Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Published by Pamela Dorman Books/Viking on December 31, 2012
Genre(s): fiction, adult, contemporary, romance
Format & Pages: hardcover, 369
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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.
Me Before You was a generally good story with a good theme. It had a bit of a slow start but slowly crept up on me and captivated me for the rest of the book.
This story felt particularly “real.” Much as I enjoy a good fantasy, this is one of those stories that might well be real life, that could theoretically happen to you or me tomorrow. I also appreciated how each individual relationship is dealt with. These characters are not stereotypes, they feel like they could be your mother or sister or boyfriend, faults and all. And I especially like Lousia, her personality, her attitude, and her quirkiness – which feels just right and not overdone.
For me, this story was less about romance and more about making every moment count. Living life rather than letting it pass by. Ironically, I happened to watch this guy’s TED talk the same day I finished reading Me Before You, which deals with a similar theme: Wait But Why. (And trust me, it’s not only funny but also worth watching.) Is someone out there trying to tell me something?
On a more detailed note, I liked the way Moyes dealt with the passing of time. It almost felt like a character unto itself, stretching and shrinking the way time seems to depending on what we are doing. Some quotes along these lines that especially struck me:
“The morning sagged and decided to last for several years.”
“Spring arrived overnight, as if winter, like some unwanted guest, had abruptly shrugged its way into its coat and vanished, without saying goodbye.”
Overall, this was a well written, compelling, emotional read that’s well worth the time you’ll take to read it.