'You only get one life. It's actually your duty to live it as fully as possible'
I love reading but I don't read just about anything. I like reading books or magazines which doesn't require too much thinking. Some thing light and breezy. Something that I could read and relax before going to bed. Something that won't tear me apart emotionally imagining the worst.
A few days ago I read the recent edition of the Time magazine and came across an article on the crimes of rape that befell women during the Sudan war. It was horrifying. I just couldn't read after 2 paragraphs. I had to put it away as I started imagining the worst and images of the women and girls suffering kept me up nights. I am still rueful on why I picked up that edition of the magazine.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is a light romantic novel about a young woman who becomes a full time care giver for a quadriplegic man and after much resentment, things slowly unfold between them. Set in a small British town, the story shows how the main character Louisa Clark feels so much for the sufferings of Will Traynor and in the process falls in love and discovers herself too. The story alternates between laugh out loud humor , family fights, emotional drama and romance. Jojo Moyes was able to provide an eye opening look at what quadriplegics have to deal with on a daily basis, physically, emotionally and socially. Death with dignity was also addressed.
Winner of the Richard & Judy Galaxy Bookclub Spring 2012 and with more than half a million copies sold worldwide, Me Before You was first published in 2012. A sequel, After You was released soon after. A film adaptation of Me Before You is soon to be released in June 2016. I do hope the film lives up to the book. A trailer for the upcoming movie can be found here - Trailer Me Before You.
It was quite impossible to not fall in love with this deeply emotional, insightful and suspenseful book. That's right - Moyes doesn't telegraph the ending at all, which would have most readers turning the pages in a frenzy. Get it online at amazon.
Update as at 7th June 2016
The much awaited movie adaptation of Me Before You was released on 2 June here in Singapore. Directed by Thea Sharrock and casting Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin. Mathew Lewis (the boy who starred as Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter series) acts as jealous boyfriend Patrick of the main character Louisa Clark.
Initial reviews :
'The most romantic movie of the year!'
'I just sobbed through the whole move'
I caught the movie last evening with my girls. (Rated PG 13) The theatre was packed and i was surprised to see quite a number of the elderly. Who dare says our elders are boring with no life ? :)
My review : The movie was very simply taken with no over the top show of affection. It was short - 110 mins- and I felt it was just nice. Any longer I would have started to feel its a drag. My younger girl Riya went - wasn't the movie quite short? A clear indication that she kind of liked the movie. Louisa's quirky character and her much to be loved fancy dressing sense provided many hilarious moments throughout. The light soft soundtrack by various artistes fitted well. I particularly liked Dont Forget Abut Me by Cloves. Overall, we enjoyed the movie - my girls and I. Even though it turned quite melancholic towards the end, to my own disbelief, I didn't shed a single tear.
Inaugural Book Review - My Daughter My Friend, Letters to a Daughter by Irene Chua
Hi guys, welcome to very first book review.
I created this page to recommend books that I have read and would like to share with you. Have you noticed that when you are in a public transport or in restaurants, practically everyone is deeply engrossed in their smartphones or other gadgets? Watching movies, videos, texting, surfing etc. I hardly see anyone reading nowadays. It is a sad sad end to a beautiful pasttime. Through this page, I hope to do my small part in trying to keep reading alive.
I love reading but I don't fancy ereading. I prefer to hold a book in my hands and enjoy getting lost in its story. The book that gets the honor of being the first book to be featured is My Daughter, My Friend, Letters to a Daughter by Irene Chua.
I got to know about this book through a friend of mine - those who have read a certain previous post under Healthy Vegetarian Recipes will remember Supermom who had shared her A Unique Melt-In-Your-Mouth Banana Cake with us. I immediately liked the title of the book 'My daughter, My friend - Letters to a Daughter'. It seemed like a tear jerker, I told Supermom who replied that it won't evoke tears but it is rather a light-hearted read. After her recommendation, I ordered it online and got a copy to have my reading fill for the week.
It is a paperback with 180 pages and was first printed in 1996. Another edition was printed in 2013. It starts off with a forward by Ms Chua's daughter, Ms Sheena Tan ( or Ming - to whom these letters were written to when she was 18). Apparently Ms Chua (who is a dentist by profession), became a mini celebrity when the book was released in Singapore in 1996. Needless to say, Ms Tan couldn't understand what the big fuss was about !
Ms Chua then jumps straight into the many life lessons, through the form of letters, that she had wanted to pass on to her teen daughter. This includes topics like :
Beauty (Inner vs Outer beauty)
Getting Physical (touching on the topic of sexual intimacy before marriage)
Father's Day (relationship between a daughter and her father)
Umbrellas and Stones in the Pocket (dressing modestly when stepping out)
Chicken Drumsticks (male and female equality status in a family)
There are a total of 45 letters that Ms Chua had written to her daughter. All heartwarming and still applicable to today, 20 years later. Being a devout Christian, Ms Chua has also injected spirituality into her advice. I especially like the fact that at the end of every lesson, there are questions to ponder over. This will be very useful for a Book Club meeting.
I would highly recommend this book to all mothers who have preteens or teen daughters. It is one of those books which would have a permanent placing in your book shelves. One of those books you would read and pass it down to your daughter to cherish and to keep it for her own daughter one day. Thank you Supermom for your kind recommendation. Do keep those one of a kind recipes and recommendations coming :)
My Daughter, My Friend can be ordered online at www.ethosbooks.com.sg and costs around $20 Singapore dollars. It would make a great gift for your lady friends with daughters.
While blogging and the book lying next to me on the couch yesterday, it caught my 13 year old daughter's eyes. She started reading it in between her homework. Her exact words - "This is a book I would enjoy reading'.
My passing down this book to her has already begun :)