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ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes – Review and Giveaway – An Outstanding Crossover Novel for YA & Adults
Dec 21st, 2012 by Liza Wiemer

ME BEFORE YOU

By Jojo Moyes

USA Publishing Date: December 31, 2012

REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY (One copy of the book and a poster – Thanks Pamela Dorman Books/Viking – USA only.)

I reviewed and Advanced Uncorrected Proof provided by the publisher at BEA. 

Brilliant! With its unforgettable characters, breathtaking storyline, and unconventional romance, ME BEFORE YOU will leave you standing with your mouth gaping. Expect to laugh, expect to cry, and expect to scream out “Jojo Moyes, how could you? Nooooo!” Most of all, expect a thought-provoking read that might challenge your perspective and definition of the quality of life. I absolutely loved ME BEFORE YOU. Don’t miss it!

This is the perfect crossover novel for older (YA) young adults—eighteen and older.

Some additional thoughts:

ME BEFORE YOU is a novel about changing perceptions and pushing the limits to maximize personal potential. It’s about inner growth and identity, what shapes and defines us. Many will be able to identify with the inner transformation of twenty-six-year-old Lou Clark from waitress to assistant of the once take-charge-of-the-world wonder boy, Will Traynor.

Another extraordinary highlight of this novel is the dynamics of Lou Clark’s and Will Traynor’s families. There were times I hated how Lou’s family treated her, reinforcing her faults instead of helping her and having faith in her to make good choices. But there were also plenty of moments where they rallied, pleasantly surprising me with their generosity and love. With Will’s family, I was in awe of Jojo Moyes’ portrayal of the internal struggles Will’s mother faced and how her hard-shell exterior would occasionally crack to allow the reader to empathize with her.

This novel is not only character driven, but plot driven — a perfect combination of the two. Even the secondary characters will make you think about your personal dynamics with others. For example, Lou’s boyfriend Patrick will make you think about love and relationships. Lou’s sister Treena will evoke thoughts about your siblings and the importance and influence they have had in your life.

Best of all, I was deeply moved by the relationship between Lou and Will. I refuse to spoil it for you. Read ME BEFORE YOU. Enjoy the journey and allow yourself to be swept away by this unforgettable novel.

(FROM THE PUBLISHER) SUMMARY:

ME BEFORE YOU (On-sale: December 31, 2012; Pamela Dorman Books/Viking; 978-0-670-02660-9; $27.95) is an emotionally powerful tale of an unlikely love affair between two people who represent each other’s last hope. Like Love Story and One Day, ME BEFORE YOU will remind readers that sometimes the best love stories aren’t fairy tales.  When it was published in the UK earlier this year, it became a word of mouth sensation and then a major bestseller. Its phenomenal success in the UK is only the beginning; so far, translation rights have been sold in twenty-eight countries. Readers in the U.S. will easily fall in love with the novel’s true-to-life characters and heart-breaking love story.

Louisa Clark (or Lou, as she’s known) lives a life about as big as the tiny English village she calls home. She loves being a waitress and figures she’ll eventually marry Patrick, her longtime boyfriend. When she unexpectedly loses her job, she must scramble to replace the income that her tight-knit family depends on. Out of desperation, she takes a job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor. Will used to live a life full of high-stakes deals, adventurous vacations, and beautiful women. Now, due to a tragic accident, his life is suddenly restricted beyond his control and he has lost all desire to live.

Will keeps everyone at a distance with his caustic and high-handed attitude. Unlike his family, however, Lou refuses to tiptoe around him and cater to his bad moods. Soon they become exactly what the other needs. Seeing how hopeless Will is about his future, Lou plans a series of adventures (and mis-adventures) to try to convince him that life can be worth living. In turn, Will attempts to persuade Lou that she doesn’t have to confine herself to the small existence she’s settled for so far. As they set about changing each other’s lives, what emerges is a love story that is as complex as it is beautiful.

It is impossible not to be swept up in the world that Moyes has created in ME BEFORE YOU. Though Will and Lou are the heart of the book, they are surrounded by a cast of characters who are funny, infuriating, and entirely memorable. Readers will undoubtedly recognize someone they know among the novel’s entertaining and memorable supporting cast.

JOJO MOYES is the author of The Last Letter from Your Love. Her follow-up, ME BEFORE YOU, was a Top 3 bestseller in the UK (12 weeks on the bestsellers list), a Richard and Judy Pick, a World Book Night Pick, and National Book Award nominee. She is a writer for the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail.  She currently lives with her husband and their three children on a farm in Essex, England.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON JOJO MOYES:  Website: www.jojomoyes.com, or follow @jojomoyes on Twitter
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A Novel Cuisine Luncheon w/ Wisconsin & Illinois Bloggers/Teachers/Librarians
Dec 16th, 2012 by Liza Wiemer

A NOVEL CUISINE

The menu and the novels that inspired the recipes!

To celebrate the end of the year, a wonderful group of bloggers/teachers/librarians gathered at my house to discuss our favorite novels from 2012 & to enjoy a “Novel Cuisine Luncheon.”

I’d like to share some of those blogs:

Heidi, YA Bibliophile: http://www.yabibliophile.com

Monica, The Fuma Files: http://fumafiles.blogspot.com 

Erica, The Book Cellar http://thebookcellarx.com

Jillian, Mrs. Heise Reads http://www.heisereads.com

Okay, it was over-the-top yummy – but everyone who knows me knows I love to cook & what could be better than including some of our absolute favorite books with food? Silver Phoenix, which was recommended to me by Heidi has so many mouthwatering descriptions of food, it was hard to choose just one. Jillian was the inspiration behind making the November cakes in The Scorpio Races. It’s the kind of recipe that takes patience, but OMGosh is it worth it!

