search–> I had no idea this organization actually exists in Switzerland! On their web page in their About page it reads: “DIGNITAS—To Live with dignity–to die with dignity” this is where I put the book down, went to bed, and seriously tried to place myself in that situation. I tried seeing it from the perspective of a mother as well as the disabled and couldn’t resolve where I stood. I decided to remain undecided & continued reading…

Will’s mother asks that he re-consider and he makes a deal with his parents to give them 6 months. As a mom I can see how this must have been a desperate time to try & find anything that would change my sons mind. Enter Louisa Cark AKA Lou AKA Busy Bee, hired to be a companion for Will who had pretty much become a recluse.

I LOVED Lou from the start! Her odd or rather quirky fashion sense, selflessness, and subtle wit has made her a new favorite of mine. When she created her username Busy Bee to talk to an online community of people with the same or similar disability, she stole my heart! Lou was determined to reignite Will’s desire to live. In the process she developed some complex feelings for him made even more messier by the fact that she was already in a relationship. I can’t even remember his name that’s how much I disliked him so for all intents & purposes, let’s call him “Whatshisface” 🙄 I lost track of how many times Whatshisface talked about himself, his body, and his track time. Lou’s interactions with Whatshisface solely provided me with comic relief & tons of eye rolls. Lou’s self worth however, was very low. A result of what is insinuated to have been her being raped by a couple of guys she knew, while intoxicated. This also played into Lou’s sense of fashion. She figured that if she dressed weird or un-provocative, she wouldn’t warrant the attention of men.

Will- Although he found himself developing feelings for Lou, it never went past that. Lou goes about finding places for Will to vacation in & activities for quadriplegics on a 6mth deadline. The fact that Will managed to find enjoyment in watching Lou experience so many firsts and pushed her to LIVE was heartwarming. There was clearly chemistry between the two but there was also friendship. It was difficult at times seeing Lou go so hard (race track scene) to show Will that he could still enjoy some of the things he used to before his accident. Even harder were the final pages…time was up…Will had not changed his mind & instead asked for Lou to be by his side during his final moments. When Lou finally realized that ultimately this was Will’s decision & Will’s life, I felt like a weight was lifted off MY shoulders (yea I was that stressed lol).

MY dad, before he passed away, told me that death was hardest on the loved ones & NOT the person passing. I always wondered if this were true…for me, it was. The reason I loved this book & now it’s finale (I had to sleep on it) is that Will prepared Lou (and his mother) for his passing. He made the tough decision to end his life & by doing so, reclaims his life. He showed compassion & understanding for those affected by his decision til the very end. In the epilogue, we get the sense that some time has passed, Lou is in France in Will’s favorite cafe reading his letter while eating croissants & drinking coffee as per Will’s expert recommendation…I call this closure.

After much thought, I may not be so undecided anymore on the topic of Euthanasia & assisted suicide. This book led me to do some research of my own & for that alone I have changed my star rating. 

 

Currently Reading

Thursday night & I’m home reading Me Before You while watching people tweet about the premiere of the movie tonight. I plan on watching it some time this wknd once I finish this book which admittedly I’ve been taking my time with. The subject matter is heavy for your average person but I’m “tender hearted” when it comes to others pain and suffering. I had to stop & Google “Dignitas” hoping it wasn’t a real thing, much to my surprise, it is. I’m not sure where I stand on the subject of Euthanasia, I find myself torn like Lou. I’ve gone back & forth in my head trying to play devils advocate but ultimately decided to remain undecided. Me Before You is a Contemporary Romance but JoJo Moyes has not put the romance on the forefront & I can appreciate that. As I’m reading, I’m genuinely feeling the frustration on Will’s behalf as a quadriplegic & Lou’s as a companion/care-taker. The humiliation Will endures when he does decide to venture outdoors often made me feel anger at the world. I’m quietly rooting for Lou to accomplish her goal in the next 72 days… This story will stay on my heart shelf for a long time to come…