Me Before You: Book & Film Review

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Title: Me Before You

Author: Jojo Moyes

Published by: The Penguin Group

Genres: Adult, Romance, Realistic Fiction

In-Series/Stand Alone: In series, followed by the sequel titled “After You”

Rating: ★★★★★

Intro: 

“The thing about being catapulted into a whole new life — or at least, shoved up so hard against someone else’s life that you might as well have your face pressed against their window — is that it forces you to rethink your idea of who you are.” (p. 58)

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life — steady boyfriend, close family — who has barely been farther afield than her tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life — big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel — and he is not interested in exploring a new one.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy — but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, Lou sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common — a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart? 

My Review: 

As an avid reader, going on a reading hiatus that feels a million years long by the time it’s over is exhausting. For the last couple of months, I’ve been so distracted with college applications and final exams that I’ve barely glanced at the bookshelf sitting in the corner of my room, housing novels that haven’t been so much as touched since they arrived in a big brown box in the mail. But now that it’s January (I still can’t believe it’s 2017) and my workload seems to have come to a standstill, I’ve got time on my hands to do what I love most in the world: read. I was wary about choosing the wrong book to start off with, in case it led to longer periods of detachment from reading; but Me Before You destroyed any doubts I had the moment I opened its bright red cover.

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The story begins with Louisa Clark, an average twenty-six-year-old British woman who lost her job at The Buttered Bun after its owner decided to shut the place down. For the six years that she worked there, she grew comfortable to the constant chatter with the cafe’s regulars and the familiar routine of making tea and watching people come in and out of its doors. Desperately in need of a new job, especially because her parents and sister relied on her salary, she finally set out to become a temporary caregiver for wheelchair-ridden Will Traynor.

Paralyzed from the neck down and unable to even feed himself, Will’s previous life as a major corporate player who bought and sold companies and climbed mountains and explored the ends of the world in his spare time — was irreversibly over. This led him to believe that his new life, spent entirely in the care of others — was worthless. Louisa, with her bright and bubbly personality and funny mismatched clothes, is the polar opposite of her employer, who is sarcastic and angry and grim. At first, they resent one another for these differences, but with time begin to enjoy each other’s company. Each for the other’s sake, Louisa and Will begin to push beyond their comfort zones and in turn, change each other in ways that neither could have anticipated.

This book utterly and completely encompassed me — it was like receiving a never-ending hug. I related to Louisa in a way I hadn’t been able to relate to a character in a very long time — she was an ordinary girl living an ordinary life, happy in her monotonous routine of home-to-work-work-to-home. She led herself to believe that this was it for her; she was not “built” for the adventures outside her little town. And she was accustomed to always putting herself last — focusing entirely on the needs of others, not realizing that she deserved that same kind of love in return. Her gradual change as she broke free of these shackles that confined her to her ordinary life was so inspiring — I felt as though I was growing with her, my perspective shifting as she too began to realize that life had so much more to offer, and all she had to do was be willing to delve into her potential and see what would come of it.

If I had to choose only one thing I love about Jojo Moyes’ writing, it would have to be her amazing ability to build realistic dynamics between her characters. The relationship between Louisa and her sister Treena stood out as one of these — one moment, they were at each other’s throats and the next they had their feet propped up against the wall, lying side by side and bonding. There was Will’s mother, the stiff and worried Camilla, who Louisa was intimidated by beyond belief but also understood and empathized with, in a sense. There were Will’s interactions with his colleagues and friends that he’d known before his accident, and his concealed hurt and frustration at how their lives had continued while his seemed to remain frozen in place. And of course, Will and Lou, who made this book what it ultimately was meant to be: a love story. There’s a conversation between them that sticks out most to me, where Louisa mentions how if Will’s accident had never happened and he’d been the man he was before, he’d never have thrown a second glance in her direction. She would’ve been “invisible” to him, just another stranger in the crowd. It made me really think about all the moments in my life I’ve wished never happened — but if they hadn’t, would the people I have in my life today still be here? Would I even have met them in the first place?

