Book Reviews: Me Before You and In the Shadow of the Banyan

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes


Goodreads official blurb: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time

My Take: 5 out of 5. Such a great book. A tragic chick lit classic that I hadn’t read, and I’m glad I did. Also im glad I got my act together to read it before the movie comes out. I probably had not cried as much reading a book since I read P.S. I love You.  I loved it and could not put it down, it was done in a day and a half. It’s my type of chick lit, that has some wit, some sadness and some truly lovely moments. A perfect beach read, I really don’t know how I had not read it before!

here’s the trailer for the new movie (although I recommend watching it after you read the book as I feel it was very spoilery)

Disclaimer and *spoiler alert* (i.e don’t read if you hadn’t read it): the fact that i loved the book does not mean i agree with everything that happened in it and that I really dohave a lot of questions and concerns as to how it evolved.why couldn’t he work? I get that he was not able to do his bungee jumping etc. but really his mind was perfect, im sure he could have made himself useful in the business world after being a tycoon – or am I missing something.


In the Shadow of the Banyan
by Vaddey Ratner


Goodreads blurb: For seven-year-old Raami, the shattering end of childhood begins with the footsteps of her father returning home in the early dawn hours bringing details of the civil war that has overwhelmed the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. Soon the family’s world of carefully guarded royal privilege is swept up in the chaos of revolution and forced exodus.
Over the next four years, as she endures the deaths of family members, starvation, and brutal forced labor, Raami clings to the only remaining vestige of childhood—the mythical legends and poems told to her by her father. In a climate of systematic violence where memory is sickness and justification for execution, Raami fights for her improbable survival.
Displaying the author’s extraordinary gift for language, In the Shadow of the Banyan is testament to the transcendent power of narrative and a brilliantly wrought tale of human resilience.

My take: 4 out of 5. This is a really engaging book. I love historical fiction because it fills two purposes beautifully. You get lost in the words and stories on the page, but at the same time you learn quite a bit. I knew about the Khmer Rouge but in a superficial level as it is not something that gets taught in schools in detail. Therefore this book apart from a beautiful story of family and overcoming adversity, is a nice way to get a view of what the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pots time in Cambodia was all about. A beautiful faith and family over adversity that is always heartwarming to read. To be honest a few tears slipped out whilst I was reading and that is always a good thing.

beautiful quotes:

  • stories are like footpaths of the gods. They lead us back and forth across time and space and connect us to the entire universe, to people and beings we never see but who we feel exist
  • For all the loss and tragedy I have known, my life has taught me that the human spirit, like the lifted hands of the blind, will rise above chaos and destruction, as wings in flight.

Oh and given that I had to google a lot of words that I had no idea, im giving you some visual aids … you’ll thank me later :


this is a kroma

this is a banyan. In Buddhism, it is said that Buddha achieved enlightenment under a banyan tree.

and a nice picture of the mekong river

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