Sunday, 15 May 2016

Book Review: Me Before You

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 know's 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 my best friend showed me the trailer for the 'Me Before You' movie last year and I balled my eyes out, I knew I had to read the book to emotionally, mentally and physically to prepare for the visual version!

Can I just say I love how British this book is... I've never read such a British book before this one and it's great!

To give you a small picture of how Lou becomes Will's carer... She loses her job in a cafe called 'The Buttered Bun' and seeks out the Job Centre to find another job suitable for her. When there isn't much to offer, Lou is advised to go for a carer position, Lou wasn't too sure as she had no experience and she really didn't fancy having too wipe someone's bottom every day for 6 months. 

When Lou did pursue this new career move, the family and the man in the wheelchair was not at all what she had expected. Will Traynor is a very stubborn man who hates the fact people have to do everything for him, feed him, change him, make choices for him... To put it straight, he hates life. When Lou finds out 3 months into getting the job, Will promised his parents 6 months and after those 6 months he would fly to Switzerland to end his life, Lou makes it her mission to make Will see that life is worth living no matter your life situation. She organised as many day outings as possible whether he liked them or not and arranged the make it or break it holiday just as the 6 months were coming to an end to show Will what he could do, crippled or not. 

Lou dedicated her whole time into Will Traynor which meant she had her ups and downs with boyfriend, Patrick. Her family on the other hand were very supportive of Lou's dedication and even invited him round for dinner. They thought very highly of Will. I don't think Lou expected to ever fall in love with the stubborn 35 year old man who didn't want to be alive anymore but she fought for him until he realised what he could have... The question is, was it enough???

This is 100% one of the best books I have ever read and it definitely on the list of my favourite books alongside 'Looking for Alaska' by John Green! 

No matter how stubborn Will was, I couldn't help but fall in love with his character... He is such an intelligent man who had the life everyone could only dream of! He travelled the world, had the beautiful girlfriend and had a job he actually enjoyed... Having all of them taken away from him, I can totally understand why he would just want to give up on life, everything he loved, he could never do ever again. Well he could, but it would never be the same. He may have acted like he had a cold heart and was as numb as ever when it came to feelings, he was generous enough to give his family 6 months even if it was the most painful 6 months of his life... He put them first. 

Lou is such a bright, enthusiastic, bubbly character who cares for others before herself. When she sets her mind to something, she never gives up. Will had definitely been a challenge for her but she manages to ignore his snarky comments and ignorance to give him the best of a life he could get. Lou had never been one to travel as she is a working class girl and is one of the main money makers alongside her dad, making sure her family has a roof over their head and plenty of food to eat. Will has the lifestyle of the rich and famous so he doesn't get how hard it for Lou to just get on a plane and travel wherever she wanted. He never stopped encouraging her to explore the world while she had the chance though. 

The relationship between Lou and Will is something so powerful. At the start, they couldn't stand each other, Will would hardly ever talk to her and Lou did everything to keep herself occupied so she didn't have to sit in silence with Will. As time went by, Will saw how beautiful Lou was and Lou saw how handsome Will was, they grew fond of each other and even laughed together once in awhile which was joyous for his parents as Will hadn't laughed in so long. I think Will's heart softened for Lou when he realised how much she truly cared for him and he had not had that intimacy since his ex girlfriend left him after his accident.

I'm not going to give any spoilers, however, all I'm going to say is after I finished this book, I cried and hated life for about an hour just as I did with 'A Walk to Remember'. It has honestly made me rethink even watching the film because the book hasn't prepared me at all... It's just broke me! If you are a very emotional person, this book will make you cry so damn hard! You will also smile and laugh but it does not make up for the pain you're going to feel!! 

There is a sequel to this which I don't think I'm going to read as I don't want to ruin anything, even though the ending wasn't as I expected, I have to live with it and I want to leave it there because the sequel isn't going to make me feel any better anyway!!

If you've read this book let me know how you felt and tell me if you're still as excited for the film because I am definitely NOT!!!!

About the Author

Jojo Moyes was born in 1969 and grew up in London. After a varied career including stints as a minicab controller, typer of brallie statements for blind people for NatWest, and brochure writer for Club 18-30, she did a degree at Royal University in 1992, she won a bursary financed by The Independant newspaper to attend the postgraduate newspaper journalism course at City University.

Jojo worked as a journalist for ten years, including a year at South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, and nine at The Independent where she worked variously as News Reporter, Assistant News Editor and Arts and Media Correspondent.

Jojo has been a full time novelist since 2002, when he first book, Sheltering Rain was published. Since then she writtern a further eleven novelos, all of which have been widely critically acclaimed.

Jojo has won the Romantic Novelist's Award twice, and Me Before You has been nominated for Book of the Year at the UK Galaxy Book Awards. Me Before You has since gone on to sell over 3 million copies worldwide. 

Jojo lives (and writes!) on a farm in Essex, England with her husband, journalist Charles Arthur and their three children.

Thank you for reading! :)

- Shelby xxx


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