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.
I've been meaning to get my hands on a copy of Me Before You for the longest time. It had been raved about on BookTube for the longest time. When I found out that the book was going to be adapted into a movie I was frantic to read the book. I really didn't want to see the movie before I saw the book, so I told myself I wouldn't see the movie before I saw the movie. I've succeeded. There's a lot of controversy surrounding this book lately, and all arguments are somewhat valid, but there are also a few points that I would like to make as well. They will be discussed later in the review, so let's get to the review!
To start this off, I'd like to state that I absolutely adored the characters that Jojo Moyes created. Her main characters, Will and Lou, were flawlessly created and wonderfully developed. Lou was such a genuine and real character. I loved getting to know her throughout the book and I loved seeing her character develop and grow as it went on. Will...how can I describe Will? I loved him. He was such an ass in the beginning of the book, but as he and Lou got to know each other he came out of his shell and became something great. I loved Will's character because, like Lou, he was so real. I could tell that Moyes had had a personal connection with someone physically disabled. The plot was fantastic, it was paced perfectly, and none of the actions of the characters were unrealistic. The supporting characters were decent enough. I knew about them that I understood their purpose of the story, but I didn't connect to them like I connected to Will and Lou. This book had me rolling in my bed squealing, I laughed, I cried. I felt every emotion. When I finished the book, I was positively LIVID! Oh my gosh, I'll get into that in a moment.
Rant About The End (Spoilers --Read at your own risk):
My problem was this: Will was totally selfish. Some argue that the book and the film are promoting the notion that mentally and physically disabled people don't deserve or shouldn't get the chance to live a full life. After reading the book, I've come to the conclusion that that idea is completely false. From what I gathered, Moyes was trying to spread the message that all lives matter whether they are able-bodied or not.
After Will's accident, he was made to feel like he couldn't do anything worth while anymore. That he couldn't make choices for himself and that he couldn't be who he wanted to be anymore. Lou took it upon herself to make his life better, and in the process, they fell in love. She promised to do anything and everything for him...and that still wasn't enough for him. He basically said he loved her but it wasn't enough for him to live. She was willing to fly to the moon for him and that wasn't enough for him. He wanted to be who he was before, which is understandable, but he wouldn't even take the advice that he gave Lou! "Push yourself. Don't Settle. Just live well. Just LIVE." and "You only get one life. It's actually your duty to live it as fully as possible." He refused to accept his disability and refused to live the life that he was blessed with. He may have been really ill and unable to do some stuff, but he refused to LIVE! It just really disappointed me. I mean I knew that someone was going to die, but I really hoped that he wouldn't! He could have lived a wonderful life with Lou...Instead he chose to end his life... When I finished the book I was so angry! I was at my cousin's house and I sat and finished the last 50 pages and I was livid! They didn't understand why, but I was a total witch!
This book made me feel some pretty heavy stuff, and I could barely sleep that night because of how screwed up my feelings were. I cried and I mourned Will's fictional life. I hated that he felt that he needed to make that choice. Life is so precious and to think that people -- real people -- feel like they aren't worthy to live or they are so miserable that they want to end it all....it breaks my heart!
Opinion: I've had debates and discussions with people who agree or disagree with assisted suicide, but I've come to the personal conclusion that I could never O.K. assisted suicide. If someone around me would make that choice to end their lives I would be heart broken. Life is so precious... There are certain circumstances that...nevermind...In the end, it's not my choice because it's their life....I hate it.
***END OF SPOILERS***
I highly recommend this book. If you are intrigued by the issues that it represents, then I definitely recommend that you read this book and form an opinion for yourself. This will definitely be one of my favorite books, ever. It was masterfully done, even if it was completely soul crushing. I can't wait to see the movie. I planned on doing a movie vs. book review, but I haven't been able to see the movie yet. I plan on doing it soon, though. Stay tuned.
Books You'd Also Love:
- The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
- My Rating: 5 stars
- All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
- Me, Earl, & the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
- Burn Baby Burn Baby by Kevin Craig
- Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaira
I hope you have a lovely week!