Oh, this book. This is one of those books I saw on one of the sparkly Barnes & Noble tables proclaiming BEST BOOKS OF THE SEASON or NEW THIS SEASON or something that assault you as soon as you walk in and before you know it, you’re wandering around with a stack of those books blocking your face, trying not to crash into the people you pass.
….So anyway, yeah I ended up with this the last time I was there.
Me Before You opens with Louisa Clark. An average, if slightly broke, 26 year old. Louisa lives in her parents house, helping to support them by working in a cafe: The Buttered Bun. But when the cafe closes, Louisa isn’t quite sure what to do. She had never gone to university and hadn’t been properly trained in much of anything. She has a penchant for outlandish clothes, and an enthusiastic, relatable personality. Louisa is simply content. At least she was. Then she stumbles across a job. A care-taking position for Will Traynor, a 35 year old former business executive who is now wheelchair bound for the rest of his life after being hit by a car. Louisa takes the position and at first adamantly believes that there is no possible way she can keep the job. Will is acerbic and unbearable and absolutely hates her. However. She soon begins to see through Will’s hard exterior and caring for him becomes second nature to her.
When Louisa finds out about Will’s shocking plans for his future, Louisa makes it her personal mission to show him that life is worth living despite its heartbreak and hardships.
I feel like the cover of this novel is really misleading. It makes it look like a Valentine’s Day card. A fluffy romance with nothing to it, when this book is completely the opposite. Lou and Will form an unlikely bond, and show each other what it means to live. The novel tackles complicated issues, and will make you cry like a baby while you root for both Louisa and Will.
I absolutely loved this book. It just had a story line and characters that seemed to stick in my head even when I wasn’t reading it. I would be sitting at work and wondering how Lou and Will were doing at the wedding, or on one of their adventures. The banter between the two of them is funny and natural sounding, and the way he would call her “Clark” is adorable … and everything about them, I just loved. Louis’a family was a little aggravating to me, they seemed to take advantage of her at time, though I know times were difficult for all of them and they were just doing their best. It’s hard to say much more about the plot without giving anything away, which I really don’t want to do. I think everyone should give this book a go, it’s so, so worth it.
Overall, I gave this book five stars because I just truly, whole heartedly enjoyed every piece of it, and cried my eyes out towards the end.
“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.”
“I hadn’t realized that music could unlock things in you, could transport you to somewhere even the composer hadn’t predicted. It left an imprint in the air around you, as if you carried its remnants with you when you went.”
“All I can say is that you make me… you make me into someone I couldn’t even imagine. You make me happy, even when you’re awful. I would rather be with you – even the you that you seem to think is diminished – than with anyone else in the world.”
“Some mistakes… Just have greater consequences than others. But you don’t have to let the result of one mistake be the thing that defines you. You, Clark, have the choice not to let that happen.”