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Jojo Moyes “Me Before You”

About a year ago I had read Jojo Moyes’ novel “Me Before You”, a love story between an under-privileged girl and a rich handicapped man who meet as Will (the leading male character) needs a caretaker and Lou (the leading female character) needs a job. These characters who come from two totally different worlds find love in the midst of their differences. The novel is strong, exciting, beautiful and devastating.

I cried my eyes out when it ended. I truly can’t think of another book I have read that had this effect on me. I generally am not a fan of romance novels as it is, because they always seem to have an ending just like the last and have the same cheesy story-line. If I ever am reading a romance novel, it’s because I occasionally feel like an easy-read, where the plot is simple and predictable, taking very little effort out of me to read it. I was shocked when I read this novel and it didn’t turn out to be this way. I was also equally shocked when I watched the movie last weekend and found out the movie is just as good.

How many movies are just as good as their novels? Hardly any. One to a million- never as good. This is why I am writing to you today, because I know book lovers like me always feel this way, yet we watch the movie in hopes that it will fulfill us the way the book did, and we are always a little disappointed.
Not this time.
The movie was fantastic and fulfilling to me as a reader. Shocking, I know.

There were a few little points in the movie where I wished it had reflected the novel better, but I think the movie did the best it could at reaching all of those important points without making the movie last longer than 2 hours. In the book, there are parts where the story isn’t necessarily progressing, but in those times we are learning more about the emotions of the characters. This, I think, is the biggest downfall of television. When we read, the story can pause and talk about something else, teach readers something about the characters that otherwise wouldn’t have moved along with the story as it was being told before. These are the subjects in books that we as readers miss out on when we watch the movie, and it frustrates us to the core. We learn more about characters and their relationship to the story in these little lapses in time in novels, and there is simply no translation of this concept in the television script.

The movie portrays the characters only in a dim light compared to that of the novel. But of course, this is to be expected as I had mentioned earlier. Lou’s character, although the movie does portray her this way, is an average-looking, unexciting, underprivileged girl. She has a few quirks that she finds unique, but knows they aren’t redeeming to others. The movie doesn’t describe her feelings towards herself quite at all, but the novel lets us know that she feels she is stuck in a rut, has dreams that she doesn’t believe she will ever achieve, and has a real hard time finding her purpose in her world and the world of her peers, especially Will’s. However, the fact that understood any of this through the movie is a win.

In a way, watching the movie brings the characters more to life than they were in the book. I think as readers we feel the presence of the characters through their emotions, but don’t usually understand them to be real people (of course, because the aren’t). And when we watch a movie based on a novel we have read, we end up very disappointed because the movie never reaches the high-point we got in the novel, leaving readers with no way to even compare the novel to the movie because they seem like totally different stories.

My point, readers, is that this movie did just that. It reached a point of comparison, to where now we can feel the presence of the characters through the emotions of the novel, and understand the characters existence through their actions and visibility through the television screen.

Will’s character in the novel is way more off-putting than it is in the movie. He seems very depressed and very angry, specifically to those who pity him and think they are helping, but aren’t. He’s vulgar, rude, and damaged, all qualities that we witnessed in the movie, but are better understood through the novel. The love Will has for Lou becomes evident way earlier in the novel than it does in the movie, and it is more dreadful to the reader that Lou is unaware. She continues her pathetic relationship with her boyfriend of many empty years, a reflection of her low-ambition that is understood by the reader. While watching the movie, this may not be as clear, however, when they spill their love for each other at the climax of the story, the revelation is is quite an event, and in my opinion, better than it was in the novel.

When Will and Lou finally express their love for each other, Will hits her with news that she absolutely didn’t want to hear. We find out about half way through the story Will’s plans at the end of the 6 month contract he made with his parents, and this is when Lou decides she is going to change his mind, to keep him here, and after she spends some time trying to change his mind about life and what he can still receive from it, she falls in love with him, and wants him to stay for her. This is the beginning of the devastating plot twist we all spent time hoping that would become a happy ending. It does not. It continues to be devastating as Lou decides to never speak to Will again, allowing him to do as he pleases without her having any part in it. We as readers (and viewers) have a huge knot in our gut telling her “Just be with him! You only have so much time!”, which is exactly how I felt while reading the novel, and then all over again when I saw the movie.

