Friday, September 26, 2014

Colleen Hoover Mess

I read Ugly Love and (tried to read) Hopeless by Colleen Hoover.

I chose the first one after reading the summary and seeing it had a good average rating on Goodreads. But, I was deceived. Ugly Love tells the story of Miles, a pilot who suffers a great loss and decides to never love again, but after six years of doing this, it proves to be more difficult when she meets her new neighbour, and his best friend's sister, Tate.

As if this is Twilight (minus the whole vampire thing), they just can't contain their attraction for each other, but Miles isn't willing to let go of his promise to never be completely happy again, and so it begins Tate's suffering. You see, I don't it's right to portray an abusive relationship as if it is the most romantic thing ever, which is what happens with this "love" story. I mean, I see the point of Miles's journey to love again and accept his mistakes, but after seriously abusing Tate, I don't think it's enough to redeem his character. If this book is in the hands of inexperienced teenagers, then they'll grow up thinking that it is okay to be "a little" mishandled because it is "romantic" and that is just not right. So, I didn't really liked the book but managed to finish it. And after reading an excerpt from Hopeless by the same author I decided to give it another go.

Oh, how mistaken I was. ¡It was even worse than the first one! I don't have a problem with reading about strong themes, like sexual abuse, but it has to be treated with the respect, caution and understanding it deserves, not as a medium to get to a romantic storyline. I read a third of this book and skimmed the whole way to the end... I just couldn't bring myself to finish it. It was so bad.

Anyway, I normally don't like to trash someone else's job, but the whole thing where we romanticize abusive relationships has to stop.

If you have read anything by Colleen Hoover, please let me know. I'd like to know what other people think.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Me Before You

When I first started reading this book by Jojo Moyes, I wasn't expecting much, but in a few pages it made me change my mind, and I got completely into the story.

This is the tale of Lou, whom after losing her job has no other choice but to work for the richest family in her town. She was someone I could relate to, someone who didn't really know what she wanted out of life and just kept going through the motions... until she meets Will Traynor.

Will was a successful businessman, but accidents happen and he was left as a quadraplegic after getting hit by a car. Now he is in the care of his family, and as it happens, in the care of Lou, who is hired to keep him company and make his life easier.

The two are complete opposites. On one hand is Will, who is a driven person but without the capacity to act and do what he wants; on the other is Lou, who has no idea of what to do with her life, even when she is able to move and do as she likes. At the beginning their relationship is quite difficult, but soon they start talking and improving each other's life.

(Coming up next: HUGE SPOILER ALERT)

That is, until Lou discovers the real purpose of why she was hired: to keep a suicide watch on Will, who tried to take his own life before she came to his life. Not only that, but he gave an ultimatum to his mom: in six months time he will go to a clinic and request assisted suicide. Everything is set, and now Lou has a purpose: to change Will's mind.

In the end, they fall in love, but that isn't enough for Will, who wants Lou to have the full life and love experience she deserves, and not what he can give or offer her. Lou is devastated, but after getting to know Will, her whole outlook in life is changed and now she will take every possibility there is.

Anyway, I really liked this book because it tackles a serious issue in an understanding manner. Yes, it has romance on it, but it goes beyond that. And it opens up discussion for other subjects, like who is to say what is right or wrong? Should a person with this kind of trauma decide on wether to keep on living? What can we, as external observers, do to help? It really was a book that gave me a lot to think about.

So, read it! You won't be disappointed. (Plus: I discovered yesterday that it is being made into a movie starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin, yay!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tessa and Scott

Lately (as in, since last year), I've been obsessed with a pair of ice dancers. I simply can not stop watching their videos and just generally be in awe of them and what they can portray through dance AND ON ICE! For that reason, I'll leave you with two of my favorite dances from them.

This is probably my favorite. The traditional Carmen but with a modern touch.

This one is from the 2007-08 season, to the music from The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

They've made me want to tourist Canada like nothing else, because not only are they great athletes, artists and performers, but they also seem like genuinely nice and kind people. If you want to watch more of them, just go to YouTube!

 (And just because once I start I can't stop watching their videos, here's a plus: Hallelujah)