My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publication Date: January 5th 2012
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books/Viking
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Contemporary, Family, Friendship, Caregiving, Disability, Romance, Life
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.
There goes my heart.
Hold on. I need a few seconds to make sense of what happened.
I can’t believe it. I was warned it would come as a shock, and even the author gently glided our thoughts toward that idea, but I still felt that PANG in my chest when reading the ending.
That’s all I’m going to say about that, for fear of spoiling anything for you.
Louisa is a simple girl. She works. She cares for her family. She does what she has to do. She doesn’t take risks or ever act recklessly. It’s not who she is; her responsibilities come first.
Will’s playground is life itself. He has a great job, a great girlfriend and the means to go wherever he wants and do whatever he desires.
That is, before the accident happens. Now, he’s in a wheelchair, paralysed and dead inside. The man he was before is gone, now he can’t even recognize himself.
When Louisa and Will meet, there is no love at first sight. She is his new caregiver. He is someone she can’t decipher. But the more they spend time together, the more Louisa discovers the wonders that life has to offer.
I read Me Before You, expecting to discover the most poignant love story on earth.
But I found something else instead. This is the story of a twenty-six-year-old woman who has no long-term objective in life and doesn’t think about her future. She never left the country and stays away from anything remotely dangerous.
Will is determined to open her eyes to the unknown. With him by her side, she gains confidence, determination, learns not to let anyone dictate her actions and finally realizes what is best for her.
She needs him in her life, even though she doesn’t know it, and he relishes in her presence. He is her sun and she is his.
The theme of acceptance, family, friendship and life is even more present than the love one. And I realized that it’s all those developed themes that made me like this book so much.
Cheesy, corny, clichéd, overdone are all terms that DO NOT apply to this book.
It’s unlike any contemporary book I’ve read before.
Louisa is a charming woman with a sense of humor and fantastic imagination. Reading the book through her perspective was utterly delightful. We also have sporadic chapters narrated from other characters, such as Will’s mom and Louisa’s sister.
Maybe you’re not a fan of romance. Maybe you don’t like chick literature or maybe you never read adult books.
I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t matter. It will not affect your enjoyment of this book.
You know why?
Me Before You will win you over, whether you want it to or not.