Title: Me Before You
Author: Jojo Moyes
Format: Book borrowed from the library
Reading Challenge: A book that made you cry
My rating: 4/5
Review: Completing another book for the 2015 Reading Challenge, I had the opportunity to read Me Before You and was whisked through an emotional love story. Lou Clark is in her late-20’s and is getting by with her marathon running boyfriend, Patrick, and her employment at a local coffee shop. Will Traynor is a rich playboy who has it all, a successful job, spontaneity, risk, and a gorgeous casual fling named Alicia. Unfortunately, life throws curveballs to both as Lou has no other choice but to be caregiver to Will after a tragic motorcycle accident left him as a quadriplegic.
Lou has been charged with an enormous responsibility that affects more than just her own life. We follow her as she navigates through caring for the snarky Will Traynor, attempting to alleviate absent Patrick’s jealousy, and providing for her family as her younger sister Treena gets everything she wants in light of her circumstance.
Although a love story in the making based off the general plot and storyline, Me Before You took me through several emotions from beginning to end, inevitably leading to tears falling from my eyes. I honestly stayed up into the late hours of the night to read the last half since I was hooked and felt a part of Lou and Will’s lives. It allowed me to contemplate the sacrifices we make for the ones we love, how to embrace change and chase new adventures, how to not let one thing define us but be a part of who we are because we say so, not what others believe. We all hope for that classic happy ending, but sometimes we get something unexpected, but still an ending that we can live with and imagine what’s next in the character’s lives.
I thought about some of my experiences that hold me back from adventuring out and exploring new corners of the world. I sympathized with feeling pressured to be the sole person responsible for the fate of others and how stressful that can be. I am still speechless but in a reflective way, potentially a rare situation but applicable themes to our personal lives and battles we face that others may not see.
Overall, Moyes did a phenomenal job placing us into the thoughts and lives of all the main characters – occasionally writing in a different character’s perspective but ultimately seeing the world through Lou’s eyes. Incorporating the sites of London, we are transported to a British suburb and exposed to the culture and life of the inhabitants. Beautifully written and well thought out, giving the reader a brief snapshot of how heavy our hearts weigh on each other in time of desperation.
Read Me Before You if you like the themes of:
- Difficult life choices
- Feeling stuck
P.S. There is a sequel to follow in September of 2015!