This is the third time I’ve tried to write a review for this book. It’s a hard thing to do when you can’t believe it’s already over. You tend to go into denial if you hate endings like I do.
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.
Me Before You was, fortunately, the book I chose to read in order to take a (much needed) break from fantasy. What I wasn’t really expecting was to get the same amount of magic from a love story that you can get from a fantasy book.
You’re probably tired of hearing about it. The movie was advertised everywhere and the fact that Emilia Clarke is in it only made it more famous. There was also a lot of controversy regarding the main character’s disability, which was seen as something that makes life inconceivable and miserable. Some said the book portrays “dehumanising stereotypes about disability, from implications that disabled people are things no more active than houseplants, to assumptions that disability is a fate worse than death” (source). Well, I dare to disagree: this book was written by someone who doesn’t have any disabilities but seems to have a deep understanding of the human nature, including the very core of someone who has lost all hope in living.
Jojo Moyes depicted a very serious disability in both fun and excruciating ways. She went as far as telling the stories of those who deal with a disabled loved one. It’s not all pain and sorrow because life isn’t that simple. This writer understands that. I’m glad she reminded me that it is, in fact, way more complex that all the bad and unfair things that can happen to one single person.
Jojo Moyes wrote a love story about two completely different people with completely different lives that, in spite of all their differences, were able to find a part of themselves in each other. Speaking of differences, movie Louisa is not the book’s Louisa. Louisa from Me Before You (the book) has a depth to her that the film camouflages with funny scenes that only show her surface. Lou was adapted to the movie for pure comedy effect, which made me really angry when I read about *HUGE SPOILER* her rape and the implications it had in her life and personality. I can’t even remember a single film adaptation that deleted completely the most relevant moment in a main character’s life just to portray them as funny and light-headed people. It’s disrespectful and I would destroy anyone who tried to do that with my own characters.
However, the film is great and all I can do now is pretend movie Lou is just a different person from book Lou. I suggest you do the same.
Me Before You helped me overcome a reading slump and I’m forever thankful to any book that is capable of doing that. If you’re in the same situation, I think this is the perfect book for the upcoming cold days; it will warm your heart with the feeling of two people falling in love and your cheeks with blotches of red when you reach the end.