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.
When I first started reading this book, I was put off by the sheer amount of pages it had. I was hesitant to read it because I didn’t know whether I would like it. I don’t normally read this genre and very rarely venture out of YA books like fantasy and supernatural. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself enjoying it and before I knew it I was halfway through. I became glued to the book and I couldn’t tear my eyes away. I found myself saying “just one more page” or “just one more chapter” for hours. It’s such a beautiful book and I’m so glad I’ve read it.
I really liked Lou Clark and thought she was a really relatable character. She doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life and she is someone who enjoys living a quiet life. I thought her family was very relatable because they could quite easily be any family in any household. At first I was shocked by how much they bullied her, particularly since she is their main source of income. But at times you could tell how much they loved and adored her. This is what families do, we do and say things to each other but it’s a joke at the end of the day. Even her relationship with her sister, anyone who has a sibling will understand and sympathise with Lou. Siblings poke fun at each other all the time it’s a love-hate relationship but at the end of the day, you would do anything for them. It was easy to see this with the two of them. Lou really reminded me of myself at times it was like looking in a mirror. I love how JoJo Moyes picked a character everyone could relate to, it just made the book for me.
I loved Will Traynor and I felt for him so much. I couldn’t imagine what it’s like to live your life to the fullest every day to then have it changed in a split second. JoJo obviously did her research for this book because it was very informative and it was easy to understand Will’s condition and disability. Me Before You focuses on some deeply controversial issues in today’s society and as someone who has no experience with something like this – or even any knowledge on it – I found that it really opened my eyes and made me more aware of how troubling this life can really be. The motorcycle accident took away Will’s desire to live but Lou is determined to change that. She spends the majority of the book taking him out on trips to show him that his life, though confined to a wheelchair, is still worth living. Even when I’d finished it, Will’s character stuck with me and I couldn’t stop thinking about his story. It’s a story that will definitely stick with me for years to come and hopefully others too.
It was nice watching Will’s relationship with Lou grow and develop throughout the book. When they first meet each other, they aren’t exactly the best of friends and rarely speak to each other. He makes his feelings clear that he doesn’t want her around but despite this she stays with him and puts up with his moods. As he becomes more talkative around her, we begin to see a touching relationship blossom between them and I could tell they were going to become close. He makes Lou realise that she can do so much more with her life and he begs her not to waste it. He lost that opportunity to do what he once loved and to see Lou waste her life angers him. Throughout the book, they both help each other deal with personal issues and by the end of the book, Lou has a decision to make on how she wants to live her life.
The ending was incredibly sad and heartbreaking. It was well thought out and I applaud the author for writing such a beautiful and heart-wrenching book. It was an emotional story but I do not regret reading it and would recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone who is thinking about reading it. Please, go and read this book. You will be so glad you did.