Me Before You is real, just like this life we’re living is real, whether we like it or not. It’s not a book about “opposites attract” and how they fall in love within the first 100 pages — it’s a gradual but beautiful buildup toward a heartbreaking but truthful reality. This novel ultimately left me inspired to push myself — to never settle. To not just survive, but live boldly. Just live.

 

*ME BEFORE YOU: MOVIE REVIEW, W/OUT SPOILERS*

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Starring: Emilia Clarke as Louisa Clark and Sam Claflin as William Traynor 

Release Date: May 23, 2016 (USA)

Directed by: Thea Sharrock

Based on: The novel of the same name

Distributed by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, New Line Cinema

Running Time: 1h 50m

Rating: PG-13: Contains thematic elements and some suggestive material.

My Review: 

7.5/10 STARS. 

I had seen the trailer for this film in 2016, around the time it was first released and meant to read the book before it came out in May, but never got around to it. Nonetheless, I was excited — Emilia Clarke was already one of my favorite actresses (Game of Thrones fans, can we have a moment to appreciate how amazing Daenerys Targaryen is?) and I adored Sam Claflin as Finnick in The Hunger Games and as Alex in Love Rosie.

I decided to see the movie immediately after finishing the book, and I was amazed at how much of the dialogue from the book was translated onto the script. I still had the novel fresh in my mind, and the movie did not disappoint in the sense that it was an accurate portrayal of the characters and the story itself. Although it did lack in some storylines (which I won’t delve into because spoilers!!) it managed to capture the same magic and chemistry between our two main characters that I’d felt when I was reading.

Unfortunately, the movie failed to dig deeper into the relationships between all the characters, which was what I’d loved most about this story in the first place. It seemed a bit rushed, too fast-paced for my liking — hence the 7.5/10 stars. Some of the filler scenes were unnecessary; and could’ve replaced with more bonding between the characters so that the audience got a true sense of their personalities.

All in all though, it was a beautifully made film with excellent taste in music — whoever chose Ed Sheeran to be on the playlist is my hero. The scenery corresponded so well with the gradual change of the mood, and Louisa’s strange and quirky clothes were definitely something to marvel at.

I’d highly recommend reading the book first if you want to get a full-fledged feel of the story. However, the movie on its own is a cute, heartwarming time-pass for a cozy night in with the people you love.

 

Favorite Quotes From The Novel:

“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.”

~

“Some mistakes… Just have greater consequences than others. But you don’t have to let the result of one mistake be the thing that defines you. You, Clark, have the choice not to let that happen.”

~

“Do you know how hard it is to say nothing? When every atom of you strains to do the opposite?” 

~

“You cut yourself off from all sorts of experiences because you tell yourself you are ‘not that sort of person’.”
“But, I’m not.”
“How do you know? You’ve done nothing, been nowhere. How do you have the faintest idea what kind of person you are?”

~

“I hadn’t realized that music could unlock things in you, could transport you to somewhere even the composer hadn’t predicted. It left an imprint in the air around you, as if you carried its remnants with you when you went.”

~

“All I can say is that you make me… you make me into someone I couldn’t even imagine. You make me happy, even when you’re awful. I would rather be with you – even the you that you seem to think is diminished – than with anyone else in the world.”

~

“I will never, ever regret the things I’ve done. Because most days, all you have are places in your memory that you can go to.”

 

*DISCLAIMER* Please try to refrain from mentioning any spoilers in the comments section. If you’d like to talk about the film in depth, feel free to contact me 😊

“The Infernal Devices” by Cassandra Clare

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Title: “The Infernal Devices” Trilogy

Author: Cassandra Clare

Published by: Simon & Schuster

Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, YA Literature

In-Series/Stand Alone: Trilogy (3 novels)

Rating: ★★★★★★

Intro:

*The Infernal Devices is a series of novels by author Cassandra Clare, centering on a race called the Shadowhunters introduced in her The Mortal Instruments series. The series is a prequel series to the Mortal Instruments series, and contains some of the character’s ancestors. Clare has insisted that the series’ can be read in any order*

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters — including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them….

