Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Louisa Clark is an ordinary young woman living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never 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.
A love story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?
This is one of those books that ripped my heart and caused me heartache but still loved it. I thought this is just another sappy love story. It is, but not entirely. I loved how tragic it was. I devoured every pain and heartbreak like a candy, even as my heart hurt and cried. Highly recommended to readers who want to have a good cry and feel that wrenching feeling in the gut that you have to put down the book to spare your heart from heartache. My favorite line from the book—“Sometimes, Clark, you are pretty much the only thing that makes me want to get up in the morning.” Isn’t that the saddest and sweetest line ever. *sigh …I loved this book, not in an “I’m-so-hooked-up-in-the-story-I-can’t-even-put-down-this-book” way but because it has a handful of life-changing realizations about living and dying. Which I think is the main focus of the story. I came to believe that Will’s decision to go to Dignitas (which, by the way, is a real organization) didn’t mean that he gave up. That was him NOT giving up on what matters most. Not giving up on the life he once had. Because there are things in life worse than death-depression, grief, sorrow, anxiety. And for Will, that is being paralyzed and losing the life he once had. For someone who is at the peak and heights of life and loves to travel and loves extreme adventures, indeed, this could be worse than death. He was like “I have to live my life to the fullest or not at all” kind of person. So, he couldn’t give up that old life for Lou, for his family, or for life itself. While there are other people who get through situations like this, people with disabilities who still see the world as a happy place, there are also people who can’t. Like Will. And there is Dignitas because there are people like Will. So, really, not much of a love story. Because this is not about Lou. Not even about being paralyzed. It’s about losing the most important part of your life. And the feeling of loss, grief, and sorrow that comes after.
Best parts of the book(with spoilers):
- Will and Lou, bantering and bickering- at least that part was so much fun to read. Humorous and light, that’s why I didn’t expect it to end like this
- Will’s sweetness-I really thought that he was truly happy
- The bitter end-how very true that it doesn’t always end in rainbows and flowers, as much as I hurt and cried when Will died, I was also pleased that it ended the way it did. Not hiding the ugly truth behind happy-ever-after endings.