Title: Me Before You
Author: JoJo Moyes
Publication Date: January 5, 2012
Rating: 4.25 stars
Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.
A love story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart? (Goodreads)
I had heard of this book before, but it didn’t really land on my radar until the trailer for the movie dropped and all of a sudden this was all I was hearing about online. I haven’t read a lot of “women’s fiction” but since I’m trying to branch out I decided to appease my curiosity and read the book.
This novel was charming, fun, and heartbreaking. Even though I had a feeling I knew how it was going to end – and that this is exactly the type of novel I try to stay away from – I was still captivated by the story. I really liked Louisa and Will and enjoyed seeing their relationship grow.
Assisted suicide is an extremely controversial topic and while I won’t go into the politics or debate one side or the other, I think this novel really handled the subject well and presented both sides fairly. Readers will be able to sympathize with the characters on both sides in this novel, which (in my opinion) is a sign of how well Moyes has written the book and her characters.
What I liked most about this novel was that even though I was pretty sure I knew how the novel ended, I didn’t dread it because the journey was the most important part. A fitting description, since that is often how life is described and this novel is all about life. You could easily dismiss this novel as being depressing, but at it’s core it’s actually rather uplifting and inspirational, showing readers how important it is to live their lives to the fullest while they can.
I’m always a proponent of reading the book before seeing the movie, and I think this is one that is definitely better to read first. If you’ve seen the trailer and are looking forward to the movie but haven’t read the book yet, check it out.