My Review:

I personally read The Mortal Instruments before The Infernal Devices — as Clare has mentioned, it really doesn’t matter which series you read first — the choice is completely up to you! (See my review for TMI here: “The Mortal Instruments” by Cassandra Clare) At the time, the last book in the TMI series, City of Heavenly Fire, wasn’t out yet; so while I waited for its release, I decided to read the prequel that so many fans talked about -– The Infernal Devices. Now, I’m a HUGE fan of the TMI series, but TID completely blew me away.

I began Clockwork Angel, the first book in this trilogy, with fairly modest expectations; anticipating at the most, unique characters and humor abound. Never did I imagine that it would find its way into my list of all-time favorites, but very frankly, there it is. In Clockwork Angel there is evoked a sense of old-world glamour that was Victorian London, a place of creeping fog that obscures lamplight and horse-drawn carriages that clatter through the cobblestone streets in heavy silence punctuated by the heaving rhythm of the Thames. This was my perception of London that Clare evoked with her writing, and I thank her for it because it made my enjoyment of her world that much better.

Tessa Gray is the newcomer to the world of Shadowhunters, and her character does not disappoint. She is in almost every sense the proper lady of the 1800s: polite, courteous, respectful, and modest. I watched her transform into a stronger and braver person, one who was not afraid to defend her loved ones with her all and verbally spar with others in humor or defense of her beliefs. Will Herondale is the resident bad boy with the probable heart of gold. He’s handsome, tormented, sarcastic, and cold; yet occasionally we glimpse a softer and more passionate side to him. Not only is he extremely, EXTREMELY sexy; he has a witty sense of humor that reminded me so much of Jace (from TMI series). And then there is Jem Carstairs, who is walking, talking, living proof of a terrible cruelty, and yet despite this he is kind, and caring, and understanding. His wit rivals that of Will’s in hilarity, which makes for frequent scenes of comedic gold.

What I love about Cassandra Clare is that she never focuses on just one male lead and female lead in her books — you can tell clearly that all of her characters are special and matter to her, because they all have important roles. The world-building was great — even though I had past knowledge about it because of TMI; Cassandra Clare explained everything just as well, if not better, in this trilogy. It was a whirlwind of emotions from beginning to end — the love triangle between Jem, Tessa, and Will was unlike anything I’d ever read about before -– it was earth shatteringly real and beautiful and genuine and AMAZING — words really can’t sum it up. THIS is how a love triangle should be written, in a way that preserves the honor of everyone involved. There isn’t another series out there that has ever managed to handle one with such love and kindness and respect.

If you’re not a stand-alone book person, then I advise you to read this trilogy, and read The Mortal Instruments after, and read the upcoming series, The Dark Artifices, after that. Clare keeps on writing about this world, so you won’t ever feel like it’s ending.

Quote from Clockwork Princess: “You know that feeling,” she said, “when you are reading a book, and you know that it is going to be a tragedy; you can feel the cold and darkness coming, see the net drawing close around the characters who live and breathe on the pages. But you are tied to the story as if bring dragged behind a carriage, and you cannot let go or turn the course aside.” That basically sums up my feelings while I read this trilogy. My poor heart has never felt this way after finishing a series (okay that’s a lie, but still!!) I had no idea it was possible to feel such tempered happiness as well as such overwhelming grief for everyone involved. Many of the things I thought might happen, did — and yet it doesn’t change my fierce love and admiration for the way everything unfolded in the end.

