Book Title: Me Before You
Book Author: Jojo Moyes
Book Rating: ☆☆☆☆ (4 out of 5 stars)
Published: January 5, 2012
Synopsis: “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.”
WARNING: This review contains spoilers! I usually try to avoid spoiling the plot of the books that I review, but it was going to be impossible for me to completely express my thoughts on this one without giving anything away.
Despite my high rating, I do have conflicting feelings about this book. I think most people know what this story is about, and I’m not going to get into an ethical debate over patient assisted suicide on this blog. I will say that I am actually glad that I knew how the book ended before I began reading it. I think if I hadn’t known, I might have been a lot more angry. And yet, despite knowing it wouldn’t be the case, I kept hoping that Louisa would be able to change Will’s mind, that Will would see that his life really and truly was still worth living.
This book wasn’t really on my “I need to read that” radar until I saw the movie trailer a few months back. It looked like a really unique take on a typical contemporary romance and I was interested in seeing it in theaters. I wanted to be sure to read the book first, though. I wasn’t really sure if I would enjoy it or not, most people have categorized this book as “chick lit”, but it was so much more than that. I was deeply moved by this story, and the characters stayed with me even when I wasn’t actively reading the book.
Despite how the book ended, I loved watching the relationship between Will and Lou unfold from her being the caregiver to his grumpy self, to them developing a genuine friendship and trust and bringing out the best in one another, to finally falling in love. The ending chapters broke my heart, I felt as though I could feel Lou’s pain. I wanted so desperately to comfort her in some small way; that is truly how invested in the story I was, and how well the author developed these character.
I am glad that there is a sequel (I started it pretty much immediately after I closed Me Before You for the last time), although I have heard mixed reviews for it. I am just not ready to let the character of Lou go yet.