Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Series: Me Before You #1
Publication Date: January 5th 2012
Me Before You has sat on my bookcase unread for almost 2 years and I finally decided to pick it up after the trailer popped up on facebook - because I had absolutely no idea it was being turned into a film. So, I figured it was about time I got around to reading it. Also because it was one of the books Brittany recommended me for our Reading Challenge last year which we both failed at and have carried over to this year.
Me Before You follows 27 year old Louisa Clark. Louisa works at The Buttered Bun tea shops and she enjoys her life. But when The Buttered Bun shuts down, Louisa finds herself without a job and hasn't a clue what she's going to do. Then a job comes up to be a carer for a quadriplegic man and Louisa is offered the job on the spot. She'll be there to keep him company and do some work around the house. Will Traynor feels like his life has been destroyed since the motorcycle accident. He feels like his life is wasted and he knows what he wants to do. But when Louisa enters his life, everything starts to change. The more time they spend together, the more they alter each others lives.
I haven't cried so much at a book in a while. Me Before You definitely packs an emotional punch. I completely adored every aspect of this book. I loved all of the characters - mainly Will and Lou - but Lou's family and Will's family, and also Nathan were all very important parts of the story and they each had their own role to play. Lou is eccentric and peppy. She's been with her boyfriend Patrick for years now, but it doesn't really feel like is working out - but Lou refuses to admit this out loud. She's sacrificed a lot for her family to help them stay afloat. She's got such a kind heart and she'll do whatever it takes to show Will how to live again. Will is depressed and snarky when we first meet him. He's basically given up and is just going through the motions because of a promise he made to his parents. But as soon as Lou enters his life, Will begins to change. He becomes less grumpy, and is more willing to have conversations. He becomes more light hearted and begins to come out of his shell. I loved seeing the effect that Lou had on his life, and how she gave him so many new and amazing memories.
Me Before You revolves around Will's decision about what he's wants to do with his life. He's been looking into Dignitas - a clinic in Switzerland that legally allows patients to take their own lives - and when Lou discovers what Will is planning, she sets out to show him that he can still live and to show him all of the things he's capable of. I enjoyed seeing all of the things Lou managed to get Will to do: going to listen to an orchestra; dancing at a wedding and the tattoos! I loved Lou's determination to show Will a new way to live, but ultimately, the decision that Will has isn't Lou's to make.
Me Before You is a powerful and emotional read that will leave you sobbing. I couldn't read the last few pages due to the tears streaming down my faces and I may have even chucked the book away for a bit before I could continue. It packs a very hard punch and I'd recommend having loads of tissues the closer you get to the end.