I kept promising myself that I would get around to reading this book, I just kept putting it off and then I spotted it in the library and thought I have to do it. A friend at work has been recommending this book to me for months, even before there was talk of the movie so it has been on my TBR for well over a year. I don’t know if I was putting it off because of the heartbreak I was expecting or because it wasn’t the right time to read it. Either way I am glad I finally picked this book up.
Me Before You is about a young man Will who is involved in a car accident that leaves him paralysed and in a wheelchair. He is a quadriplegic who loses his freedom and is confined to a wheelchair which affects him physically and mentally. He is depressed and doesn’t see a purpose to his life anymore whereas before the accident he was very active and sporty, living life to the fullest as a successful business man.
Louisa is a young woman looking a job as soon as possible. She has to work to help support her parents as her mother stays at home to look after her grandfather and her father works hard but doesn’t get paid very much. When she is offered a job as Will’s carer she is hesitant but imagines it’s better than working in the chicken factory where she has spent a few nights already. She goes to meet him and finds he is a bit much to handle, his attitude, his idea of humour; all of it is too much. It takes Louisa time but eventually she starts to see a purpose to her job and before long she likes him more than she expects to.
This started as a real page turner for me; I just couldn’t put the book down. I loved their relationship developing and how they started to learn more about each other. It was sweet and heart-warming to read about Will’s attitude changing and how Louisa gradually started to help him smile and laugh. I found the middle of the book a bit slow but I committed to the plot because I was desperate to see how it ended. I have to say the ending could really only go one of two ways and I wasn’t overly surprised with what happened but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t leave me in tears. The sheer honestly and feelings that were channelled in this book really hit me hard. I don’t know what I would have done in the same situation but I feel Jojo Moyes really displayed all sides of the argument and left it to the readers to decide what was right. My heart was broken in the last quarter of this book but I don’t think I’d have liked to see another ending, it was perfect just the way it was.
The writing was very descriptive and I think this might be why the book was a little slow for me in the middle. I felt that it was well constructed and although most of the book is told from Louisa’s point of view I enjoyed reading the odd chapter from another character’s perspective, it gave a well-rounded visual of the plot.
I am annoyed at myself for not picking this book up sooner because it is a book that deserves to be read and loved. I don’t know if I could watch the movie because I can see it leaving me in a bumbling and teary mess. I might however venture a bit further and read the sequel just to see what direction Jojo Moyes has sent Louisa in. I gave this book a 3 out of 5 stars on goodreads, don’t be afraid like I was and even if you’re not the kind to pick up an adult read, this book will teach valuable lessons and leave you feeling differently about those with physical disabilities.