Rummanah Aasi
  Jojo Moyes is a bestselling author in the UK, but I haven't heard much about her until her U.S. breakthrough hit, Me Before You, popped on the scene earlier this year. Some readers may love it while others will want to throw the book across the room because of its unapologetic ending.

Description (from the publisher):  They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose.
Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life--steady boyfriend, close family--who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life--big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel--and now he's pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.
  Will is acerbic, moody, bossy--but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

Review: Me Before You is a bittersweet romance, an emotional read that slowly builds until it crescendos in the epilogue. Louisa is a twenty something year old who really hasn't given much thought with what she wants to do with her life. She goes along with her dull boyfriend and her only job experience is working at a neighborhood cafe. She feels a sense of lost when the only job she has ever known abruptly ends due to economic turmoil. Living at home with her lively working-class family in a small English town, she is keenly aware of the financial stress her family is in and she must find a job fast. She sees an advertisement for a caretaker and applies, which is where she meets Will Traynor.
  Will Traynor was a former world traveler, ladies' man and business tycoon who loved his job until a tragic accident left him quadriplegic two years ago. Once full of life and taking adventures, Will doesn't have much to live for. He can't stand seeing pity in people's eyes when they look at him and hates that his situation prevents him from being self reliant. He doesn't want his disability to define himself yet he prevents himself from improving his situation by asking for help.
   Will's magistrate mother hires Louisa at a relatively hefty salary to be Will's caregiver and keep him company for the next six months. The relationship starts off rocking with hardly any communication between Louisa and Will, but their relationship starts to grow and affect both of their lives. Will encourages Louisa to become comfortable in her own skin, seize life, and take chances where as Louisa reintroduces happiness and human contact in Will's life.
  There is a big secret that Will has not told Louisa, but it wasn't a surprise. As much as I knew what the secret was, I didn't want it to be true. Moyes isn't afraid to pulling emotional punches. The injustices of the disabled that we don't think about as able bodies are clearly brought forth and are eye opening. I did have teary moments while reading the book and dreaded reaching the end of the story. While the ending isn't Hollywood, you really wished it was.  Despite some obviousness in the story-line, Me Before You is actually uplifting when you emotionally remove yourself and view the book as a whole. All the characters, primary and secondary, are fully drawn characters making difficult choices. The book makes you question about selfishness on various levels and whether or not it is appropriate to be selfish on occasions. Moyes is definitely a writer that I would read again.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Cautions: There is strong language, sexual situations, and mature topics in the book. Recommended for mature teens and adults only.

If you like this book try: You're Not You by Michelle Wildgen, One Day by David Nicholls, Enough About Love by Hervé Le Tellier
5 Responses
  1. I think this is a bit out of my comfort zone, but at the same time, I have no doubt I'd enjoy these characters and their moral dilemmas. I remember back when Joy reviewed this how much she cried, and I knew then and there that I'd be incapable of distancing myself emotionally. That's just not something I can do.
    Lovely review, Rummanah. I'm glad you liked this.


  2. Tina~ Says:

    ohhhhh, I just got this one from my library, I cant wait to read it now!!!


  3. I'm glad that your first taste of Moyes' writing was a positive one. I do hear a lot about this author in the UK, but I've never really been curious about any of her books myself. Now, however, you have me eager to check this out. Lovely review!


  4. So now you have me guessing about that one thing and I've narrowed it down to two things. I'll have to email you because I know this is way too emotionally crushing for me to read it. You are made of tougher stuff than me, but I'm so glad to just know what this book is about. It sounds beautiful! So glad you enjoyed it!

    Heather


  5. I don't normally read romances but I like the idea of this one because it examines things like ableism and selfishness. I probably would never have found out about this one if it wasn't for you so thanks for the recommendation, Rummanah.


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