Some of the authors shared their recipes (Huntley Fitzpatrick – Grace’s Lemonade for My Life Next Door). Others were inspired by the pages themselves and I had to do some searching for my own recipes. In Such a Rush , Leah ate a salad with romaine lettuce, so I used a recipe I like.

One I didn’t want to adapt was the dragon carrot risotto from Fault in our Stars by John Green (Hazel and Gus eat dragon carrot risotto. pg. 165.) I did some research and discovered that dragon carrots are PURPLE on the outside and orange on the inside. I had a hard time finding dragon carrots—not one grocery store in Milwaukee had them—but eventually I found an organic farm – Harmony Valley http://www.harmonyvalleyfarm.com – not so far from me and the owner was willing to send them to me. So worth it!

Many thanks to author Laura Harrington. We raffled off a copy of her brilliant crossover novel Alice Bliss, which not only was an inspiration for the cherry pie, but one of my absolute all-time favorite novels! (Page 4 Matt mentions cherry pies (because he wants to plant more cherry trees). Page 209 Angie makes cherry pie for the special Sunday dinner (when Alice is trying to get out to plant the garden.) Here we hear that cherry pie is Matt’s favorite. Page 304 Gram puts a miniature cherry pie on the boat she sends out to sea.)

Our winner: Jillian Heise

Recipes:

Maggie Stiefvater’s November Cakes: http://maggiestiefvater.blogspot.com/2011/12/my-name-is-maggie-im-perfectionist-and.html

Click here for additional recipes: http://wp.me/PAaOH-pH

 

Books of Wonder – Holiday #Readathon Spirit
Dec 11th, 2012 by Liza Wiemer

BOOKS OF WONDER . . .

added to our holiday spirit! 


THANK YOU to Books of Wonder who added an additional signed copy of a YA novel for our random drawing winner of our Holiday #Readathon sign up.

Maggie Stiefvater‘s THE RAVEN BOYS for Andrea who also selected Lauren Oliver’s BEFORE I FALL and PANDEMONIUM.

For more information on how to get signed copies of books from top children’s/MG/YA authors, visit BOOKS OF WONDER’s website: http://www.booksofwonder.com

Holiday #Readathon Wrap-up
Dec 10th, 2012 by Liza Wiemer

Holiday #Readathon Wrap-up

It was an amazing and inspiring experience to read with all of you! My deepest gratitude to all our bloggers/authors/writers who offered mini-challenges and giveaways.

The last novel I read was Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon:

My review: This novel was recommended to me by Heidi @ YABibliophile.com. Thanks Heidi! I got sucked into the folklore immediately and feel in love with the characters. Seventeen-year-old Ai Ling waits for her father to return from the Palace of Fragment Dreams. When he doesn’t return and Ai Ling may be forced to marry a horrible man as his fourth wife, she leaves home alone in a quest to find her father. On her journey she meets Chen Yong. They travel through the Kingdom of Xia and into the Immortal Realms along with Chen Yong’s brother. The action and evil spirits the Ai Ling and Chen Yong encounter are creepy, but not too scary that you’ll have nightmares. I actually loved these scenes for their action and description. The story will keep you intrigued and moves at a fast pace. It’s an incredible adventure. Cindy Pon incorporates all the senses, definitely mastering the taste and smell with mention to food and scents!
I already have the sequel on order! Can’t wait to read it. I highly recommend this novel!

I did start Dodger by Terry Pratchett and am loving it so far. Love the mix of historical fiction with real life characters like Dickens into seventeen-year-old Dodger’s life.

Join us next year for the Holiday #Readathon. Each year we hold the event online  during the first weekend of December.  Thanks again to all our participants.

 

Holiday #Readathon 2012, Update #2
Dec 9th, 2012 by Liza Wiemer

Day Two of the #Holiday Readathon

Still plenty of time to sign up: http://www.whorublog.com/?p=1437 Join us!

Finished The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver  – an incredible MG fantasy novel, which I highly recommend for anyone. It has an “Alice in Wonderland” feel with plenty of action and creative imaginary creatures.

Finished Titanic, Voices From the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson, a non-fiction YA book that brings the Titanic experience to life for readers. Exceptionally well done with first person experiences, detailed information and photographs, charts, menus. Includes information on first, second, third class passengers and crew. Fascinating and well documented. A great edition to those who want to learn more about the Titanic.

Finished The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa. I’m a huge fan of The Iron Fey Series and recommend all the novels. Fairies, queens, goblins, princes, danger, mystery, romance – a perfect combination!

What’s up next: Pretty sure I’m going to read Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon, which was recommended to me by Jillian Heise from @HeiseReads

Hope everyone’s enjoying the Holiday #Readathon & all the great mini-challenges/giveaways! 

Holiday #Readathon 2012, Update #1
Dec 6th, 2012 by Liza Wiemer



HOLIDAY #READATHON

UPDATE:

A huge thank you to all who are participating! You inspire me!! And extra thanks to our AUTHORS/BLOGGERS/WRITERS who have offered such incredible MINI-CHALLENGES/GIVEAWAYS!

FOR QUICK SIGN UP – EITHER SCROLL DOWN

OR http://www.whorublog.com/?p=1437

This is what I plan to read:

I’m already in the middle of The Lost Prince. Me Before You I read in June. It comes out on December 31 and is absolutely remarkable. I want to reread it for a blog post and giveaway that I will be having in the next few weeks. It’s a “do not miss” OMGosh I can’t believe the ending novel perfect for mature YA and older.

The rest of the books are ones that have either been recommended to me or I received at the BEA.

Looking forward to reading with you!

 

 

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