A Review of Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – 4.5/5
Guys, I’m a wreck.
This book is by no means characterized as a thrilling page-turner, but I could not put this down. Now I’m just stuck in the emotionally raw aftermath. I don’t even know how to write a cohesive review right now, especially since I managed to lose the notes I took. I’m going to try my best and tell you what it’s about.
This is a story about Will and Lou,
Two characters were so well created. It feels strange to even refer to them as characters and not actual people. From her initial outlook on life to where she ends up (physically and mentally), I relate to Lou so much. I understand her timidity in some areas, her rebellion in others. She’s quirky without being annoying about it. I was happy to have her as a narrator.
I like Lou, but I love Will. Everything about him, especially his razor sharp wit. Every emotion he expresses and experiences, even told through Lou’s perspective, is incredibly genuine and real. I don’t know if it’s my ever-nurturing softy heart talking, but I don’t know if you could read this tale and not fall in love with him. But this is more than just a character study.
This is a story about love.
No, not that gushy romance novel kind of love. I can’t stand those kinds of books. Even so, I don’t know when I “shipped” two characters as much as Lou and Will. Their relationship made me laugh, and (ugly) cry, and ache for love to flourish. I loved how their interaction ranged from snappy and sarcastic to incredibly tender and gentle. Read the shaving scene and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Still, this book isn’t just about love.
This is a story about disability,
And damn did it ever impact me. It does not glamorize or dumb down quadriplegia, but it also doesn’t distance readers with overly complicated medical jargon. Through Lou’s eyes, I think Moyes gives a deep understanding of the pain Will feels in the life he’s now been given. I also like that she contrasted Will’s continual struggle with his able-ness against Patrick’s obsession with his own. This portrayal of disability helps readers understand Will’s struggle in the choice he’s facing. But this book isn’t just about disability.
This is a story about life.
How much it matters. How important it is that we use it well. How much autonomy we have in the direction it follows. I struggled with this part of the book the most, and wished that it would have taken a different path (hence I’m knocking half a point off), but it’s beautiful. It’s a good hard look at life, and it is a heart-wrenching, but beautiful, view.
(Side note: It looks like the there’s a movie in the works to come out in 2016, and I’m actually so pleased with the casting choices. I couldn’t tell you if I’ll actually bring myself to watch it on the big screen–books are always better, right? If I do, though, I’m bringing a whole box of Kleenex.)