Jojo Moyes | January 2012 | pp. 396
I’d describe Me Before You as my sleeper hit of the year. The series has been plenty popular since its initial release and the blockbuster movie with its ‘controversial’ ending helped plenty. The lack of diverse characters and overwhelming market saturation, definitely tuned me off. But, this year, with so much crazy happening in real life, I definitely gravitated toward content that mirrored someone else’s life, rather than my own reality!
At its core, Me Before You is your typical fairytale romance trope. Rich, self absorbed bachelor meets poor, beautiful girl and during a sequence of funny/dramatic/heartwarming events, against all odds, the two fall in love. Hell, thats almost a spoiler. 🤦🏾♀️ The rich bachelor is Will Traynor, a sad, resentful quadriplegic, mourning the loss of his previous life as an ambitious, attractive, adrenaline seeker. The poor beauty is unambitious, rather simple Louisa Clark, who is moving from job to job, through what we would call the unemployment program in the states. Will has traveled the world, Louisa’s never left their village. They probably couldn’t be more different…let the hi-jinx commence! 🙄
Pros: Of course Louisa doesn’t know about Wills plans when she’s employed to be his caregiver. She really just wants to do her job and head home. But, when she learns of the plot, even as a poor girl living in a precarious situation with her own family, she believes she can offer Will her zeal for life. I’m wondering even, if she finds a zeal for life attempting to pass something to Will. The scenes of them traipsing about town attempting different events was very heartwarming and entertaining.
I also enjoyed reading about Will and Louisa’s different family dynamics. Each set of parents make decisions that have a negative impact on their children. Wills parents have all the resources they could need, but, are falling apart. And I’m not sure its because of their sons injury. Louisa’s parents make the most of the little they have but, are oblivious to the impact it has on their children. I think demonstrating, emotional intelligence is more valuable than money.
Cons: None really. Maybe Louisa is clueless to Wills plan a tad too long, comes off a bit naive to mommy dearest, and in the end turns out to be incredibly unforgiving, which I think is a mark of immaturity. I also wanted her to curse that sister of hers out one good time, but, these are my opinions. #Opinions 🤷🏾♀️ Read the book and tell me yours?
Spoiler: Skip this paragraph if you don’t want to read about the ending! Apparently the ending has the disabled community in an uproar because some feel it supports taking ones life due to being disabled. Personally, I was happy to read Will had the option and would be happy if the place he sought was real. Will is described as a former active, vibrant young man that is now chair bound battling high temps and frequent infections. His life is miserable. Will has lived life two ways, in the chair and out. Clearly, he’s able to make a choice that one is better than the other and he doesn’t care to carry on miserably. Anyone going against his choice is really just being selfish and thinking of their own loss. I realize this line of thinking gets a bit tricky when thinking of folks battling depression but, the argument could be, Will is in his sound mind. Anyway, again, opinions fam. Read the book and deep dive your own feelings around your right to die.
Surprisingly, as vanilla as the love story is, I truly enjoyed reading about Will and Louisa. The writing was detailed but, not overpowering, and even though its an over the top romance, the characters are relatable. I felt the tension Louisa must have felt walking into Wills room, early on. Ive been the larger than life person as Will was, visiting Louisas family for a family dinner. When, while at a sporting event, Wills chair gets stuck in the mud, I felt the frustration the team felt. Definitely a more complex read than what I initially would have thought! #GoodBook 34 of 46
They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .
Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely 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.