The movie was more heart-breaking (but beautiful) as we watch, literally watch, Lou unfold and expose the life she thought she wanted with him, but possibly knew she never would all along. I believe she learned that, in the end, Will was right about what she needed. He spent the whole story telling her that she could be so much more than a young girl working to pay her family’s bills and retiring in the same town she grew up in. He believed she deserved to see the world, to experience the things she only had dreamt of, but never thought she could, and growing bigger than life with him while he is grounded to his wheelchair. After his death, he gave her the means to go and experience life the way he wish he could have alongside her, but knew his health would keep her from doing so, and that she would allow it. He gave her the life she deserved, and he believed she deserved it without him.

DEVASTATING.

But really, it’s beautiful. It can be much appreciated by the reader and the viewer, and even by those like me who don’t even like romance novels. A love that we all dream of having, taken away so unfortunately, but only could have existed in the circumstances given to them. Truly a work of art, the story is brought to us through emotional elements in the novel and supported with advancement in the movie.

Through the look into the physical love between 2 characters who were unlikely to be lovable by anyone else, it was found in each other’s misfortune and celebrated for several more novels that Moyes continued to write. Please, readers, let’s find out what happens with Lou next, together, and hope that the sequel is just as good as the first.

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New Year’s Resolutions

Hello Friends!

2018 is going to be my year!

How many people have you heard say that already?

Well, for me, it’s true.

2017 brought me amazing insight into my career as a writer. I have had this blog up and running since 2013 when I took a digital media class my sophomore year of college. But it really wasn’t until the last half of 2017 that I learned writing this blog really can mean something special for me, that writing it could be the career I always wanted but didn’t know how to achieve.

Since I was a sophomore in high school, I knew I wanted to be a writer. For about 6 years I was determined I was going to be a journalist, where I would chase a story, find a great lead, and stay up late to meet deadlines to make the next day’s publication. That life sounded so exciting to me until I took a creative writing course in college.

I think it was actually called “Creative Writing 101”, as serious and fulfilling as that sounds, it really effected my career and writing path.

Fast forward 3 years, and I had written virtually nothing.

At this point, I was totally confused. I changed my major from Journalism to English Literature, with still no idea what I was going to do with that degree.

Finally, year 5 of college with 1 semester left to graduate, I decided I wanted to write, again, that I would go to Graduate school and earn a Master’s degree in Creative Writing and English. Even then, still, I had written basically nothing.

The summer after graduation (summer 2017) was a real learning experience. I started to wonder into freelance writing, where I spent several hours online studying how to make money writing. I dove into website building, email copywriting, book reviews and freelance journal writing. Through this, I have found out that I want to all of it.

Reading has been one of my favorite hobbies ever since I was about 10 years old. All those years I mentioned earlier when I had barely written anything, well, I certainly did a lot of reading.

When ever people asked me what I wanted to do with my major, if I wanted to be a teacher is what they usually asked. When I told them I wasn’t sure, which is still pretty much what I say to people today, they ask “Well why are you studying that?”, and I would say “Well, I know that I really love to read.” Which, to some people that made sense, but to others they may have said something like “Well you can’t make money by reading books,” and maybe they laughed at the thought.

Well, the joke is on them, because I certainly do enjoy this job. It’s funny how that worked out.

Blog writing, advertising my novel as I continue to write it, becoming personal with my readers as we all try to reach similar goals is just perfect. I have never felt more sure about doing anything than I do about writing these posts and learning that the sky is the limit here at readforthesouls.com

Furthermore, I say that 2018 is going to be my year because this is going to be the year I find my place in the writing community.

I’m going to finish my first draft of my first novel,

blog to my readers continuously, and

read 10 million books so I can write fantastic book reviews (and enjoy every second of it).

 

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Chapter Excerpt #4, “My Son is Missing”

I found him.

Finally, after all this time.

I see her, with him, my son. My beautiful boy. He’s gotten so big. He has hair just like his dad, curly and bouncy, blonde with a hint of red. He has such little hands; I see as she takes one in hers, and leads him down to the swings. That should be me.
But it can’t be. Not here. There are too many people around. I have to wait until she takes him home, or somewhere safe for what I’m going to do.

To her home, not his. His home is with me, with his mother. She is not his mother. She is no one. I don’t understand why she has had him for this long. Where is Kevin? Why isn’t he taking care of our son?

Our son. He is so amazing. I don’t know how long it has been since I have seen him, but I know he will remember me. He’s having such a good time; she is pushing him on the swing. I know he is enjoying it because he is laughing. What a majestic sound. I have missed him.

