“After You” by Jojo Moyes

After You (Me Before You, #2)(Author: Jojo Moyes) + (Year: 2015) + (Goodreads)


So… here’s the thing: at the time I read Me Before You, I did not like it. Mostly because of the choices the characters made. Because I thought Will was selfish, because I thought this can’t be it for his life and their relationship, etc. etc.

However, I think my view of the world has changed since then. Maybe I have become somewhat bitter about relationships? Or less trusting of the complete dedication of people to each other? Well, anyway, now I think I would have liked Me Before You more in my current mindset.

So eventually, I decided to read the sequel and see what will happen.

The thing is… Louisa can’t carry the weight of the book for me. She is not really a full character. She lacks her own incentive, her own opinions and her own purpose. What she has the most of are emotions. Outside of that, she really needs other people to push her story forward.

That’s what After You was all about, as well. Without spoiling it, I would say that the young girl Louisa takes care of is basically the thing that makes the story of this book. This story though… It was a bit out there. To me, it felt very strange and off-putting to read about Lily’s past and her as a person and all of that.

And then there was the fact that although Will died, this story was all about him, too. At some point, I started thinking about how briefly Louisa knew him and how deeply he impacted her life. Of course, I think that it’s possible someone you knew for a short time to change your life, but the thing is, whomever she knew, it was not even Will as he was for the biggest part of his life. It was some version of him that existed only for a short period of time and only because it had to, and not because Will actually wanted to change. Time and again Louisa thinks and talks about how much she could talk to Will about, how much she could share with him and so on, but that’s a rather exaggerated version of what actually went on in Me Before You.

Basically, this entire book felt off. It felt wrong and awkward and forced. I don’t think I will be reading the next installment unless a couple of years pass and I start re-thinking my life choices again.


“The Firebird” by Susanna Kearsley

The Firebird (Slains, #2)(Author: Susanna Kearsley) + (Year: 2013) + (Goodreads)


Another book I’ve had for a really long time and just now decided to read. Well… I wouldn’t have missed out on much, had I not read it.

The Firebird was not terrible, but it just wasn’t anything special whatsoever. It was bland and long and not very eventful. While I expected the characters’ powers to be an important driving force of the book, they seemed more like background noise, while the main story was that of the character of Anna, who was just a little girl caught in an a somewhat exciting period of history.

I will not pretend that I was familiar with the historical background of the book, because in all honesty, it was something that Bulgarian history books must have considered somewhat irrelevant to us. Therefore, I managed to learn some interesting facts about the struggles in Scotland, Ireland and England, and also a great bit about the history of the Russian empire and St. Petersburg. From this point of view, the book was more or less entertaining.

But that’s where it all ended.

The actual story was not even that of a main character of the abovementioned events. Anna was just a nice girl who knew all the right people. The other characters in the book all seemed to be greatly attached to her, but I just couldn’t understand why. Her charm remained a mystery to me, and so did everyone’s infatuation with her.

I felt more or less the same about the other two main characters, Nicola and Rob. I think I would have liked to read a bit more about them so that I can actually be interested in at least one storyline in the book, but they were just as shallow of characters, as Anna seemed to me.

While The Firebird didn’t suffer from any spectacular flaws, unfortunately, it didn’t have any great virtues either. So much so that I’m afraid I will have forgotten all about it in a couple of months’ time.


“Kuyruklu Yıldız Altında Bir İzdivaç” by Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar

Kuyruklu Yıldız Altında Bir Evlenme(Author: Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar) + (Year: 1912) + (Goodreads)

(Around the World: Turkey)


The title of this book translates as “a marriage under a comet”, the comet in question being the Halley comet. The story follows the lives of several people, who are preparing for the coming of the Halley comet, some of them terrified of the end of the world, and some, taken by the fire of love.

I was rather curious about the book, as it is considered one of the classics of Turkish literature, with the author being one of the people who are still studied in school and university. I can imagine how this book was progressive and unexpected for its time, however, in our age, it seems very grotesquely simplistic in terms of interpersonal relations. The relationship between the main characters develops in a very absurd, intentionally or not so, way, with the main character falling in love with the girl by the end of her first letter to him.

For the life of me, I could not do anything but strongly dislike Irfan Galip, who was the epitome of a daft male who thinks himself intelligent and progressive, while at the same time acting like he is so much better than everyone else, women most of all. His dismissive attitude toward the woman’s desires to be treated as an equally intelligent individual frustrated me so much. Even today I have received that attitude from men and I couldn’t help but hate seeing it in this book, too: “I believe that women are just as smart as men, but please shut up when I speak and leave the men to fix this.” It’s the same thing that I’ve seen with people in highly religious countries who say “I’m atheist, but it would be highly immoral for my sister to be a waitress because it goes against the foundations of society.” IT DOES? Or does it, perhaps, go against the religious beliefs that are so deeply ingrained in you that you don’t even realize that you are abiding by them?

One thing I did approve of however, was the depiction of the woman who, despite everything, was trying to be emancipated and well-read. At the time this book was written, the place of the woman in the Ottoman empire was not in the university or the library, so I can only imagine how shocking it was that the author challenged that position of the woman in his world.

