Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Release: December 31, 2012
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books / Viking
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.
In Me Before You, Louisa Clark, a twenty-something who still lives at home with her parents, her sister, and her sister’s son, is about to lose her job. The cafe she works in is closing and she’s in a rut. When she takes a job as a caretaker for Will Traynor, a man confined to a wheelchair after a car accident a few years previous to start of the novel, she finds him unpleasant but tries to make the most of it because the pay is good and it’s temporary until she finds a new position. Soon, they slowly become friends as Will tries to show Louisa there is more to life than their town while she tries to show him she won’t treat him like most have before her. It doesn’t take long for feelings to develop between them.
I had no intentions of reading this. It didn’t seem like my cup of tea and I just passed it up every time I saw it on the shelves when purchasing other books. But then I saw the trailer for the film and it seemed more interesting than the synopsis made it seem.
This is my first Jojo Moyes novel. It isn’t what I’m used to reading but I like branching out, expanding my reading to find what I do like and don’t like. For this, I’m still on the fence.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the characters. Louisa was a bit childish and set in her ways. I think I feel that way because she reminds me a lot of myself. I easily saw myself in Louisa’s shoes when it came to employment, desires, and family situations. As for Will, while I did relate to his feelings – for completely different reasons – I just didn’t care for him.
Jojo Moyes does have a wonderful way of writing, though. It’s very descriptive and creative, she has a lovely way of storytelling that made me want to read more. While I was a little bored with the story itself, the descriptions of places, people, outfits, and situations kept me rooted to the pages. As a person who doesn’t travel, hates flight, and stays in place so much it’s a little sad, my version of traveling is through reading and I felt like I was in the UK, in the town Louisa and Will were in, traveling to the places they traveled. I like stories that transport me and this one did.
Now, I’m not a cryer when I read. There are few books that have made me cry. This one did make me a little misty in the end.
This is a book I would consider overhyped, especially when the movie came out. I still haven’t seen it but I want to. I’m just a person who wants to read it before I see it.
I’m not sure if I’ll read the second one, After You. I feel like the story concluded properly and appropriately. But I do hate living in wonder so there’s always a chance.