Review: Me Before You
I hadn’t read any of Jojo Moyes’ work previously and I’ll confess that when I picked up Me Before You I expected something pretty fluffy and fun. That in itself would have been fine – I enjoy chick lit and a bit of gushiness. Me Before You, however, goes way beyond generating a touch of emotion – it’s a rollercoaster of thoughts, feelings and questions.
Will Traynor is a young man who had it all: the job, the girl, the adventures. When an accident leaves him paralysed and totally reliant on others to help him cope with day to day life, it’s more than he can bear. By contrast, Lou Clark has the boy – who she isn’t sure she loves, no job, the spare box room at her parents’ house. What she does have is an infectious spirit of fight and determination.
The relationship between Will and his new carer/companion Lou is a difficult one, complicated by interventions from Will’s mother and Lou’s boyfriend. However, despite the circumstances and their very different outlooks and personalities, a beautiful friendship develops between the two allowing us to see the best of both of them.
It is not all happy. There are moments of extreme sadness – I haven’t cried so much since I read The Time Traveler’s Wife – but there are also wonderful moments of hope and inspiration. This book will make you think and ask yourself ‘What would I do?’, ‘Could I do that?’, ‘How would I cope?’. It is all the more poignant for that. You don’t read this story, you feel it. In my case, I stayed up until 6 a.m. to finish it after deciding to read ‘a few pages’ earlier in the night. It’s one of the best uses of a lost night’s sleep I’ve ever had.