“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.”
I’ve held off reading this for as long as I can and told myself that I will read the book closer to the movie release date. I was apprehensive because everyone LOVED it and sometimes, there’s a certain pressure in reading a well-loved book. I would not want to “just join in the bandwagon” but would feel a bit awkward being the “odd man out”.
In a nutshell, I can say that this book is beautiful. The story is flawed. The characters are a bit broken. But the story is beautiful, heartwarming and simply awe-inspiring. Once I was done with it, I was WOWED. I was AMAZED. I was MOVED.
“Some mistakes… Just have greater consequences than others. But you don’t have to let the result of one mistake be the thing that defines you.”
The beautiful thing about this story is that it made me feel. The tears that threatened to come did not make their appearance BUT my heart was full throughout the whole read. I can feel the raw human emotions and complexity from each of the characters and not just Lou and Will. I was inspired. I was torn. I was shattered. I was free. This story shows that life is harsh and that we cannot do anything once our cards are dealt except to be accepting and grateful. Life may hurt but there will always be something to make it worth waking up to. But there are times when nothing can make it feel alright again. No matter how optimistic you are, if you are dealt with something shitty, life can face a drastic change. This story is intriguing and all too real. But it’s not just romance. It’s also a story about family, friendship, changes and love without barriers.
“All I can say is that you make me… you make me into someone I couldn’t even imagine. You make me happy, even when you’re awful. I would rather be with you – even the you that you seem to think is diminished – than with anyone else in the world.”
Now let’s talk about the writing. God, the writing is beautiful and flawless. This is the only book from Jojo I have read and her words just flow smoothly and I found myself being one with the characters. I found myself in the annex with Lou and Will. I found myself in Lou’s cramped home. I found myself thinking of what Lou might wear next. She has details but I never felt like she was giving too much. She has descriptions but I never felt like they were unnecessary.
The best thing I love about this book is that there are no perfect characters. Each one of them is flawed but real. This resonates with me because in my own life, there are people I love deeply but they are also the same ones who can annoy the hell out of me. We cannot always understand Will’s family. We may not always agree with them but they mean well. They certainly don’t mean harm. Same with Lou’s parents and sister. We know that they love each other but the family dynamics is still present; the sibling rivalry, the favorites, sacrifices and the parental instinct. There is so much to tackle in this story but I would not want to strip you off of the anticipation in reading this if I dive into more details.
“I will never, ever regret the things I’ve done. Because most days, all you have are places in your memory that you can go to.”
Will I recommend this? Most definitely! Will I watch the movie? I cannot wait for it.
I may not have shed tears while reading this but the emotions I felt were too much. They lingered. They stayed.
FIVE TELL-ME-SOMETHING-GOOD STARS
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.
Find JOJO MOYES on her official website