Confesssion #1 – I only read Me Before You because I decided to join a book club and may never have picked it up otherwise.
Confession #2 – For some reason, I thought Jojo Moyes was a guy.
Confession #3 – After reading nothing but classics for the past 15 months, I ate this book up like a kid in a candy shop.
* CONTAINS SPOILERS
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is a romantic comedy about Louisa Clark, a young girl in her twenties just toddling through life with no clear direction. When Lou begins working for Will Traynor, a former go-getter who is now confined to his wheelchair as a quadriplegic, she doesn’t know how long she can take his moody, abrasive personality. However, Will slowly warms up to Lou’s quirkiness and they develop a bond that takes their families by surprise. Lou and Will are not afraid to be blunt with each other and often discover things about themselves they weren’t willing to face. As Lou grows closer to Will, she is shocked to discover he intends to end his life in a few months. Angry and confused, she tries to resign, but Will’s mother begs her to stay and convince Will to change his mind. Lou agrees and becomes fixated on proving to Will there is so much to live for even though he is completely dependent on others to enjoy it. In her efforts, the lines between professional and personal relationship blur even further and Lou finds herself desperate to not only to save a life, but save the life of the man who has captured her heart.
Me Before You is charming, funny and bittersweet. It is a light read, but with such great characters and a meaty storyline, it feels like you’re reading something much more substantial. I found it such a captivating read, I rushed to bed every night to get in a few more chapters with Lou and Will. Lou is sweet and smart, without a hint of pretension. Her only flaw I thought was she was a bit wishy-washy in her decision-making. As for Will, he is a smart ass, but thoughtful, kind and generous. With Lou he knew when to push, and when to back off. I loved the main characters because they were so normal and I could easily imagine knowing them in real life.
When I began reading the book, I didn’t know that euthanasia was part of the story. Even though I should have guessed it, I was surprised when the topic was introduced and yet it didn’t seem heavy-handed at all. Euthanasia is a topic I have thought about, but scampered away from because of its intensity. Me Before You puts you in Lou’s shoes as she weighs what is right and what is wrong, what it means to live and what are the things you want to live for. I think it speaks tremendously to the talent of Jojo Moyes that she could handle such a controversial issue so deftly in her book.
Many reviewers said they cried at the end of the book and while I can’t say I did the same, I wholeheartedly loved the characters and the unforgettable story in Me Before You. I knew very little about the story before opening the cover and was stunned at how many 4 or 5 star reviews the book received on Goodreads. Really? I wondered sarcastically. Can it be that good?
Yes, yes, it’s that good!