Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Monday, July 11, 2016

Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books/Viking
Publication Date: December 31st, 2012
Source: Purchase
Pages: 369
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Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

After losing her job at the Buttered Bun tea shop, Louisa Clark goes through a series of jobs trying to help provide for her not-very-well-off family before she finally lands a job caring for Will Traynor, a quadriplegic who was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident two years before. 

First, I'm going to say that I loved Louisa. She's hilarious and witty and quirky and colorful and caring. She's got such a big heart. She really struggles with her new job at first due to lack of experience and the fact that Will is really unpleasant to be around in the beginning. But she really pulls through like a champ because her family is really counting on her to provide.

Will used to live a big life before his accident. He was wealthy and successful. He was a traveller and he seemed to live his life to the fullest. Now that he is confined to a wheelchair, his outlook on life has darkened considerably. It has made him sarcastic and kind of mean and really closed off. But Louisa really helps to open him back up and make him smile again.

Louisa's family, I'm having a hard time figuring out what I thought about them. I didn't really love any of them. I think I liked her dad the best, but he made a lot of fat jokes at Louisa and I didn't really care for that. Her mom was alright. I didn't really think anything of her until the end. At the end I really didn't like her though. I was REALLY back and forth on Louisa's sister, Katrina, through the entire book. I think I MOSTLY didn't like her, but I think that she did end up really redeeming herself in the end. She just really struck me as incredibly selfish and only looking out for herself.

This book has a little bit of a love triangle in it. Louisa has been in a relationship with Patrick for seven years, but you can tell during this whole book that there really isn't any kind of flame there anymore. Because Patrick is kind of a douchebag. And really pulls a bad move in the end of the book. 

The romance between Will and Louisa is really slow burn. They really can't stand each other in the beginning. Will is unpleasant to be around (which is understandable) and Louisa doesn't know how to talk to him. But throughout the six months that Louisa cares for Will, they definitely build a better relationship. They become able to talk nicely to each other, tease each other, and eventually have real conversations. They become more comfortable around each other and things just kinda go from there.

I have seen a lot of controversy surrounding this book lately. And I went to school for human services which encompasses working with people like Will, who have disabilities. So I think this topic is interesting.

I have seen all this buzz saying that this book is sending the message that the lives of people with disabilities aren't worth living. I don't really think that's the case. Will may be the main character in this book, but he isn't the only quadriplegic mentioned. The quadriplegics that Louisa goes to with her questions in the chatrooms make it very clear that they believe their lives are worth living.

The people around Will believe his life is worth living, Will just doesn't want to live with the constant pain and the knowledge that he will never live the same big life as he did before. And he's never going to get better.

This is a choice that people actually make, I just felt like this book was trying to tell the story of someone who made this hard decision, not trying to tell us the story of someone who's life no one believes has worth.

Of course, I'm perfectly able-bodied and will, in all likelihood, never have to deal with this in my life for myself or anyone close to me. So I can see where my opinion would be fairly irrelevant.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I think that if you're a fan of books like anything by Lurlene McDaniel, you will probably like this book. If you like books that will make you cry, you will probably like this book.


  1. I already know I won't be able to handle this book! I don't know if I'd want to, you know? I don't usually read tough-issue YA contemporary so I think I'll stick with avoiding this one, hype or not. I did NOT know about the kind-of love triangle, which totally seals the no-reading deal. Ugh!

    Anyway, great review, Cyra! =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. I really wanted to read it because of the movie coming out! I love the actors so I obviously have to see it! It's probably not something that I would have picked out usually, but I enjoyed this one more than I kind of thought I would. The love triangle wasn't one that felt like tooooo big of a deal to me, but yeah. Still obnoxious because the scorned party was a total douchebag.


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