review: Me Before You.

by mindy @ just a one girl revolution. on 03.26.15

in Reviews

For awhile now, I’ve heard a lot of buzz about Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, so I grabbed a copy on a whim while I was at a local bookstore earlier this year. I 100% get and agree with the hype.

good books

Will Traynor was a young and successful businessman, living in London and conquering the world. One morning, he was walking to work and was hit by a motorcycle. Louisa (Lou) Clark was working in the local tea shop when the owner announced he was shutting his doors, leaving Lou unemployed. One day was all it took to drastically alter the trajectory of two lives. When the unemployment agency offers Lou a job in the Traynor home, she is quite resistant to the idea, but has no other alternatives. Although they get off on the wrong foot, over time Will and Lou form a bond and trust that has life-altering possibilities.

me before you quotes

In Me Before You, Moyes writes an incredibly moving and engaging book, one that grabbed my attention from the first pages. She does an amazing job at slowly developing characters that are human at their very core, their personas shining through the written word, which is not an easy feat. I felt many times that I could see the scenes come alive as I was reading them.

By the final pages, I was experiencing what can only be described as an ugly cry. Moyes’ wraps up this story in a deeply moving and powerful way, addressing a controversial, difficult issue that has no easy answer. It’s a story that encourages readers to live the best kind of life, to take chances and step outside of comfort zones. It’s a novel filled with powerful life lessons that I had a hard time putting down. I cannot recommend this book enough.

5 out of 5 stars.

Book 12 of 52 read in 2015 (see the full list).

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run to give back.

by mindy @ just a one girl revolution. on 03.24.15

in Uncategorized

I have some big racing goals for 2015, including two marathons and a half IRONMAN triathlon. The year started out with just one marathon and the triathlon, which is why I’ve been calling it the #yearof96point5 for the 96.5 miles I’d be completing in those two races. Coming from someone who used to have the “I’ll run if I’m being chased” mentality, this is a monumental kind of goal for me.

Although some of my races and fundraising goals this year are about more than just running, that’s where my first fitness love is. I love running for the personal challenges it presents on a daily basis and for that time to get out of my own head for a little while. Running has become extraordinarily therapeutic for me, but what I love even more is running with a purpose larger than myself. It gives the miles meaning and a reason to keep working when the training gets hard. It’s no longer just myself I’m running for, but it’s also the people that will benefit from the money I raise. For 2015, I’m honored to be fundraising for three different organizations/causes:

[ONE] Kent County Girls on the Run

girls on the run logo

I’ve been involved with my local chapter of Girls on the Run for a few years now and it’s an organization that I love so deeply. Growing up, I didn’t have the greatest self-confidence and could have desperately used an organization like this! I can’t help but wonder how it would have changed the trajectory of my life. I never had the chance to participate, but I want to do what I can to give today’s young girls the chance to do so. GOTR gives girls in 3rd-5th grades the tools and skills to believe in herself and her dreams. The running comes into play by giving the girls a goal to work towards and a sense of accomplishment for crossing the finish line. It’s such an empowering mission!

In 2013, I was a running buddy with my niece for her end of season 5k. Sharing that experience with her was one of the most special moments of my life thus far, and it meant so much to me that she wanted me there with her. To this day, she’ll still talk about it! In 2014, I was a running buddy for a school in the Kent County chapter and the girl I ran with struggled a lot. Being that voice of encouragement to her through those 3.1 miles was awesome, and the look of total pride on her face as we ran towards the finish line was so great.

Donate to Kent County Girls on the Run

My goal is to raise $1,447.50 for KCGOTR, which will provide $96.50 (stemming from the #yearof96point5) in scholarship funding for a full team of 15 girls.

[TWO] Grand Valley State University


Grand Valley State University is my two-time alma mater, as I attended for both my bachelors and masters degrees. I deeply cherish my time at GVSU and strongly believe that the years and experiences I had while I was a student shaped me into the woman I am today. My education would not have been possible without the scholarships I received from generous donors. Through my fundraising efforts for GVSU, current and future students will benefit from the Student Support Fund which helps students facing unexpected emergencies that may prevent them from completing their degree. Life happens in sometimes cruel twists of fate, but that shouldn’t be a reason someone doesn’t have the opportunity to become a college graduate.

Donate to GVSU’s Student Support Fund

My goal is to raise $500 for student scholarships that will allow students to graduate from the best university Michigan has to offer!

[THREE] MSU College of Human Medicine Gran Fondo (skin cancer research)

As a fair-skinned girl who burns super easily, skin cancer is something that I’m always a little bit afraid of. Did you know that more than 70,000 people in the US are expected to be diagnosed with skin cancer this year? One of my friends is a skin cancer survivor (and perhaps there’s more people in my life that are and I’m not aware!) and I’m participating in this 40-mile bike ride to raise money to support skin cancer awareness, prevention, and research at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. I believe that the research teams at MSU-CHM will change the world of medicine for the better!

gran fondo

Donate to the MSU College of Human Medicine Gran Fondo

My goal is to raise $500 for skin cancer research and awareness that will save lives!


2015 workouts, week 12.


In the last few weeks my workouts have consisted almost entirely of running, and by the end of this week that started to take its toll on my body. Life has been crazy and all the other fitness stuff got pushed to the wayside in lieu of fitting in my training runs. It’s easy to […]

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review: The Longest Ride.


Although many will argue his books are all similar, a statement I wouldn’t deny, I’ve been a long time fan of Nicholas Sparks. I’ve had his latest effort, The Longest Ride, on my shelf since its release in 2013, but just recently picked it up. The Longest Ride tells of two stories. First is that of Luke […]

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2015 workouts, week 11.


As always seems to happen when traveling is involved, this was a bit of a crazy, whirlwind of a week. I spent part of the week on the brink of a head cold – I woke up with a mildly sore throat and some congestion a couple days in a row. It’s always what you want […]

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recap: NYC Half.


In a “this really sucks” preface, my water bottle and my iPhone were both in my recovery bag after the race, and the water leaked. My phone is currently sitting under a pile of rice leaving me without access to any and all pictures from today. My fingers and toes are also crossed in hopes […]

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NYC Half goals.


On Sunday, I’m running my first half marathon since August 2013 and it also marks my first time taking on this distance since getting hurt last summer. In the last week or so, I’ve been thinking a lot about my goals for this race, feeling like it’s really my comeback into distance running. Let’s be […]

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currently: March 2015.


I had really great intentions at one point of these currently posts being a regular thing, but it’s been over a year since my last one so I guess yearly could be a thing but that wasn’t quite my original intention! current book. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I’ve heard many people recommend this one! I’m […]

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review: I’ve Never Been to Vegas.


I’ve followed The Single Woman (aka Mandy Hale) on Twitter for years now, and I find her account to be incredibly motivating and inspirational, as she’s consistently sharing very encouraging thoughts that are often a refreshing change of pace in my feed. Last year, she released a memoir of sorts, I’ve Never Been to Vegas, but My […]

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pop scholars.


Disclaimer: I purchased my own ticket for the Pop Scholars show. All thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own. In November 2014, I helped my friend Kelly celebrate her birthday with a night out in Grand Rapids, which included attending the Pop Scholars show and I left the theater that evening their newest fan. Pop Scholars is […]

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