I am not, and never have been, a fan of romance novels. I do, however, share a love for any author that can create characters so realistic and vivid, I find myself lost in a world between time and space.
When I began reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, I thought it would be a fun summer read, entertaining me as I passed the days before my new job started. It was good enough that it was made into a movie, but that doesn’t mean much in 2017, when it seems everything is turned into a screenplay.
The book centers on an absolutely awkward and 100% ordinary woman named Louisa Clark, who, at 25 years old, is facing a career change. She’s joined by a horribly unaffectionate boyfriend and a poverty-ridden family she is responsible for keeping together. She takes a job as caregiver to a man named Will. Will is a quadriplegic and is miserable.
Louisa and Will form an unlikely friendship, which begins to blossom into something more. Throughout, Will hides a secret about his predicament.
I won’t give everything away, but will say I had a much-needed cry at the end of this book. Me Before You is more cathartic and releasing than anything I’ve read in a while. It deals with the ethical questions of how far we are willing to go for the people that we love, and what it means to truly have a life worth living.
The characters become so real and entertaining, I could almost feel myself sitting at the Clark family dinner table or strolling in the gardens with Will and Louisa. The characters have real flaws, making me reflect on the decisions I would make in their shoes.
Will is not likable. He is miserable and has resigned himself to his predicament. However, he is charming when he wants to be, and honest about his feelings. Louisa is pushy and unlucky, but I found myself rooting for her to keep pushing herself further. Louisa’s family is not nice, in the most loving and realistic way possible. For most of the novel, they remind me of my own loud, crazy family.
This is a great book to read on the porch, or while lying in the sand enjoying the ones that you love. It will make you grateful for those that you surround yourself with.
“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.” – Me Before You