2017 Book Challenge Book Everyone but You has Read

*Note: Our last post had us reading books with a lion, witch or a wardrobe in it, but we pushed the back to do this challenge. We’ll do the lion, witch or wardrobe book on June 16.

A Book Everyone but You Has Read

Me Before You

by Jojo Moyes

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Louisa Clark lives in a tourist town and accepts her hum-drum life. It isn’t until she loses her just-above minimum-wage job and starts working with Will Traynor that she begins to believe she deserves more. Will was involved in an accident two years prior and is now a quadriplegic, relying on Louisa and Nathan (his nurse) for everything. Both Louisa and Will soon realize that they can make life better for each other, though not how one would expect.

Disclaimer: I saw the movie adaptation before reading. I choose this book because I was surrounded by co-workers who had read and loved this book. They joyfully described how much it made them cry and anyone with feelings would do the same. Well, I must be a robot because the tears did not come. But please, don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed reading Moyes’ story. It only took me a few days (that’s good for my current work-life schedule); I think I was motivated by knowing what was going to happen next since I had seen the film. I liked Louisa and her understated strength. There were a multitude of times when I’m pretty sure I would have given up if I was in her shoes and I respect her so much. Will was beyond interesting and the author made me pause and reflect on life in general. So I felt like this was so much more than a sweet, love story or summer reading book; once I’m done with this book challenge I’ll read the sequel, After You.

Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James

Fifty Shades of Grey

Synopsis: Anastasia Steele interviews billionaire Christian Grey as a favor to her roommate and best friend. When Christian pursues her, Ana is surprised. She’s even more surprised when Christian asks her to sign a non-disclosure agreement and a contract outlining the nature of their relationship. But Ana’s less than confident she can navigate the kind of relationship Christian wants when whips and canes are involved.

I know I’m about 5 years late in reading this series, especially since my blog is focused on romance novels, but they never appealed to me. I also started my master’s degree right around the height of the book’s popularity and there were so many negative reactions to it. Many people said it was poorly written. I found this to be false. It’s a fine book, I’ve read worse, although the author uses obscure adjectives that do little to add meaning to the story. Many people said there were issues with consent. I did not think this was an issue in the book. Christian is very clear about consent, going so far as to have his sexual partners sign a contract. Ana is the one who gets consent wrong and Christian goes about trying to prevent problems of consent in the future. What I did agree the book missed was what a BDSM relationship is about. I’m not an expert, but being involved in this kind of sexual relationship is not “wrong.” It’s a choice. The book also implies that people who enter these kinds of relationships are traumatized or damaged. I don’t think that’s true either, although I’m no expert. But I enjoyed the first and second books in the series. I even laughed at some points. I love Christian, but Ana really annoys me, which is why I didn’t read the last book in the series. And in case you’re curious, no I’m not going to watch the movies.

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