*DISCLAIMER* If you have not read this book yet, I’d really recommend not going through the comments section in case there’s a spoiler. You can always come back here later to discuss after you’ve read the book! (Or contact me if you want to talk about it beforehand)

“The Mortal Instruments” by Cassandra Clare

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Title: “The Mortal Instruments” Series

Author: Cassandra Clare

Published by: Margaret K. McElderry

Genres: Fantasy, YA Fiction, Urban Fantasy

In-Series/Stand Alone: Series of 6 novels

Rating: ★★★★★★

Intro:

When Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder. Much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with odd markings. This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons — and keeping the odd werewolves and vampires in line. It’s also her first meeting with gorgeous, golden-haired Jace. Within twenty-four hours, Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in an ordinary mundane like Clary? And how did she suddenly get the Sight?

My Review:

If you look closely, you’ll notice that I gave this series a 6/5 stars — I don’t do that very often, but these books are an exception because they deserve every star. The Mortal Instruments is my second favorite book series, right next to Harry Potter, and if you know me at all, you know I’m a massive Harry Potter fan; so this is definitely saying something.

Here’s the thing: after Harry Potter, I didn’t think any other series would be able to compare. I read book after book to cope with my Post Potter Depression, but none seemed to match the excitement and magic of Harry’s world — until I came across Cassandra Clare. This series set my soul on fire. It made me fall in love again. It made me believe in fantastic writing and beautiful, complicated characters.

The Mortal Instruments is a young adult paranormal romance/urban fantasy, set in a colorful version of our reality where humans walk the earth unaware of not just the vampires, werewolves, fey and warlocks, but also demons and their part-human enemies — the Shadowhunters. The books are fast flowing with vivid characters, a lot of action, and interesting twists. Cassandra Clare not only weaves a fascinating tale filled with myths, legends, languages, poems, and action — she creates an entirely new culture complete with its own traditions.

I was hooked from the very first page of the very first book, City of Bones — the writing just kept getting better and better as the story went on, and I was completely engrossed in the characters and their lives. Clare’s writing is so beautiful and descriptive: when she describes the people and the places in the book, you feel as if you’re actually there; and you have an intimate relationship, a personal connection of your own with each of the characters. It’s really hard to put the books down once you finish the first one. The whole series is filled with mysteries, plot twists, unanswered questions — it’s a roller coaster until the very end.

I’ve told many of my friends to give this series a try — it may be slow here and there, but trust me, the plot thickens and you do not want to miss out on everything that goes down. Very few books have the ability to reach into my soul and bury themselves there. TMI did that in a matter of minutes. I cried to no end, I laughed until tears rolled down my face and I don’t think I’ve driven my siblings crazier than I did when I ranted endlessly about certain things that happened as the books progressed that I found shocking or overwhelming (they obviously didn’t understand a thing, but kudos to them for at least pretending to listen).

Few books these days teach us life lessons. They’re meant merely for entertainment and you don’t take anything away from them after you read them — The Mortal Instruments doesn’t classify itself as one of those books. It may be fantasy, but it teaches lessons that made me question certain things about how I was living my life, it made me question my morals, my understanding of the world. Behind all the magic, there was a deeper meaning, and I loved uncovering it. So do I recommenced this series or not? The answer is simple — HELL to the YES.

*Note: Cassandra Clare wrote a prequel to The Mortal Instruments, a trilogy called The Infernal Devices. You do not have to read TID to understand TMI — I personally read TID after TMI. You can read whatever you think you want to first. I’ll link my review here if you want to check it out: “The Infernal Devices” by Cassandra Clare

*Note II: The first book in The Mortal Instruments called City of Bones was adapted into a movie of the same name  but it did not do so well in the box office, so the rest of the movie adaptations were cancelled. However, recently, ABC Family/Freeform announced that it was going to be adapted into a TV show called Shadowhunters, which is set to premiere on January 12th of 2016. Keep up with the updates for the show here: Shadowhunters TV

