Book Review: ‘Me Before You’

imagesWritten by Gwen Johnson

Me Before You, written by Jojo Moyes, brings readers an entirely new twist for a love story. Moyes had me laughing and crying with every turn of the page. The novel breaks the boundaries of any cliche love story you’ve read before and offers an entirely new lens on a highly controversial topic seen in today’s society.

When the young, quirky protagonist, Louisa Clark, is faced with the predicament of having to find a new job, life throws her an unexpected twist:

“Just came in. This very minute. Care assistant position.”

“I told you I was no good with—”

“It’s not old people. It’s a….private position. To help in someone’s house, and the address is less than two miles from your home. ‘Care and companionship for a disabled man.’ Can you drive?”

“Yes. But would I have to wipe his —-”

“No bottom wiping required, as far as I can tell.” (Moyes 15)

With no wiping involved, and it being the last option for a job, Louisa decided that working as a caregiver for a recently-paralyzed man, Will Traynor, might not be as disturbing as her previous chicken factory experience.

Well, that was until meeting Will.

In his thirties, Will Traynor was far from the picture perfect wealthy bachelor. Long hair, scruff and the personality of a complete jackass hid the man he was before the accident. Making it nearly impossible for anyone to enjoy his company, Will expected Louisa to be the same.

But Louisa wasn’t just anyone. This is Louisa Clark we are talking about here, that stubborn quirky personality could get the hardest of hearts to melt, just as it did Will Traynor’s.

I started reading this book thinking it would turn out to be the same cliche novel that I have read over and over. Cough cough, Nicholas Sparks. Being a fan of love stories, and reader of plenty, this book rates on the top of my reading list.

This book is memorable, not just for the story itself, but for bond it created between me, as the reader, and Will and Louisa. There were moments in the story where I would want to just shut the book and give up because of how frustrated the characters made me, but there was this connection and need for resolution that kept drawing me back. I had never had this realistic of connection to characters in a book before, and I must say, that is more powerful than any perfect fairytale story out there.  

Moyes is highly skilled with her use of foreshadowing in Me Before You. Each chapter offers hints about the ending without giving it away or giving enough information for the reader to guess. This tease, the questions it leaves you asking, keeps you reading this story. Moyes makes you want to witness the end, even when you yourself don’t know if you want to know what happens.

Moyes gave me an ending I would have never expected from my past love story experiences. Not to mention any names again…Nicholas Sparks. But be prepared, the ending is just that — an ending. It answers the questions that are asked while reading the story whether or not it is what we wanted to hear, but that is life.

That seems to be Moyes point, though, we do not always receive what we hoped for, but we learn from it. We grow. We survive.

Don’t wait to see this novel put into a movie when Me Before You hits theaters this June. This is a love story you won’t want to put down once you start.

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