Title: Me Before You
Author: Jojo Moyes
Genre: Chicklit, Contemporary romance
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books/Viking
Published: 31st December 2012
Available Edition(s): Hardcover, paperback
Source: Own copy
Date read: 5th June 2016
Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars
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.
This book has been in my TBR list since last year, when I was in a mood for sad/angsty books or books with mental illness, anxieties or injuries that changes people’s life. But because other books were in the priority list, I didn’t buy Me Before You until this year. Mainly because the movie just came out, and I wanted to read it before watching the movie.
I think what I love the most about this story is the wonderful characters that Jojo Moyes wrote as well as the fact that it doesn’t really focus on the romance. I also love witty banters, and this novel is full of it.
At first, Louisa annoys me slightly. She just endures things, and lives in her younger sister’s shadow for almost all her life. I guess it annoys me because I can relate to it a bit. It may be unintentional, but being told repeatedly how silly you are by your own family do hurt. But I like that it didn’t really affect her confidence.
When Louisa meets Will, and after the stunt Will pulled and how Louisa didn’t falter, I thought I’ve got things figured out. I thought it’ll be just like the other chicklit novels with the quick friendship and then falling in love with one another. But I was wrong.
Will and Louisa…they didn’t start off great. Will wasn’t really friendly towards Louisa at first. In fact, he was almost hostile. Never really talked to her, and most of the time Louisa had to make herself scarce. It took awhile before Will finally treats Louisa properly, and although their witty banter and his sarcasm never stopped, he was more friendly towards her.
The changes in Will and Louisa’s friendship was gradual, but you could see when it starts to change. Louisa, of course was oblivious, but you could see it in Will’s actions. Seriously, their friendship is truly beautiful. It made me laugh, and sometimes it made me cry. I like the fact that Louisa planned all these outings and activities to cheer Will up, and in turn, it also helped her expand her horizon and try new things.
Another thing I love about this novel is the families. I like how it the families are present in the novel. I like that they make mistakes, and they aren’t perfect, but they care. I like that some chapters was in Mr. and Mrs. Traynor’s POV, so we have an insight on how they feel. It was refreshing, because before that, although we know they love their son, it felt like they are somehow absent, and we didn’t know what went through their mind.
There’s just one thing that troubles me about this book. That is also the main argument about this book, I think. It’s about how Will, who was a very active and love adventures before his accident, wanted to go to Dignitas to end his life via assisted suicide.
This is a sensitive issue, and something I didn’t like to debate about but I really need to get this off my chest. Suicide, assisted or not, legal or not, is still taking your own life, and I don’t condone it. I know I can’t know how Will is feeling. I tried to imagine, and well, it’s just depressing. But still, ending his own life because of it just doesn’t sit right to me. But I can’t ponder about it too much because it’ll just give me a headache.
To sum it up, Me Before You is a really good book and is worth reading. The writing is beautiful, and it can bring forth all these emotions in you. It will make you laugh, cry, annoyed and frustrated. I know because that was what happened to me when I read it. I love how the book talks about sensitive issues, and although I don’t condone the method, I like that this book is not the ‘love-fix-all’ type of book. I like that just because Louisa confessed that she was in love with Will, and that Will loves her too, it was just not enough to make him stay.
I rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars, and highly recommend it to everyone who likes to read sad romance contemporary/ chicklit, or controversial fiction.
Have you read Me Before You? What are your thoughts about it?