Book Reviews

Me Before You | Book Review + Inspired Outfit

Me Before You | www.eccentricowl.comMe Before You | Me Before You |

It’s only fitting that I start off this month’s book reviews with a romance. And if you want a romance that will throw you into conflict and probably break your heart, then Me Before You is something you should read.

The synopsis (via the back of the book):

“Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living and exceedingly ordinary life — steady boyfriend, close family — who has hardly 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 |

I shouldn’t have been skeptical of this book, because Sara Lily has an excellent record so far and this is the last of the novels she mailed me, but I was. I’m always a bit wary of romance novels, because I write them and I hate reading a novel that I end up thinking “I could have done better.” (Not that I think I am better, but that I go through the novel thinking “why didn’t they do this instead?” or “that sentence should be rewritten” and etc. I have an editorial mind when reading.)

I needn’t have been so afraid to be disappointed, though!

Me Before You | Me Before You |

Louisa Clark is the girl who is left behind and sitting in the shadow of those around her — her sister Katrina, who is considered the “smart” one, her boyfriend Patrick who is obsessed with training and fitness — and has no aspirations in her life. She likes her quiet little existence and boring little village, and doesn’t want to leave it. But when her job at the cafe where she’s worked for years is suddenly taken away, she is forced to find a new vocation. Not only for herself as income, but as the one in her family who can support them all. She is pressured to take a job caring for Will by her sister, who needs someone to pay school fees and who reminds her that her newly-unemployed parents desperately need someone to take the worry off their minds about money.

After the first day, she hates her job. Will hates her, she is bored out of her mind, and she doesn’t think she can take six months of caring for a man who sits staring out the window and has no desire to do anything outside of his home.

Me Before You |

But then one day, she decides not to put up with his crap. And then, after overhearing a private conversation between Will’s mother and sister, she realizes that she has been hired for a very specific purpose, and she only has six months to fulfill that purpose.

So, she sets out to make the next six months the best Will has had since his accident, to show him that even being wheelchair bound he can have a wonderful life, and to convince him that it’s worth living even when he needs someone to do every single thing for him.

Spoilers ahead, if you hadn’t already guessed his plans and I  might also give away the end of the book. You have been warned.

Me Before You | Me Before You |

As she figures out things they can do and ways to make him see how wonderful life is, Lou realizes she’s falling in love with Will, and Will feels the same. But, because of his plans to end his life at Dignitas (a real place, I had no idea), he is reluctant to let Lou throw her life at him in this way and constantly encourages her to widen her horizons. Through the book, he doesn’t know that she knows his plans until the very end.

I was really conflicted about the whole Dignitas thing. A central theme in Louisa’s journey to figuring out how to convince Will to live was a few people (and Will himself) saying “but it’s not your choice to convince him to live; it’s his choice to live or die.” Assisted suicide was the last thing in Will’s life that could be 100% his own decision, and through the novel he is fighting to keep the right to choose to end his existence. And I was conflicted about that.

For the novel’s purpose, it was a really good conflict to have and I was actually really satisfied with the ending because it was realistic, and I am also a sucker for a romance that ends tragically. Will didn’t change his mind in those short six months, despite falling in love with Lou, and that’s pretty real. I doubt someone who was paralyzed and wanted to end life would really change their minds after years of mental torture and absolutely hating that they could no longer be the person they were before — especially since that person was active, rich, respected, had many friends, and lived a very big life.

But obviously I am conflicted about assisted suicide. Any suicide. I just have to put it out there; it makes me so sad that for some life is so utterly hopeless that Dignitas actually exists to help them end themselves. That is such a deep, dark place one has to be in to make that decision.

Me Before You |

Earrings (old) c/o Oasap | everything else, thrifted

So as a tragic romance novel, I loved Me Before You. It was sweet, considerate, thought-provoking, and just a really entertaining read. And my conflict about Dignitas totally does not negate the fact that I want to go see the film when it comes out! (Side note, I finished reading the book and only a few days later realized they made a movie. And I think they cast it really well!)

Last but not least, on a whole different note, you’ve probably noticed my new theme by now. And if you don’t follow me on Social Media (WHY NOT: Insta, Facebook, Twitter) then you wouldn’t know that Lyndsey designed it and she is brilliant! She offered me a blog makeover as a Secret Santa gift, and I could not be more thrilled with the results. The header is hand-painted by her, and she did such an awesome job of working off of my inspiration board and my tagline to create something that is 100% me, from the colors to the mushrooms to the owl to… just everything. It’s so good!

So, go tell her how amazing she is. Because she deserves all the praise!

Happy Monday!


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  • Lyndsey M

    Oh my gosh- now I definitely know I want to avoid the movie completely. I cant handle tragic romances at ALL. Knowing that that place is real, plus the fact he had somene to take care of him and loved him, but still chose death… just breaks my heart badly. I’d be a total disaster after reading!!!

    You have been looking extremely gorgeous here lately- every single outfit has been a dream!!! I really love how the blog has changed and can’t wait to see what you have next. It’s been a lonnnng time since I felt that way about a blog! ♡♡

    Thank you so much for the shout out!! I think I might love it just as you ;D♡♡

  • nan

    I love this outfit! I like how you mix patterns, and I really enjoy seeing the posts where you talk about how you mix them without clashing (not in this post, but you’ve done those before). I also loved this review — I immediately watched the trailer and I almost cried.

    Here’s an unrelated topic: I like the posts where you talk about your experiences/expectations as a mother. I was wondering if you’d consider writing a motherhood update post. I always read how mothers will miss their children’s infancy because it seems to go so quickly, how their perspective shifts and suddenly things that worried you before are so small and far away… I’d be interested in hearing your take on these motherhood ‘myths’ (they probably aren’t myths, but I couldn’t think of another word), and how true they are.


    • nan

      I thought of a few more things I’m curious about:

      – What’s the best advice you’ve gotten as a new mother?
      – What motherhood worries did you have before you had Asa and Evie, and have those worries changed?
      – What things surprised you?
      – What are things you want to remember as they grow up?

      I have no children, so I really like reading about these things!

      • nan

        one more!

        Have there been things you expected to be difficult that turned out to be easy? Or vice versa?

        If this whole idea is too personal, forget I asked!


        • Eccentric Owl

          Haha, not too personal at all! Actually, maybe I will make a video about it! I have been wanting to do videos, and answering questions makes it much easier to get started (and easier to answer them all, I think!)

  • Hannah Rupp

    I probably would have been disappointed had you NOT worn this skirt as an interpretation of the book cover. Once again, you totally nailed it.

    Your layout looks incredible! Lyndsey seriously has mad skills and totally captured your aesthetic. 🙂

    Hannah | The Outfit Repeater

  • SaraLily

    I am so glad you enjoyed all the books! You’re on fire! I am impressed with how frequently these reviews are popping up! I had conflicted feelings with Dignitas as well but I don’t see it as necessarily dark. When a person is so sick, they’ve already been through so much darkness and suffering that deciding to take control and be the one to decide when they get to be laid to rest is sort of a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s ending their sickness/suffering on their terms and not letting their disease get the best of them.

    Now, obviously, every person and case differs and it’s sad all the same no matter what, but I kind of like the idea of having that choice if an illness or condition really hinders one’s life so much they are just not going to get enough out of it. Did I think Will was at that point? I kinda debated it but it was a fictional story so it all kind of comes with the territory haha

    Sorry! Didn’t mean to get “deep.” Just felt like sharing. It’s such a sensitive subject!