Title : Me Before You (Me Before You #1)
Author : Jojo Moyes
Publication date : December 31st 2012
Publisher : Pamela Dorman Books
Genre : Contemporary
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. (Goodreads)
“I kissed him, trying to bring him back. I kissed him and let my lips rest against his so that our breath mingled and the tears from my eyes became salt on his skin, and I told myself that, somewhere, tiny particles of him would become tiny particles of me, ingested, swallowed, alive, perpetual. I wanted to press every bit of me against him. I wanted to will something into him. I wanted to give him every bit of life I felt and force him to live.”
Review Edit (January 2017):
Throughout the year, I got more involved in the Twitter Book Community and as I started learning about accurate representation in books, this one came up more than once when talking about problematicness. Me Before You is an extremely ableist book and has hurt most -not to say all- disabled people in the community who have read it. It is a book that perpetuates stereotypes and harmful thinking like how a disability ends a person’s lifeand that death is a better alternative as well as the fact that it is using a disabled man’s life and experiences as a plot device and a wake up call for the main character to get her life together.
I know that some people do feel the way Will feels in the book but it was a mean to an end which isn’t acceptable especially when written by an able-bodied woman. I am not the best person to talk about this because I didn’t recognize the problems when I first read the book but for more in depth reviews from people who actually know what they are talking about, here are some links: (1) – (2) – (3)
This book was nothing like I expected which was for the best, as what I got was better. Don’t get me wrong ! I knew it was going to be heartbreaking, because like everyone else who’s reading it right now, I saw the trailer for the upcoming movie and I got them feels ! But I expected a romance, and for it to be the main focus but that’s not what Me Before You is. It is about a beautiful friendship, hope (And it, being crushed eventually *sobs*) , family, depression and a lot more.
Let’s start as always with the writing. It is beautiful, really, just up my alley, the kind of word use I love to pieces, it is kind of poetic and funny at the same time. It is very british though, which was a bit of a problem to me at the beginning because, first, English is NOT my mother tongue and second, I’m kind of used to the more American style, if that makes any sense so I had to go look for the meaning of quite a few words and that was hella annoying, but a few chapters in, I picked up the slang and it became way easier to read and quicker to get through.
Onto the story now. In my opinion, if you’re looking for a romance, this is not the book for you, because that doesn’t happen for most of it, it is more about the journey leading to two completely different people – who wouldn’t have met otherwise- falling in love and most of all realizing it, with all the hardships, the joys and despairs. It deals with sensible subjects but mainly Eutanasia which is a pretty heavy matter and that, without all the taboos surrounding it, it was there, everywhere but it wasn’t thrown at me. On a lighter note, Moyes’ attention to detail is incredible if you ask me, those little everyday things that she adds help immensely with the realism of the novel and I honestly found myself smiling widely at a lot of things that are irrelevant to the story but add so much to it as a whole. For exemple, there was a neighbors’ fight with the husband cheating, the wife throwing clothes out the door and everything, it was hilarious. One last thing that made a difference to me is a chapter from Nathan‘s point of you. Nathan is Will’s carer and through his eyes we can see Lou and Will’s interactions, the little things that none of them pay attention to.
The book is written in the first person from Lou’s point of view. Lou is so funny, optimistic and sometimes a tiny bit naive but I really liked her. She’s a caring, smart person but she lacked ambition for most of the story, she just settle for anything and everything. With her career, with her boyfriend -whom I hated, and with her life in general. That’s where Will comes in.
Will is the typical wealthy ex-bachelor who led a luxurious life that’s now diminished to next to nothing. He’s snarky, intelligent and mean. Though, as Lou breaks his shell he turns out to be very vulnerable, funny and thoughtful. As we see their friendship unfold, she stops tiptoeing around him like everybody else does and says things as they are, he starts motivating her, challenging her because he wants her to live to her fullest potential and I really loved that about him.
As much as I loved this book, I don’t think I’ll be reading the sequel (Me After You). I think it’s unnecessary, Lou’s life updates could’ve been left to the reader’s imagination and we would’ve been just fine.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read Me Before You? If so, what did you think of it?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.
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