I want to get closer, but I don’t want her to see me. I don’t want them to leave, I will have to find him all over again. She has stolen him from me, and I am here to collect what is mine, what was never hers to take.

It is time for him to come home. Come home, where he belongs, where his room is, next to mine. Mine and Kevin’s, what a joke that was.

I haven’t been back there since I left the hospital. They let me out, what did they expect? I’m going to find my son; they shouldn’t have made it so easy if they didn’t want me to see him, with her. He belongs to me; they can’t just let her have him.

I didn’t want to be there, at the house, with all of his stuff, and remember that he’s not there with me.

I am ready to take care of him again; I don’t care what they say. I am his mother, and he belongs with me. I am perfectly capable of taking care of my own son. Nobody knows him like I do. How does nobody get that? He is mine, and I want him back.
She can have Kevin. She took him from me as well, but all I want is my son back. Kevin should have never left, I needed him, but that’s over now. He wants to be with her, fine, but I want my son back, and he can’t do anything about it.

He’s wearing little light-up shoes when he steps they shoot colors all over the sole of his foot. He laughs, and jumps, then smiles at her. He has my smile, even though I haven’t seen mine in a while. It’s the same as his grandfather’s; I can’t wait to share that with him one day.

I need to get him back; it has been too long.

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Short Story Excerpt, “Orphanage”

All the nuns at the orphanage were ruthless except for Sister Francis.

It did help that she was actually my sister.
Nobody knew that it was our little secret.
Nobody knew that our father, the priest of the Catholic church, had another daughter. They especially didn’t realize that who he got pregnant was a 3-time-arrested hooker.
I grew up in this orphanage, and at age 15 Father Campbell finally connected the dots.

…..

I mean, he’s not really my father. Sure we share the same blood and the same eye color, but he’s not a father to me like he is to Francis. Francis was raised by a man who taught her to laugh as a baby, took her to school, went to her violin recitals and watched her grow up.

Me, just an orphan. It is pretty cool that Sister Francis has been here since the day they dropped me off. So, really I do feel like I have a sister, but no father, and definitely no mother.

…..

All the nuns are strictly babysitters. They make sure we have clean hands, ironed clothes, tied shoes, and that we make it to bible study. They make sure we wake up at 7 am every morning and go to bed at 9 pm every night. We eat three meals a day, have bible study twice a day, and work on school work the rest of the time. On the weekends, the nuns make us do all the same things, but we get 2 hours of downtime Saturday and Sunday. This is where Sister Francis and I become so close.

Whenever I first started living here, I was only a few days old; the age where the nuns just make sure you are alive every day. Which, isn’t much different than when we are older, it’s not like they are known for their nurturing.

…..

Our father knows this is out of his control. What Sister Francis thinks of him and his choices, that will be engraved on her heart forever. As for me, I’m ready for everyone to know the truth.

And soon, they will.

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Prized Values in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility

Jane Austen as a moralist writes a hybrid novel that promotes conservative as well as progressive ideals that is Sense and Sensibility. The treasured motifs expressed that envelop these distinctions are financial affairs, social mobility, a marriage of affection and family matters as they pertain to the theme of impulse versus virtue. Austen indicates a clear and purposeful observation of humanity in her terms of assessing necessary demeanors presented by the chief characters in the novel, Marianne, and Elinor Dashwood, as innateness provides questioning to overall mental wealth towards ones being. Such proved by her literary formality and deep cultural reviews, Austen constituted a novel of mingled standards and principles through conventional and radical faculties, that point towards a movement of fulfilling outright humanly conditions.

The influence of financials and social importance are big applications to consider when criticizing a 19th-century novel, especially one that is written by a female author. Individualism marks its territory over the heroines as both express sides of altruism and indulgence. As women are meant to marry for money and have no rights to property or sense of human growth, a female author of a book such as this raises controversy to the thoughtfulness and integrity of the work, holding customs of high volume for Austen.

Conditions of humanity vary between gender, social class, societies, point in time and religious value; however, in Sense and Sensibility, Austen suggests an alternative and declaration of compare and contrast between valuing sense, which the character Elinor Dashwood represents, and valuing sensibility, which the character Marianne Dashwood represents. Thought and feeling are meant to be demoted for the promotion of set political rules based on a formulaic outline for a means of a complete use of human physical and financial growth, rather than psychological and virtuous growth.

