Title: Me Before You
Author: Jojo Moyes
Page Count: 369
Younger Readers: This book contains controversial topics such as depression and suicide that may not be easily understood by very young readers. There is some language.
Synopsis from Good Reads:
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 color. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.
I bought this book on a whim, not really sure what to expect. The synopsis worried me a bit. Was this book going to be one of those really sad ones that drag on? Would I even be able to finish it? I certainly did not expect for this to become one of my favorite books.
As the synopsis describes Lou and Will are the two main characters of our story. Lou is a young woman living in a crowded home with her parents, grandfather, sister, and nephew. She has a steady boyfriend and has worked at the same café for years. Her life is turned upside down when the Buttered Bun closes and she must find a job to continue supporting her family. This is when she meets the Traynor family. The adult son, Will Traynor, was once a successful businessman and exceptionally adventurous. After an accident leaves him wheelchair-bound he falls into a depression and needs help with everyday tasks. His mother ends up hiring Lou to stay with him during the day. And so begins the heartbreaking, gorgeous, amazing story.
The characters were complex and fully fleshed. Lou on the surface is an eccentric girl who loves crazy clothes and never stops talking, maybe she is even a little ditzy. On the surface, Will is a depressed, mean, and hopeless man that tragedy has fallen upon. Mrs. Traynor is a cold woman. Mr. Traynor is good-natured but not always present. The Clark family is insane. This is the world that Moyes introduces the reader to slowly at first. Before you realize what is happening, you are immersed in this world and can see beyond the surface.
Getting to know these characters and seeing their relationships form was a wonderful reading experience. Over the 369 pages, I felt an entire range of emotions. Moyes conveyed the warmth of falling in love, the hopelessness of an impossible situation, the embarrassment of mistakes, the fear of the past, and the impossible sorrow of loss. I laughed and I cried. I would absolutely recommend this book.
About the Author of This Review
Ms. Winkle is an author and book blogger. Bleeding Heart is the first installment in her Guardian Chronicles series and her first novel. She has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Montana, an MA in International Security from the University of Arizona, and is currently working towards her Ph.D. in Political Science. When she isn’t studying she can usually be found with a dog and a book. You can find more of her book reviews by going to her blog at: http://obsessivereadingreviews.blogspot.com