Book Review: Me Before You

Me Before You Jojo Moyes

15507958Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Series: Me Before You #1

Published by Pamela Dorman Books / Viking on December 31,2012

Genres: Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Contemporay, Disability, Fiction, Love & Romance, Realistic Fiction

Pages: 369

Format: Physical Copy, Softcover

Rating: ★.5

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

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.

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RATINGS:

Critical Rating: ★.25

Entertainment Rating: ★.75

Overall Rating: ★.5

Plot: Medium Paced | Couldn’t Stop Reading | Cliffhangers | Creative & Well Done

Characters: Perfectly Real | HEARTACHE </3 | Learns From Each Other | Well Developed (All) | Likeable & Relatable

World Building: Not Much (Contemporary / Realistic Fiction) | Travelling Elements | Follows Story Line Well

Writing: 1st Person POV / Other Character’s POV Chapters | Quirky & Hilarious | Smooth & Well Flowing | Meaningful Messages

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MY REVIEW: 

Before I officially start my review, I want to admit one embarrassing fact. Me Before You has been on my TBR for about 3 years now and the only reason that I finally decided to pick it up was because of the movie. Admittedly I have always wanted to read it at some point but it was one of those books that I was never sure when I would actually get to. However, the movie trailer with Sam Claflin absolutely stole my heart and because of a certain rule I have with myself of always reading the book first, I decided to pick it up. Needless to say, it was an intense emotional roller coaster and I am now more than ever before ready for the movie. 

“All I can say is that you make me… you make me into someone I couldn’t even imagine. You make me happy, even when you’re awful. I would rather be with you – even the you that you seem to think is diminished – than with anyone else in the world.”

Me Before You follows Louisa Clark, a twenty something year old woman who had recently just lost her beloved job. Despite the let down, she is determine to get back on her feet, searching high and low for another position at any reasonable location. Luckily, with the help of a job centre, Louisa is sent for an interview at the Trayner house which she somehow miraculously passes. There, she is assigned as a carer for the quadriplegic Will, a man once known as an adrenaline junkie who is now completely wheelchair bound. Despite their early wariness, Louis and Will start to open up to one other in much more intimate ways than they had ever imagined and an unlikely alliance, or maybe even something more begins to form.

Promoted by millions of people around the world as a tear jerker, the first thing I immediately noticed was how light and entertaining the writing was. From the very first chapter, Moyes was able to make me chuckle out loud (quite loudly!) as I was whisked away into the life of Louisa Clark. Clark was such an interesting character to read from. Her quirkiness and downright weird fashion style grabbed my heart from the start and wouldn’t let go. I loved how imperfect she was, from her less than stable family to her bee striped socks, something about her just made me feel exactly the way I should feel for all main characters, interested and quite honestly giddy with joy.

“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.”

Will on the other hand made my heart lurch with pain and sorrow. I didn’t necessarily feel any pity for him (mostly because I knew he would have HATED that) but the way he acted, the way he talked and even the way he carried himself showcased the man he was truly inside; the man with all four limbs in his control, the man who is able to do crazy things people only dream of doing, the man who is able to love and be loved with his whole heart.

That being said, I felt like Will’s physical disability never deterred Moyes from showing the true complexity of his character. He wasn’t “just a quadriplegic”, he was a person of his own with his own motivations, his own thoughts and his own life. His physical limitations were consistently mentioned (and rightfully so) but it wasn’t something that felt forced onto Will, it was rather a part of his life story and the struggles he had to unfortunately face. I also realize that some may argue that Me Before You glorifies disability but personally for me, the story only helped me even slightly understand the difficulties of a quadriplegic and to be thankful for the privileges I sometimes forget I have.

“Some mistakes… Just have greater consequences than others. But you don’t have to let the result of one mistake be the thing that defines you. You, Clark, have the choice not to let that happen.”

Apart from our leads, the side characters fall into the category I deem “mostly developed”. The majority of them had a few unique qualities to distinguish themselves yet others seemed to fled my mind as soon as they were off the page. Among my favourites were Nathan, Louisa’s parents, Patrick and Treena. The former three, Nathan and Louisa’s parents were characters that I personally liked as people. Apart from being three dimensional, they were people you would typically cheer for; friendly, honest and loyal to their loved ones. The latter two, Patrick and Treena were not necessarily my favourite characters in the sense that I “liked” them but rather were just interesting to read about. I actually hated Patrick A LOT but felt that he needed to act the way that he did in order to emphasize the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy relationship among lovers.

Romance wise, Louisa and Will were ADORABLE. I loved their back and forth banter and the fact that both of them seemed to forget Will’s disability when they were together. It was as if it didn’t matter anymore and that the only thing keeping them apart was their haunting pasts, not Will’s inability to feed or bathe himself. The help that Clark did provide was seemingly natural and as both of their protective shells slowly eroded away, they blossomed an unforgettable relationship that not only impacted them but everyone else in their lives.

“Now he was just Will-maddening, mercurial, clever, funny Will-who patronized me and liked to play Professor Higgins to my Eliza Doolittle. His body was just part of the package, a thing to be dealt with, at intervals, before we got back to the talking. It had become, I supposed, the least interesting part of him.”

For those of you who are not the biggest fans of romance novels or to those who are worried about the potential preachiness in Me Before You, I would just like to say “don’t worry!” This isn’t a cliché book about sickness and disability, rather it’s a book about life; the highs and the lows, the good and the bads, the positives and the sometimes downright sh*tness it bring with it. It is essentially a mere snapshot of Louisa’s and Clark’s complicated lives nicely packaged in a yellow and black striped outfit. Simply put, I don’t care if you don’t like cheesy quotes, neither do I. Just drop whatever you are doing and go read Me Before You NOW. I promise you, you won’t regret it.

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Have you read / watched Me Before You or are you planning to? What did you think of it? Did you need a whole box of tissues like I did? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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Thanks for reading lovelies xoxo,

-Jenna <3-

Find me here!

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: Me Before You

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