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.
About the book:
Author: Jojo Moyes
Book length: 369 pages
Published: January 5, 2012
Series: Me Before You #1
Genre: Romance, Fiction, Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Chick Lit, Adult
Rating: 5 out of 5 quills
Started reading: August 31
Finished reading: September 2
“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.”
What did I think about the book? [spoilers further on, I’ve marked the start of spoiling]
Okay, my love for romance novels has renewed. Haven’t read a romance novel in ages. But, wow, this made me cry… All those feels…
Haven’t watched the movie yet, with all screen adaptions, I first want to read the written stories. But it did help me to know who played Louisa and Will. I could see Emilia Clarke snapping some comments in my head. And it helped to know just how handsome Will is.. ^^
This wasn’t just a romance novel, this is a love story with very heavy subjects in it. I’m talking about disabilities, quadriplegic and euthanasia. Jojo made the world talk about topics which are unspoken or seen as a taboo. The bigger part of the world doesn’t know how to act around a disabled person. In most cases this fact makes the life of the disabled even tougher. People don’t know what to say, when to help or what to feel when in company. They mostly don’t understand how they feel, what they want or what they still can do. What I’m going to say next is absolutely not me trying to get me some pity or to say that every disability is the same. Nor am I saying that quads don’t have a tough life and my disability is just as tough, absolutely not. What I’m trying to say is that I can partially understand how it is to have a disability. I stutter, since I was like 5 years old – now almost 24 – so I know how it feels when people don’t know what to do or say when I stutter. People want to finish my sentences – mostly ending up saying things I never wanted to say – or stories, or plainly don’t have the patience to listen to me. Some laugh at my stutter, some feel it in their own bodies. But I’m telling you, I know how it feels not to be normal – in what a society deems normal. Any disability is one ‘normal’ people basically don’t know how to deal with.
And to top things off – which is pretty ugly I believe – doors have closed for me too, and I only stutter a bit. I function normal, am intelligent, but not every word or sentence is coming out fluently. And even with my seriously MINOR disability, society thinks I can’t sell stuff, can’t handle phone calls or costumer contact. That I can’t present things or close deals with good terms and prices. Luckily I have now found people willing to give me a chance – with costumers and in a selling and serving business – after being at home for 15 months. I believe I got kicked out of college studying journalism because of my stutter…. [they can’t say it, because I could sue them for discrimination, but that’s how it feels..]
So yeah this book is about some heavy subjects. What I tried to explain with my stutter, is that I can see Will’s point [not that I ever thought of that, ever!!]. He had a great life, and now he can’t do the things he want, can’t take care of himself, can’t be in public without feeling abnormal. He feels shunned, because he’s different now. He’s in constant pain, has almost no use of his body and his possibilities are very limited. He feels pitied, watched, talked about and so tries to avoid the public. That’s not him, he was a man of the world. His choice was tough, even tougher than his state of life I must say. To make the choice of ending your life is the hardest thing to do. Not only because it’s your life, but your choice is affecting those around you. Not only emotional, but like Jojo makes clear in the end of the book, those around you get investigated for murder. That’s a heavy burden to leave on your loved ones. You have to make the choice of giving them that burden, as well as the grief and pain over losing you.
[SPOILERS FROM HERE ON]
Louisa /Lou is such a strong character. Having to care for someone who pushes you away on a daily basis. Tries to make your life a living hell, because they don’t want to have to need help and can’t accept that you are helping them, even when it’s necessary. She holds on, gets to know him and his secret. She has a tough time struggling with that fact, and the fact she can’t tell anyone. She has to cope on her own.
She grows on him and after knowing the secret, she wants to fight for him. she starts to love him and does anything to change his mind. Lou is so very strong for telling him she loves him. And then with dealing with his reaction. Dealing with his choice and what happens next. Of course she’s depressed, cries her eyes out and doesn’t feel like she’s enough… But it’s even stronger to stand with him in the end, to support his choice – even though she can’t think of living without him -, to be there for him.
Will, Will, Will. A character at that. I don’t know how is stronger, Lou or Will. You could say Lou, because Will choses to end his life. But he extended his painful existence with six months, just for his parents. He lived with pain, diseases, not being able to take care of himself or move for that matter. Not being able to live his life the way he was used to it and the way he wants to live it. He accepts one carer after another, people who think they know what’s best for him. He is happy when Lou comes into his life. He likes her, has the best six months of his life. But what I admire about him, is how he pushes Lou. Pushes her to free herself from the little, boring town. To find her drive for adventure and life. To get her back into college, to make something of herself. He wants her to live and he pushes her too, even after he’s died. Damn it, now I’m crying again.
This story made me think about these tough and heavy topics. About the feelings they feel and the choices they have to make. How I would think in such a situation… I wouldn’t know for sure, but I did think about it.
I love the story, character and world building. Can’t express myself on these things clearly right now, as I’m still emotional… That’s what this book does too you, make you emotional for a while.. It’s such a good book. Last night in the bath tub I read for two hours straight, my water was cold.. Whoops… And I read two hours straight after that… I couldn’t put it down, only when my eyes couldn’t defy gravity anymore.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good romance novel, to anyone who hasn’t read a romance novel in a while or wants to try to read one.
In case you’ve missed these:
- #56 Outrun the Moon.
- August Wrap Up + September TBR.
- August Book Haul.
- #55 The 100.
- TTT#6 Back To School Freebie – Ten Books I’ve Read In School.