“Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.” – Author Unknown
Lately, I’ve read a lot of good books and I feel richer because of it. I live in a very homogenous small town, which I love, but diversity of appearance and opinion is not it’s strongest selling point.
It’s invigorating when a book takes everything I’d thought and felt and flips it on its head. I like to be reminded of the bigger world, foreign ways of life, and different ideas. Often I don’t realize that my own world has shrunk until I’m pulled into a different one. Sometimes I change my opinion and sometimes I’m allowed to see through another’s eyes and walk in their shoes just for a little while. Books are true magic.
Me Before You. I adored the characters in this book, they were real and believable and I completely disagreed with 85% of their actions.
I had never thought much about euthanasia, other than the belief that life is precious and that you shouldn’t end it voluntarily. This book changed that. It made the dilemma real. I felt the terror of knowing that things were most likely going to get worse not better, the claustrophobia that would come from not being able to do anything for yourself. For the first time, I understood the desire to end your life.
However, I completely disagreed with how Louisa, the caretaker, went about convincing Will, the quadrapeligic, that life was worth living. She tried to show him that he could still “do” so many things, when really life is more about becoming. Having a purpose that you feel is meaningful.
Then there’s the title. Does it mean that I, my desires etc should come before yours? Is it referring to who the main characters were before they met each other? or something else?
I am a character person, and I have to admit, that I didn’t particularly like any of the characters in this book, except maybe Radar, a friend of the main guy. There was also a significant amount of crude highschool boy humor.
But… the theme was fascinating. It explored the idea that it’s really hard to see people for who they really are. A lot of times we see others as mirrors of ourselves, or we project our own ideas onto them, or they purposefully only show us one side of themselves. It’s rare to see a crack in a person that allows us to see the complete picture, if it’s even possible at all.
I’ve thought a lot about this, and never been able to express is as elequoently as John Green. It’s the reason I pray frequently that Heavenly Father will allow me to see my children as he does. After all, he’s known them a lot longer and is probably the only person who knows who they really are and what they can become. I’m positive I don’t know everything about myself.
This book made me want to open my eyes and try and really see the people around me.
I grew up in the Middle East and while I don’t doubt that this book is completely true it made me ache. A reporter explores the custom of having a daughter in a family dress as and essentially become a boy. There are various reasons, safety, honor for a boyless family, ability to work and help support a poor family…. when the “boy” reaches puberty he is changed back to a girl and expected to take on that role without question or complaint.
I feel blessed to live in a country where womanhood is honored. Opportunites and choices are always at my fingertips.
Courage, humor, and resilience. I want to be more like Auggie Pullman and the kids who had the courage to “see” him and be his friend.
Written from several perspectives, the book does a great job of giving a well rounded picture of Auggie, a boy born with deforming facial birth defects. Again it made me want to come out of myself and try and really see others.
What books make you think?