“Clark, tell me something good.”
–Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
I grabbed Me Before You by Jojo Moyes for my Kindle after seeing the movie trailer on IMDb because it looked awesome and I love Sam Claflin. Honestly, I’m so glad I did!
Here’s the description from Goodreads:
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.
This book has heartwarming characters! They’re so true to life and complex- I sympathized with characters I didn’t agree with at all! Will and Lou stole my heart completely. Moyes does a great job creating even the most minor of characters, who really propelled my interest in this story. The relationships drive the novel- Lou’s with her family, Will with his, and Lou and Will’s relationship especially.
The writing is nice in Me Before You; it’s not too flowery for the narrative, but it is well constructed and useful. The writing style feels like a deliberate choice here.
The real meat of this story is the moral issue the entire storyline deals with: assisted suicide. This book really makes readers evaluate their stances on this issue, which is highly controversial. Moyes deals well with the controversy, presenting both sides of the argument fairly and not magically providing the answers as authors can be wont to do. However, this moral content makes this a very heavy read, with implications that really make you think. I LOVED that aspect; others may not. This story is also a fairly accurate portrayal of quadriplegia and how it affects both the victim and everyone they know, which was a nice touch of diversity.
Also, the resolution of the story may be fairly dissatisfying- I myself wasn’t totally satisfied. First of all, I felt that I should have cried- this is a story that seems to require tears- but I didn’t. I am a rather tough customer in that regard, so that may simply be me. Also, I felt that Clark’s actions at the very end weren’t properly explained, and the characters didn’t change as they ought to have.
Overall, I’d strongly recommend this novel to almost everyone. If you have extremely strong feelings either way about assisted suicide (also called euthanasia) then you may want to avoid it, as half of the characters will frustrate you. I rewatched the movie trailer after I finished the book and am glad to say it looks like the adaptation is going to very faithful to the book, which is exciting! I’m anxious to see it.
Rating: 4/5 stars!
“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.”
“‘I just . . . want to be a man who has been to a concert with a girl in a red dress. Just for a few minutes more.’”
“I hadn’t realized that music could unlock things in you, could transport you to somewhere even the composer hadn’t predicted. It left an imprint in the air around you, as if you carried its remnants with you when you went.”
–Me Before You by Jojo Moyes