Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes

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This really isn’t my kind of novel. The only way this could not be my type of book more is if it included zombies and bloodshed. I despise soppy romantic comedies, and the clichés that some people seem to take pleasure in.

Believe it or not, this is more than a soppy romantic story.

“I am not thick. I’d just like to get that out of the way at this point.” The third chapter of this story starts with this sentence. Despite that very straightforward statement, one does question Louisa’s -the main character’s- proficiency in “the Department of Brain Cells”, as she puts it, due to her numerous slips, the most serious of which put Will’s health at risk. (Will is Louisa’s disabled charge). I think even someone of very average intelligence would think twice before getting drunk with a disabled person in their care. She didn’t.

In addition, she appears to be something of a human potato. She’s perfectly content with her rudderless existence in the middle of nowhere. She allows Will to patronize her, calling herself the Eliza Doolittle to his all-knowing Professor Higgins. Sometimes one wonders whether she is six years old, instead of twenty-six.

This is actually what makes her transition into a person so appealing. Towards the end of this deplorably short novel, she actually becomes someone you can care about. A potato with feelings, if you will. Throughout the book, she’s unapologetically unique- an admirable quality.

The book is as much a story between two people, as a well-thought debate on the morality of euthanasia. It allows you to see multiple perspectives on the subject. The opinion of the patient, those who are close to the patient, and even those who are close to those close to the patient.

WARNING: Major spoilers ahead, in the next two paragraphs.

As much as I craved a happy ending for both of them -God knows they deserved it- I respected the author’s decision to let Will die. It seems sad, and a little bit selfish, for him to tell Louisa that her loving him wasn’t enough and he wanted to die anyway. Ultimately, though, it’s his choice, and when he tells her it’s the only thing he’s felt like he has control over since his accident, one doesn’t feel as ill-disposed to him as before.

To be truly honest, Will was the making of Louisa. Though knowing him caused her unbearable grief, it gave her life a purpose: To make Will change his mind. After Will died, she decided to take charge of her existence, and study at a university. While that’s not compensation for his death, at least it gives one something to hold on to.

There is one unanswered question, however: Whatever became of Ritchie, who arranged to meet Louisa through a quadriplegic chat forum?

While I can’t gurantee that everyone will enjoy it, I’d certainly recommend this one, especially to Wattpad readers. There’s something eternally satisfying about a love story is actually realistic, where feelings are not exaggerated.

Image source: The new book cover of Me Before You, as seen on  http://www.bustle.com

 

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5 thoughts on “Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes

  1. Nice review! I was toying with reading this one, and after reading that Will dies in the end, which I kind of assumed, I’m glad I skipped over this one. I’ve been in such a book slump lately. I’m pretty sure a sad ending like that would have made it worse. There’s a sequel, so is the second one about what happens to her after he dies? I haven’t read it so I don’t know, but that would almost seem pointless to me.

    1. I started to type that I didn’t want to spoil it for you, but- And then I realized you read past the spoiler alert. 🙂 Anyway, I found the sequel, but I after the first couple pages, I decided I wasn’t going to read it. Louisa falls and gets hurt (bad) right at the beginning of the book. I’m fairly sure that she’s going to be disabled (like Will was) forever. I also read something in the description about her falling for the biker who hit Will in the first place. I really don’t want to go through that,so I’m passing on this one.

      1. That sounds terrible. I am so glad that your review saved me from reading this. I liked The Fault in Our Stars, knowing it would have a sad ending from the beginning, but from what I’ve read, I don’t think this book is even on the same level. I read a few short pieces of reviews about the sequel, all of which said they thought the author was trying to capitalize on the success of the first book. Anytime I read something like that I’m instantly turned off. There’s too many books out there to waste on something with a disappointing ending. I don’t blame you for passing. It sounds depressing. And the fact that now she will become permanently handicapped and fall for the guy who hit Will just sounds ridiculous. That would never happen in real life. I believe in coincidences, but that’s just so out of left field.

      2. It is pretty far out, I agree. But reading about a disabled Louisa just sounds like Me Before You all over again, this time from Louisa’s perspective.

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