Title: Me before You
Author: Jojo Moyes
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, realistic
Thoughts: Me Before You sales have rocketed since the release of the very first trailer of the movie. Evidently, the well thought through story line of the book was there, but the fame wasn’t. Once everyone actually knew what it was, and what it was about, people suddenly needed to read it. Having seen the movie first definitely made a difference in reading it. And this is one of those few books that is actually better as a movie I think. Now this does not mean that the book is terrible and should not be read – I love it, and think it was an amazing book – but on the screen, the emotions can come through a lot easier and you get a better sense of what is actually happening – which for me, meant more crying.
But, this is not a movie review, so let’s get back to the book. One of the things that makes this particular book interesting is how well it describes all the character’s lives. Not everyone – fortunately – has to live with a disability, especially one as major as a quadriplegic, and the mental capability that everyone has to have is impressive. And Moyes displays this feeling very well. Not perfectly, but very, very well. For example, Will’s (one of the two main character’s) Mother. As you can expect, Mrs Traynor is under a lot of stress, and really doesn’t know what to do with her life anymore. She is coping, but just barely. Other books/authors might have made her seem like some superwoman, steaming on ahead, but I don’t think that’s very realistic. I believe that Mrs Traynor is still her own type of superwoman, through moving on with her life after this tragedy struck her family.
Another thing that I enjoyed while reading was how personalised all the characters were. Louisa Clarke, the main character, has a very outgoing personality, and is always positive. This makes it a huge shock, and makes it seem even more important when she hears bad news, and is suddenly very, very pessimistic… Will Traynor, the quadriplegic Lou has to care for, is sarcastic and witty all the time. I enjoyed his comments immensely throughout the book. Moyes has contrasted his entertaining humor with a specific part in the book where it is impossible to be witty. This makes it obvious that he is in trouble, and is a long way from being okay. The nurse, Nathan, that looks after Will in the more scientific ways, also acts very much like a nurse, and I enjoyed one part where he has to explain something that’s going on, and struggles to talk in not-scientific language.
Another point that I really, really liked was Lou’s sense of fashion. I love that Moyes put the detail of describing her outfits, and that people in the book comment on them.
This is also one of the books that does multiple points of view. Most of the book is from Louisa’s, but a few times it is from Mrs Traynor, Mr Traynor (Will’s mother and father) and Nathan’s. Although, I do think that these parts were important, and it was probably a good thing to hear other people’s perspective on what was happening, but while reading these parts, I really just wanted the chapter to end so I could get back to Louisa’s.
“The thing about being catapulted into a whole new life–or at least, shoved up so hard against someone else’s life that you might as well have your face pressed against their window–is that it forces you to rethink your idea of who you are. Or how you might seem to other people.”
― Jojo Moyes, Me Before You
But let’s not end on a negative. There’s no doubt about it, this book was great. I really enjoyed reading it, although it was sad. When I finished reading it, I thought it was the end, but I’ve now discovered there is a sequel, After You. I liked the ending of Me before You, even though it was sad and I didn’t want it to end like that, because I thought it finalised everything and brought everything to a point, so I’m not sure whether I will read the next one. But definitely read Me before you, even if you have seen the movie. They are both awesome.
Why should you read it: Again, this was a sad book, that ended with me crying, but I like books like that. It also has a nice storyline, that builds up the stress levels the entire way, right until the end. And of course, I love Lou’s sense of fashion, and really enjoyed reading and imagining her clothes. (the movie helped with this)
Book in a word: Heartbreaking (not in a bad way)