I promoted this book to top of my TBR list when I was flicking through the amazing reviews for it and figured out I couldn’t just leave the book to sit on my Kindle for months before it got read. I am really pleased that I started it earlier than I was planning because it was superb book, but was an extreme roller coaster of emotions! Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:
About The Book
‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes
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.
Me Before You is a contemporary novel that explore turning emotions and coping with life, no matter how unextraordinary it may be. Just like Lou’s. Louisa becomes a carer for Will Traynor, who opens her eyes to what her life could be like; what his life used to be like. Moyes creates such an incredible character bond between Lou and Will, it is really hard to imagine by the end of the book that they hated each other in the beginning.
Me Before You is set in England, although nowhere in particular is specified, but it was quite nice to read a story that was set in the UK, having read so many American novels. It may sound strange, but it made me slightly closer to the story and the characters knowing that they were living in the same country, with the same weather conditions, and the same laws and government system and a similar way of doing certain things. I just feel it is a lot easier to understand the characters when I am familiar with the setting of the plot.
The novel tackled some issues that are very difficult for some people to read and think about: being disabled, having to be be cared for, a sudden change in lifestyle, and the most prominent issue tackled; euthanasia. Moyes writes extremely sensately about these issues, never glorifying quadriplegia or euthanasia in any way, but not taming the topics either, and saying it how it is, and I must say she got the balance just right. We are quite often told the events as they happen by Lou, who is the narrator of the story, but some sub plot lines are foreshadowed to the reader and more presented as many possibilities for an outcome than just being served them on a plate. This was one aspect I particularly enjoyed, and kept me reading so I could find out were certain threads were leading. I did find the ending slightly predictable, but the epilogue lifted my faith in the book, as I never expected what happens in the last few pages, but the main climax in the book was, from quite early on in the narrative, quite predictable. The story was quite fast paced, with small things happening all the time which then all lead to the bigger climax at the end, which I was pleased about, as there was never a dry moment in the plot.
My favourite character: I loved Will, I don’t even care if he was grumpy and rude at the beginning because throughout the narrative he slowly grew on me and I fell in love with the way he cared for Lou and her life and her family, almost like a silent return of kindness for everything that Lou was doing for him.
Did the characters feel real?: Definitely! There were moments I felt so closely connected with the characters I might as well have been standing in Will’s annexe eavesdropping on their discussion.
Did the story keep you guessing?: As I have previously mentioned, I found the main climax was slightly predictable, but I thought it was really well written that, even though I saw it coming, I still needed tissues by my side!
Favourite part of the book?: I loved the part in the novel when Will and Lou went to the castle after hours, and Lou finally confesses what she has dreaded to tell anyone but her sister in all the years since the incident in the maze. I felt that was the first part in the narrative where the two characters really connected and I loved that so much because it made me feel all of the things!
There were particular scenes, for example the one I have just mentioned, which I think were really well written, as it just shows that the Moyes has thought long and hard about how the characters should feel about each other at certain times in the book. As I have also previously mentioned, there were parts of the book which tackled very difficult issues for some readers, and I thought they were written very sensitively, taking in not only her emotions, but how the characters might feel, and also how the readers might feel, and how how she wants to make them feel. Due to these particular plot points in the story, the book is terribly sad, and yes, I definitely shed a lot of tears, but there were also parts that made me feel so happy inside, not just for the characters, but also for myself, as a reader, as it made me feel as though I had hope in my own life. This book made me realise how luck I really am, and how much we take for granted.
The book also taught me a lot about what happens during days of confinement as a quadriplegic person, and what they have to cope with every day of their lives, and how they manage it. I also learnt a lot of life lessons, the main one being that you don’t know how lucky you really are until your life is taken away from you, so take every day as it comes and be happy for the life that you have, because anything can happen.
I would, without a doubt, recommend this book, especially for fans of The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, but maybe the slightly older, more adult fans of the popular YA fiction, mainly because it is such a hard hitting novel to read and think about afterwards, but it does follow quite a similar shape to TFIOS. If you are going to read it, however, just be prepared, and make sure you have some tissues ready!
My Rating: 5 Muffins out of 5
Where To Buy
If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):
Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)