Me Before You – Book/Film Review

Photo found on Google, not my property.
Jojo Moyes and Cecelia Ahern are the goddesses of the romance novel, chick lit, romantic comedy, tug at your heart strings, cry with laughter books that I can sit and devour in hours. They are, it is as simple as that, so when one of their books gets converted into a film I am there faster than the road runner trying to tease coyote.

Me Before You is no exception to Moyes’ skill. Really it was probably the novel that shot her to fame and made her the world renowned author she is. It tells the story of a Louisa ‘Lou’ Clark, a girl who is struggling to find her path in life and simply needs to work to make ends meat, and Will Traynor, a self-centered rich boy who has suffered a huge accident. – This is the version with no spoilers, for spoilers, carry on reading. – After the accident Will becomes paralysed from his neck down and is bound to a wheel-chair. Desperate for any work, Louisa agrees to become a carer for Will and here their seemingly distant lives cross paths to create a recipe for beautiful romance and some heart-wrenching moments… As you can predict they fall in love but something else happens too… What you may ask? READ THE BOOK! WATCH THE FILM!

Moyes’ writing of the story is not short of romantic genius.Truly challenging the genre’s most famous authors such as Sparks, and giving them a valiant run for their money, Moyes has re-defined romance with one swooping novel. Writing about exactly what everyone else avoids, sacrifice, selfishness, not loving someone enough or loving them so much you have to leave. Me Before You  plays with all human emotions taking you on a journey from sad to happy, rollercoasting from fantastic moment of complete elation to gut-wrenching, crawl on the floor in agony devastation. A true gift to the 21st centure romance novel, her writing is humorous and boisterous at the right moments, and full of subtle nuances when it has to change, following such a natural and effortless flow. A true pleasure to read.

Lets discuss the film. First of all, as a fan – duh! – I loved everything about it. I think it was very smartly put together, cleverly juxtaposing the severity of the issues it debates with the light heartedness of the romance. In fact, that is what the entire story is about, the difference between Will and Lou. Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin beautifully embody these two complex and contrasting characters, creating a fantastic dynamic and captivating moving picture.

Clarke put on her Louise shoes in style for this one, full stripy stockings, polka dot loving Lou. She was the adorable, quirky and fairly odd in perfection. Her performance left nothing to desire as it delivered everything a reader loved about the character. When she was first cast I honestly couldn’t see past her Mother of Dragons persona, but now, she has only proven that her versatility is real and she is a performer to look out for. Claflin too completely blew my mind with his performance, proving that he doesn’t just fit into the teen heart throb hero of The Hunger Games and the romantic comedy lead of Love Rosie. He took on Will’s seriousness really well and embraced the differences between between the two characters with such grace making him not despicable, as he sometimes came across as, but human.

Me Before You is one of those forever love stories that you need to make the time to watch or read. Engage with it, live it, love it and cry it! It is beautiful and it is devastating and it makes you think about a lot of things and appreciate the smaller things in life. It is definitely worth watching or reading and it is a movie for all, but maybe not the kids!

What a whale of a time! – Tales of Travel Gone Wrong

I LOVE food! I am a real worldly foodie and am a true believer that tasting the food of country I am visiting is key to immersing myself in the adventure. The culture that comes from food, the history that food possesses. It may seem like I am reading into it but I am not, I know that food and eating habits change historically and it is one certain way to explore the culture.

Now, this was a particularly tricky one for me. Norway is one of the only countries in the world who is still legally allowed to hunt whales. Whaling has been largely banned because of the decreasing number of whales on our oceans, this beautiful creature that is becoming extinct has to stop being sought after for its meat and oil. So bearing these things in mind and the fact that I give to the WWF every month to help protect and rehabilitate a lot of animals, this goes against all my gut instincts to eat whale steak.

How can I, a self admitted lover of animals (except spiders and scorpions, who likes those?!) actually eat a whale? It was a moment of travel exception. I am a true believer that if you are abroad you should fully integrate into the life and culture of that country. We were in the middle of a fish market and whales everywhere, we could not miss out on this opportunity.

Looking back on it now, I feel slightly itchy inside every time I think that I chewed a whale steak and devoured it. I don’t think it will ever happen again. Regardless, it was a fascinating experience and if you ever get the opportunity… try it without any guilt.