Publication Date: December 31, 2012
Published: Pamela Dorman Books/ Viking
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.
Me Before You is not a romance, nor is it romantic, as the cover alludes. It is, however, a love story. And it will crush you.
With striped tights and dresses made of curtains, the only thing interesting about Louisa Clark is her fashion sense. She has no career training, and feels the only true skill she posses is making a mean cup of tea. Throughout the first twenty-five percent of the book I found Louisa's mundane existence frustrating. She was a twenty-six year old woman, whose boring day in and day out seemed self inflicting. Me Before You reminds us that first appearances can be deceiving. There was much more depth to Louisa than expected.
Will Traynor, rich, arrogant, he's living his dream life, the life he worked so hard to obtain, when fate swept in and changed his life indefinitely. Hardened by the accident that stole his ability to live on his own terms, his shell is seemingly impenetrable. Now, weeks after reading, and having had time to sit with my thoughts, I still find Will a conundrum.
In the end, after Louisa and Will's lives intertwined under distressing circumstances, I felt for them both. Their stories, individually and together, were heart wrenching in a way that wasn't to be seen until read - not when I saw the cover, not when the book started, not even halfway through.
It could be argued that this book is political. In a way, I suppose it is. It raises the question, is human euthanasia inhuman? But the questions don't end there. They only get more personal because Jojo Moyes didn't write a political book. She wrote a love story.
After it was all said and done this story, with its slow budding "romance", was about the value of life. It was thought provoking and controversial, and exactly what I needed, despite not knowing it.
There wasn't a thing I didn't love about Me Before You. The setting, the language, this story will stay with me for a long, long while.
Until Next Time!