Me Before You

Me Before YouMe Before You by Jojo Moyes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Series: Book One of Me Before You
Purchase:

This review does not contain spoilers, however I do consider Will’s fate as fair game because it was very predictable. If you don’t know Will’s fate and don’t want to know don’t read this review or the title of the sequel which will give it away.

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.

I feel the need to start this review by saying that I cannot tell you the last time I read a modern, romance book. I generally stick to fantasy and adventure with a few excursions into sci-fi or steampunk.

Was anyone else bothered by the title of the second book: Me After You? It really gives away the ending of the first book, so the suspense is less ‘whats going to happen’ and more ‘how are we going to get there.’ It is a testament to Ms. Moyes’ writing style that even with such an obvious ending people are still hooked from the first page.

I probably knew more about spinal injuries than a lot of other people who have read this book – I, unfortunately, have three friends who suffer from paralysis due to car wrecks and spinal trauma (none as bad as Will’s thankfully!) – but, man, did I learn a lot. From reading other reviews – including one posted by a nurse who specializes in spinal injuries – I know this to be a pretty accurate account. However, some people were disturbed by the way the disabled characters were handled, saying that the book portrayed them all as suicidal and unhappy, making it seem as though there was no hope of having a good life. That’s not how I personally saw it, to me it was just one story of one man, not meant to show all disabled people. It was a nice change from the rhetoric often shown on the Hallmark channel that they all live happily ever after, and I hope it opens discussions into assisted suicide and makes it more accessible for those who want it.

My biggest complaint, other than the one listed above about the title of book two, was the point of view. There is more than one POV used, however, most of the book is told from Lou’s POV. Personally, I wish that the author had either stuck to just one or used the others more often, so it would have been less confusing when the switch happened.

Characters

Lou

I loved Lou. She is one of the funniest, kindest, and gentlest main characters I’ve read about in a very long time. Unlike many female main characters, she wasn’t written as abrasive or tough, and instead embraced her femininity.

Will

I really loved him.He was well written and layered, much more than just someone who was depressed.

Patrick

Lou’s boyfriend whom I couldn’t stand from the start. I’m a bit heartbroken over who’s playing him in the movie, although I’m sure he’ll do great.

Overall

I think I’ll see the movie. As I said, this isn’t my usual genre, and I’m much more likely to read outside my usual genre than I am to watch movies out side of it. I will probably see it once its on DVD or if it hits Netflix, but I most likely not see it in theaters, just because I don’t like them (they’re always too loud, I can’t sit that long, and there’s always a screaming kid).

I really liked this book, and I can see why its so popular. It falls outside of the normal views we get of disabilities, showing what for many is a very real and heartbreaking reality. Me Before You is a refreshing change from the ‘love conquers all’ mantra that is seen these days, and it shows how much love can change a person without really changing them at all. Just because Will makes the choice that he does, doesn’t detract at all from his character.

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3 thoughts on “Me Before You

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