Book Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

me before

Rating: 5 / 5

Sometimes I wonder if the fact that I’m tearing up more frequently after reading is a reflection of my growing maturity, or that I’m just into more sob stories.  But after reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, I’m sure it says something about you if you don’t end up like a leaky faucet. Or a geyser.

Louisa Clark has worked for the past six years in a bakery that has just closed.  She has no real discernable skill or career path, and the least repulsive of all jobs she can possibly get is to be a caretaker to Will Traynor.  Years ago, Will was on top of the world-financially successful, handsome, and well respected.  An accident on a rainy London morning left him paralyzed from his neck down, and with his diminished physical capacity and loss of independence, his will to live has also left.  Understandably, Will is morose and difficult to get along with.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, Lou is a breath of fresh air.  She has had no training in being a nurse or caregiver, and quite frankly, she has no idea what to do.  The relationship that blossoms is one that Lou hopes will be enough to save Will.

You know what? I know that synopsis on its own is not enough, and I’m sure people are thinking, “really? This book got so many rave reviews?!?!”  Ummm…hell yeah? Ultimately, it’s sad, hence the tears at the end.  However, it is also funny and has a lot of heart and soul.  I loved Louisa.  She wasn’t perfect, but she was perfect for Will.  I liked how she had limitations, but as the story progresses, you can see how much she matures and changes.  Will brings out the best in her, and vice versa.

Moyes does a great job in describing just how hard life is for quadriplegics. It’s more than just being different-she really conveys the impact that the loss of independence and freedom has on a quadriplegic, as well as the regret and longing for a past life, or an end to the current one.  The daily struggles that Will faced were sad and heartbreaking, and I loved Louisa more because she attempted the impossible.

Again, I’d be shocked if anyone read this book and wasn’t flat out bawling at the end. I absolutely loved this book, and am ecstatic to know that there are many other Jojo Moyes books to curl up with.



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