*DISCLAIMER* If you have not read this book yet, I’d really recommend not going through the comments section in case there’s a spoiler. You can always come back here later to discuss after you’ve read the book! (Or contact me if you want to talk about it beforehand)

“Anna and the French Kiss” by Stephanie Perkins

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Title: Anna and the French Kiss

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Published by: Dutton Juvenile

Genres: Young Adult, Teen Romance, Contemporary

In-Series/Stand Alone: In-Series, followed by two sequels: Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After

Rating: ★★★★☆

Intro:

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris — until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all… including a serious girlfriend. But in the City of Lights, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

My Review:

Anna and the French Kiss is so, so adorable. It immediately takes top rank in my list of favorite cute YA contemporary romance novels, and there’s no doubt I’ll go back and re-read it again someday. The characters are loveable and the setting as well as the light romance is exotic and exciting – everything you’d want in a short and sweet romance novel. This book just left me feeling light-hearted and happy.

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In the beginning, we meet Anna, who is shipped off to the School of America in Paris by her dad (who reminded me a lot of Nicholas Sparks due to the fact that he’s an author and writes romance novels and tragedies) and when she arrives in the City of Lights, she’s immediately homesick. We then go on to meet a crew of characters that are not only witty and hilarious, but that you have an instant connection with. They drag Anna out of her misery to experience the city of Paris and all its wonders. Since I am a travel geek, this book only made me long to visit this beautiful city.

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As the book progresses, Anna and one of her new friends, St. Clair, develop a beautiful friendship that could eventually lead to more, but not without some forks in the road.

I always have the tendency to fall in love with the male lead character in every romance novel, and let me just tell you – St. Clair was absolutely perfect and yummier than a croissant. (*fans self*) Anna is adorably awesome, and deeply flawed – the type of girl you’d understand instantly. Their story is full of enjoyable moments that really show you how beautiful it is to be young and falling in love. So, do I recommend it? YES. If you’re looking for a light read at the moment, go to your local bookstore/library and pick this one up! 😉

Favorite Quotes:

“For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.”

~

“I wish friends held hands more often, like the children I see on the streets sometimes. I’m not sure why we have to grow up and get embarrassed about it.”

~

“I love you as certain dark things are loved, secretly, between the shadow and the soul.”

~

“I mean, really. Who sends their kid to boarding school? It’s so Hogwarts. Only mine doesn’t have cute boy wizards or magic candy or flying lessons.”

*DISCLAIMER* If you have not read this book yet, I’d really recommend not going through the comments section in case there’s a spoiler. You can always come back here later to discuss after you’ve read the book! (Or contact me if you want to talk about it beforehand)

The “Shatter Me” Series by Tahereh Mafi

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Title: “Shatter Me” Series

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Published by: HarperCollins

Genres: Dystopian, Thriller, Romance

In-Series/Stand Alone: In-Series

Rating: ★★★★☆

Intro: 

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color. The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now. Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

My Review: 

When I first saw “Shatter Me” on Goodreads as I was looking for books to read, I didn’t think much of it because of the tremendous amount of bad ratings the first book had. My friend persuaded me to give it a try anyway, saying that the series got better as the books went on. And so I did, and I will never regret that decision.

The first book starts off with Juliette, our main character, locked in an asylum for accidentally killing a young boy three years ago with her lethal touch. She comes off as mentally deranged, both from isolation and the self-loathing that eats away at her. She writes in a notebook to pass the time, recording her dreams and thoughts and occasionally crossing certain words and fragments out — things she doesn’t want to dwell on or discuss further. A boy by the name of Adam Kent soon joins her cell, and Juliette feels like she vaguely recognizes him, but can’t quite put her finger on it. She begins to open up to him, showing him the ways of the asylum and the daily routine she has become accustomed to. One day, the Reestablishment, the government that controls this world, frees Juliette. The leader, Warner, gives her an ultimatum: she can be released from the asylum if she commits to helping the Reestablishment torture its prisoners, or she can stay in captivity forever.

