Published on 31st December 2012 by Pamela Dorman Books / Viking | 369 pages
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.
Review: 5 stars
“Hey Clark’, he said.’Tell me something good’. I stared out of the window at the bright-blue Swiss sky and I told him a story of two people. Two people who shouldn’t have met, and who didn’t like each other much when they did, but who found they were the only two people in the world who could possibly have understood each other.”
The only way for me to possibly describe this book is that it is one of the most, if the not the most, moving book that I have read in my entire life. This was a hard story for me to read through because, confession time – I’m a massive cry baby. Seriously, my tear ducts are extremely sensitive and this book certainly put them to the test. My tear ducts failed. I cried nearly the entire way through; I think the first tear fell mid-chapter 8 and by the last page I was sobbing. Actually sobbing, those really ugly sobs that wrack your body and cause you to make inhuman noises. Yep, that was me. But despite the tears and the sadness, this story also gave me something that I can’t quite describe. It wrapped itself around my soul and gave me a new found respect for my life. All I can tell you for sure is that every single tear was worth it. This story is incredible and I would recommend it to anyone in a heart beat. Please don’t be afraid of crying a little because in the end you will walk away from this story in shock and awe.
“I will never, ever regret the things I’ve done. Because most days, all you have are places in your memory that you can go to.”
Will Traynor is a man that had lived an active and vibrant life before he was in a motorcycle accident that left him paralysed from the chest down. Confined to a wheelchair and dependent on others for his every need causes him to want to end his life. Louisa Clark is a simple girl from poor beginnings who has never left her small hometown. Will is alive but he can’t really live and Lou is alive but too afraid to live. The two meet when Lou becomes Will’s carer. Lou is determined to improve Will’s outlook on life by attempting to show him that just because he’s in a chair doesn’t mean his life is over. And Will teaches Lou how to really live and take advantage of the life she has. I found myself immediately connected to these characters, they’re emotions and choices felt so real to me that I had to continually remind myself that they’re fictional. Even the minor supporting characters were all incredibly well done. I felt the strain of the Clark family’s financial situation, I felt the pain hidden behind the cold attitude of Mrs. Traynor and I felt the strong conflict within Mr. Traynor between his heart and his family. I want to give a special mention to Mrs. Traynor; I feel incredibly sorry for this character. The other characters in this book seem to judge her very harshly for her perceived coldness and decisions but I feel like she has had to make the hardest decision that anyone could possibly make. All she wants is for her son to live and be happy but life has definitely been hard on her. However there really isn’t one character that I disliked or felt was unrealistic. The fact that these characters were able to wheedle their way into my heart and soul so quickly is a testament to Jojo Moyes’ incredible writing.
“I can’t do this because I can’t…I can’t be the man I want to be with you. And that means that this – this just becomes…another reminder of what I am not.”
This book is categorized as a contemporary romance but it so much more than that. This story is about life and about being alive but unable to live. This is a strong political statement about euthanasia disguised as a romance. I felt like the story was realistic, it wrote about real issues and presented a number of really good points. This made it really easy to quickly become attached to the characters and the issue at hand. I found it forced me to question my own judgements towards disabled people and really helped me become engaged in a highly contentious issue.
“Push yourself. Don’t Settle. Just live well. Just LIVE.”
This is a touching and heart-breaking story that will teach you the value of your life and will inspire you to get out there and live it. I think everyone should give Me Before You a chance. It is easily the best book I’ve read this year.
I received this copy from Pamela Dorman Books / Viking via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.