Customs and enforced mannerisms socially acceptable by people who are expected to meet certain gender and social class roles provide a foundation to personality traits and an everyday sense of purpose in past centuries and in centuries to come. Distinguishing between “sense” and “sensibility” disturbs the calamity of honoring such ancient roles that require very little use of either disposition. Austen depicts an importance in revealing this alternate margin of being that is emotion as adjacent to meaning for an established conduct of morality, opening herself up for ridicule.

Marriage as a transaction rather than marriage between two loving hearts explores the social relations between men and women of the upper classes, depicting a flirtation of the line between socially acceptable and abomination in this 19th-century novel. Marianne and Elinor are alike in that their feelings are deep and genuine, but both depict opposite accounts of theoretical questions about human nature and human conduct.

Marianne is modeled by the convention of feelings, particularly by her consumption of novels and romantic poetry. This leads to her notions of emotion, spontaneity, devotion, and drama. The novel continues as Marianne is heart-broken by others and their insensibility as if she is being punished for her conventions of virtue. On the “sense” side of the novel, Elinor is amply contrary to Marianne in her ways of falling in love with Edward. Elinor leads a life of caution, reason, restraint, and responsibility. This also clasps a sense of punishment toward the girl as she is also heart-broken, even as she acts as expected of such people during this time. Jane Austen brings out the precise kinds of the sensibility exhibited by Elinor and Marianne by her technique of matching them not only against one another but also against other female characters in the novel, as would be the reality in a normal story of two single women attempting to figure out life as we know it. This holds some contradiction to Austen’s intentions for this novel, but I understand it to be a mockery of the values held by the 19th-century social classes.

What’s more, as the Dashwood family is broke in physical currency, both daughters do get to marry men while getting to know them and grow a relationship with them first hand, alongside financial reasons being added to the mixed decision for them to marry. This might leave a question if the marriages were forced or naturally implicated for a dreamy and essential controversy. It can be argued that this is one of Austen’s examples of plain women that withhold sentiment that marries fairytale heroes. However, it’s a simulation of romance and realism, where the outcomes of the characters are predictable as the plot is simple and repetitive with the marriage concept. This being said, Austen doesn’t interpret these techniques for the sake of entertainment for a 21st-century female reader, but for loyalty to her values towards the achievement of complete humanly psychological principles. The argument holds this controversy true being that both women are honest and elicits to feelings (rather them being present or not), leaving inquiry as to why this dichotomy is being contrasted and questioned nevertheless.

There is no question as to how both women became advanced into triumphal civil arrangements; Marianne and Elinor cultivated features from one another to create the happy ending that is a parody pretense of social norms for men and women. This is a possession of the novel that is to say that learning is a constituted function of humanity, as pertains to our reality, that has no room to be left unattained to. I understand this novel to occupy unclear sentiments for the reader to draw conclusions as what really is the means of humanity, as Austen provides an abundance of evidence that suggests it being sense, sensibility, or components of both.

 

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Wanna read something different?

 

A few months ago I started a book that is way different than what I usually would have picked up. And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini is a book I can’t quite explain  what it is about, because I know whatever I say it will not explain the entire plot and all of Hosseini’s points of writing it.

“Broad in scope and setting, wise and compassionate in its storytelling. And the Mountains Echoed is a profoundly moving, captivating novel that demonstrates Khaled Hosseini’s deeply felt understanding of the bonds that define us and shape our lives-and of what it means to be human.”

This part of the synopsis found on the cover of the book is a wonderful way to explain this novel. I wonder if what this person gathered about the book is what Hosseini would have said himself. Can anyone really explain what the author feels just by reading the book he wrote? I don’t think so.

Anyways, I decided to read this book because it is different then the usual love story or teen fiction books I like to read. It’s about a family from the middle east and talks about the journey they live together, and the journey they live without each other. When I first started this book two months ago (I really hate that it is taking me so long to read this) it was really hard for me to understand where the book was going and I think that’s what I like most about it now. Hosseini keeps the reader guessing with the change of perspective between characters and completely different story that all the characters have to tell, and all it does is make you want to read it more. Each new book I read continues to prove my point that writing truly is an art, an art that I hardly think I will ever get tired of.

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Photo Credit: http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/48/ab/aa/48abaafdf17c1d32be7d561fbf17479c.jpg

Reading this book has made me confident to go outside my comfort zone with the books I read and try something new, and it makes me to encourage other readers to do the same. Just because a book is different definitely doesn’t mean it’s author doesn’t share the same talent and writing style that you have always enjoyed.

So try something new!