Throughout the novels, Juliette grows as a person — she begins to learn more about her power, how to control it, and how there are others like her out there.

I finished this series in about a week and a half — which I honestly think isn’t too bad. What makes this series so unforgettable is Mafi’s deception of Juliette’s (the main character) voice. It’s utterly captivating. Throughout the books, you see this broken girl who hates herself for who she is grow into a strong and confident woman. If you pick up this series with the mindset that there will be a lot of world-building, you should walk away right now — because there isn’t. The main focus is on the characters and their growth — there is a lot of character development, and romance that will have your head spinning and wanting more. There will be characters that will frustrate you, characters that will amuse you (*cough* Kenji, I’m looking right at you), and characters that you will fall deeply in love with. The metaphors and analogies used in this series are absolutely beautiful – Mafi truly does have a way with words. Her writing style is unique: it may not be for everyone, but I personally enjoyed it. If you’re looking for a quick series to read; one that will make you laugh and cry and beg for more, then Shatter Me is for you.

Favorite Quotes:

“I spent my life folded between the pages of books. In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.”

~

“All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.”

~

“The moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.”

~

“Words, I think, are such unpredictable creatures. No gun, no sword, no army or king will ever be more powerful than a sentence. Swords may cut and kill, but words will stab and stay, burying themselves in our bones to become corpses we carry into the future, all the time digging and failing to rip their skeletons from our flesh.”

~

“I want to be the friend you fall hopelessly in love with. The one you take into your arms and into your bed and into the private world you keep trapped in your head. I want to be that kind of friend. The one who will memorize the things you say as well as the shape of your lips when you say them. I want to know every curve, every freckle, every shiver of your body. I want to know where to touch you, I want to know how to touch you. I want to know convince you to design a smile just for me. Yes, I do want to be your friend. I want to be your best friend in the entire world.”

~

“Yeah, bro.” Kenji puts his utensils down. “You are moody. It’s always ‘Shut up, Kenji.’ ‘Go to sleep, Kenji.’ ‘No one wants to see you naked, Kenji.’ When I know for a fact that there are thousands of people who would love to see me naked—”

~

“And we are quotation marks, inverted and upside down, clinging to one another at the end of this life sentence. Trapped by lives we did not choose.”

~

“I always wonder about raindrops. I wonder about how they’re always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end. It’s like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn’t seem to care where the contents fall, doesn’t seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the days the drops dare to tap on their doors.I am a raindrop. My parents emptied their pockets of me and left me to evaporate on a concrete slab.

~

“Words are like seeds, I think, planted into our hearts at a tender age. They take root in us as we grow, settling deep into our souls. The good words plant well. They flourish and find homes in our hearts. They build trunks around our spines, steadying us when we’re feeling most flimsy; planting our feet firmly when we’re feeling most unsure. But the bad words grow poorly. Our trunks infest and spoil until we are hollow and housing the interests of others and not our own. We are forced to eat the fruit those words have borne, held hostage by the branches growing arms around our necks, suffocating us to death, one word at a time.”

~

“For so many years I lived in constant terror of myself. Doubt had married my fear and moved into my mind, where it built castles and ruled kingdoms and reigned over me, bowing my will to its whispers until I was little more than an acquiescing peon, too terrified to disobey, too terrified to disagree. I had been shackled, a prisoner in my own mind. But finally, finally, I have learned to break free.”

*Note: Shatter Me has recently been optioned for a TV series — learn more here: Shatter Me TV

*Side note: Destroy Me and Fracture Me are actually novellas, but I’d really recommend reading them also, or you’ll miss out on a whole lot of background information and character development.

*DISCLAIMER* If you have not read this book yet, I’d really recommend not going through the comments section in case there’s a spoiler. You can always come back here later to discuss after you’ve read the book! (Or contact me if you want to talk about it beforehand)