“Geekerella” by Ashley Poston

Geekerella(Author: Ashley Poston) + (Year: 2017) + (Goodreads)


Geekerella is a pretty cute retelling of the classical fairytale. I was immediately drawn to it because I’m a sucker for this type of books. I can say that although I have enjoyed similar novels more, I still liked Geekerella.

Since we are all familiar with Cinderella, I will not get into the story behind Geekerella, except that it’s obviously a modern-day version of the story, pumpkin truck and all.

I couldn’t help but draw a parallel between this and A Cinderella Story, one of my favourite movies during my pre- and early teens. Both movies approach the story in a modern way, but they don’t have much more than that in common. So in this sense, Geekerella succeeded in adding originality to the famous narrative.

I also liked the way the author built the main characters. They were well-written and thought-through. My favourite character, however, was one that might have gone under the radar. The dog. He was amazing. No… he was… a good boy!


The characters that I didn’t like were also the ones that were not very well written, in all honesty. Like Elle’s mother or Darien’s father. They were pretty important to the plot. Just as Chloe was. And yet, all “bad” people in the book seemed a bit shallow and there were no real reasons for their actions. This was probably the main drawback in Geekerella. Once the story was adapted to modern days, it needed a valid reason to be the way it is. In the fairtytale, a character like the evil step-mother makes sense, but that’s not exactly so if the setting is contemporary. It needs a lot more explaining in order to seem as plausible as the feelings of Elle which were the result of her step-mom’s actions.

As for the fandom story. Well… I do believe in the power of the fandom, and I have been and still am in some fandoms myself. Yet, it seems a bit hard for me to actually imagine passion as strong as Elle and Darien’s. To know everything about a show in such extent, as well as to be completely submerged in the world of the fandom, seems a bit excessive and while I’m not judging or mocking anyone, I do admit that I simply have a hard time understanding it.

“The End of the Affair” by Graham Greene


(Author: Graham Greene) + (Year: 1951) + (Goodreads)


“I am a jealous man – it seems stupid to write these words in what is, I suppose, a long record of jealousy, jealousy of Henry, jealousy of Sarah and jealousy of that other whom Mr Parkis was so maladroitly pursuing. (…) Sometimes I think [Henry] wouldn’t even recognise me as part of the picture, and I feel an enormous desire to draw attention to myself, to shout in his ear, ‘You can’t ignore me. Here I am. Whatever happened later, Sarah loved me then.”

At first I did not know what kind of a book I will be reading. It was a recommendation which I took without inquiring as to the nature of the genre. Once I found out it was a romance, I became unsure, because The End of the Affair came right after The Sorrows of Young Werther and it was entirely too close, story-wise.

Bendrix, the main hero of this book, claims that he is writing about hate. Hate for Sarah, his former lover, dead by the time of this recollection, hate for her husband, hate for all of the lovers she might have had in her past, or in her future, had she not died.

The relationships between the characters are much more complicated than that, however. This is, surely, an account of love. Romantic love, love in marriage, love between friends, and last, but not least, love toward God. And while this might not be one of the more publicised sides of the book, it is a book about belief and religion.

Bendrix and Sarah have a very complicated feelings toward each other. But whatever those might be, God is the thing that stands between them. As the result of what happens to be a tragedy of errors, they are separated by the hand of God. The book follows in depth the question of belief, the mistrust toward religion and the desire to belong to something higher than the self. While Bendrix does not know it, religion plays the central part of his relationship with Sarah. Therefore, it is her narration that unfolds this entire side of the novel for the reader and in an interesting, yet somewhat confusing way, because, for example, I do get the struggle to believe, but I do not see how it can turn somebody’s world so upside-down that it would but make them lose their mind.

“Let me forgive me. Dear God, I’ve tried to love and I’ve made such a hash of it. If I could love you, I’d know how to love them. I believe the legend. I believe you were born. I believe you died for us. I believe you are God. Teach me to love. I don’t mind my pain. It’s their pain I can’t stand. Let my pain go on and on, but stop theirs. Dear God, if only you could come down from your Cross for a while and let me get up there instead. If I could suffer like you, I could heal like you.”


The question of love and jealousy is the more mundane side of this book. It is a part of every line, every word, every dot. It is Bendrix’ sole fixation. His entire being is dedicated to either loving or being jealous.

“When she left the house I couldn’t settle to work: I would reconstruct what we had said to each other. I would fan myself into anger or remorse. And all the time I knew I was forcing the pace. I was pushing, pushing the only thing I loved out of my life. As long as I could make-believe that love lasted, I was happy – I think I was even good to live with, and so love did last. But if love had to die, I wanted it to die quickly.

Bendrix thinks that what he is saying is wrong. But what I think is that, first, if it necessarily has to end, it is probably not love. More likely than not, it is fixation, a mania. Second, if one is caught in a bad romantic situation, there is no point to drag it out. The problem with the characters of this book is that they never let anything go. They continue fixating. They know that what they are doing is wrong. They fully realise that they are mistaken. And they, only for appearance’s sake, let it go, yet continue to think and rethink it.

In my opinion, this is not really a love story. By saying that this is a book of love, I was implying that all of them are searching for it and analysing it. I do not, however, believe that they are in love. 

“Wouldn’t you want me to be happy, rather than miserable?” she asked with unbearable logic.

“I’d rather be dead or see you dead,” I said, “than with another man.”

Wish granted.

The Beatles: “Well I’d rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man.”