Friday, October 25, 2013

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

Title:  Me Before You
Author: JoJo Moyes
My Rating: A+

Genre: Women's Fiction 
Series: -
Main Characters: Louisa and Will
Release Date: December 2012
Publisher: Penguin
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: g-rated

Story Overview:
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.

My Review:
WARNING: This review WILL contain spoilers.

This book was absolutely one of the best books I’ve ever read, but that being said, I almost wish I never read it. For those of you that follow my reviews, you know I’m a Happily-Ever-After girl. I read for the escape and the entertainment and the emotional therapy I get from books. I’ll admit, I love it when a book makes me cry, but I need the hope of a happy ending.  This book did NOT have that, but it was still so good.

This book is the story of two extremely different people: Will & Louisa.

Will is a guy who, until two years ago, lived a huge life. He was an adventurer. He lived life to the fullest, taking huge risks with his life on an ongoing basis. That all came crashing down one rainy morning in London in the ultimate irony, when he actually decided to do the safe thing. It was pouring down rain so instead of riding his motorcycle to work, he decided to take a taxi and as he was getting into the taxi was hit by a motorcyclist. He ended up a quadriplegic. This story takes place two years later.

Louisa is hired by Will’s mother to come in and act as his companion. She’s actually there to make sure he doesn’t try to commit suicide….again. Louisa lives a small life. She’s never left her small village and has no ambition to do so. Something happened to her seven years ago and she stopped. She stopped taking risks. She stopped putting herself out there in any manner. She also has no clue when It comes to Will. She just desperately needs the job. He’s bitter and unhappy and in a great deal of pain. He doesn’t want this life. Louisa’s been hired for six months. What she doesn’t realize for the first couple of those months is that is the timeframe Will has given his parents. They’ve agreed that at the end of that time, if he still wants to die, they will allow him to go into a Swiss hospital and kill himself.

By the time Louisa finds this out, she’s already begun to care about Will and they are headed toward an actual friendship. She makes it her mission for the next four months to prove to him that he still has a life to live. What happens instead is that he proves to her that SHE has a life worth living.

This book was so good. Even as I sit here typing through tears because it does NOT end well and that is just shattering and so emotional and so heartbreaking. BUT the book is so good. It’s definitely a book that will never let me go emotionally. But at the same time, I almost wish I had never picked it up.

BUT the book does have an incredible message. Louisa was letting life pass her by and Will gave her an incredible gift by showing her other options. But the fact that she wasn’t enough to make him want to live again….that hurts. But as the reader, I understood completely why Will chose what he did. The author did an incredible job of showing the pains and frustrations of this kind of life for him. As someone who’s never been around someone with this kind of disability, it was eye-opening for me. The life he has after the accident is awful and it only looks to get worse as his condition deteriorates.  BUT at the same time, he and Louisa have so much fun together and they love each other. That’s why I have such a hard time with this book.  The end is heart-wrenching and so emotional. Will says it was the best six months of his life. So as a reader how can I accept him throwing it all away?

I feel a bit “more” for having read about it, but as I sit here with tears flowing down my face, I realize this is life. Sometimes there just are no good choices. But for me, I need my books to read a bit more like a fairy tale. If I want reality, I can just turn on the news. And I think most of the readers of my reviews are the same way. For that reason, I can’t really recommend this book for most of them.

If you think you can take the emotional upheaval, the book is amazing and life-altering, but be warned. It’s going to take you a bit to get over this one.

This book gives new meaning to the term “book hangover”.

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