Preview: ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes

I’ve literally just put this down, and I don’t think anything I can say will do justice to the tumult of emotions this book has made me experience from the beginning.

I’ll admit, I thought I had this book pegged from the outset: girl helps boy realise life is worth living, cliche after cliche. Wrong wrong wrong.

Jojo Moyles has an extraordinary talent: she weaves her characters’ lives seamlessly, making you become part of their lives. Each character comes alive in a truly unique way, helping Moyles to build tension through subtle changes in how they behave and react to each incident.

Will’s story itself is sensitively explored. We are not patronised, neither are we dictated to about how we should feel. Instead, we are given room to make our own decisions, and if we cannot, we can follow those of the character without them impinging on us, except in the intense sadness at the ultimate decision. The complexity of Will’s right to life, the tragedy of his accident and the clash of sadness and anger lead you through this perfectly paced novel to its wonderfully expressed conclusion, which fittingly leaves the end at a new beginning.

Overall, this is a fantastic book, and one I will certainly be recommending as a heartfelt, stunning novel that reminds us how wonderful life can be.


(Previewed for Waterstones:

Review: ‘Blood Ties’ by S.J.Rozan

Having been sent ‘Blood Ties’ to review for Waterstones, I’m intrigued as to the rest of the Bill Smith/Lydia Chin series, although mainly for the characters as opposed to the plotline.

Bill Smith is a private detective, whose nephew, Gary, is arrested after running away from home to do ‘something important’. After bailing Gary out he runs away, and Bill is put on the path of uncovering murder, rape and most importantly, finding his nephew before it’s too late.

The plotline is fairly compelling, although I felt it dragged a bit occasionally and the ending was somewhat of an anti-climax after Rozan had built the tension for so long. No, what made the story compelling was the relationships Bill Smith had with the world around him – with his estranged sister, his partner and potential love interest Lydia Chin, and those he forms whilst looking for Gary, particularly with Stacie Phillips, the high school reporter. Through these, we see the turbulence going on in Bill’s mind, and his inability to reconcile the past with the present. It’s intriguing to watch him both love and loathe Lydia, want to protect yet escape from his sister, and…well, wanting to beat Scott Russell to death.

The writing itself was a little hard to comprehend at times: sentences seemed to want to describe and infer and altogether do too much in a short space of time. Rozan clearly knows what she wants us to take away from the novel, but sometimes it seems a bit convoluted to get a clearly defined picture.

However, it has definitely sparked an interest in the detective series, and if only to see how the characters evolve, I will definitely keep an eye out for the previous and next installments of their literary lives.