Monday, March 25, 2013

Adult Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Release Date: December 31, 2012
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books/ Viking  
Source: Library 
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.
Had it not been for Swapna's amazing, I would have never 1) found this book and 2) picked it up to read. But after finding it at my library, I thought why not give it a try? Last night, I was in desperate need of a good book that wasn't part of my review TBR pile. So I picked up Me Before You thinking I would read a few chapters and go to bed. I began and finished this book in one siting.This is one of the hardest reviews I’ve found I have to write because this book is simply amazing. Heart wrenching. Wonderful. Sad. Hopeful.

Having read Swapna’s review, I knew I should expect a lot more than the synopsis told me but I did enter this book with some skepticism. Would this book be that good? In an essence, it was that good. In another essence, it was even better. While the plot seems simply at first, some parts even predictable, the rest of the plot throws you for a roller coaster ride. There were so many twists and turns and changes that made my heart soar and then broke my heart into little tiny bits. The plot took a realistic look at the effects of the recession on different families and their struggles and Lou’s family struggles felt so real. And of course, there was Will. His plot line was the one I wanted to unfold the most and my gosh, it was one of the most heart breaking. Jojo Moyes does not hold anything back in this book and the reader is given an in-depth look at how a man in a wheelchair might live. Some of the easiest tasks we take for granted would take all of the energy Will had to perform them.

The characters in this book are some of the best characters I’ve read about in a long time. Our protagonist Lou is sassy and funny and witty but she’s vulnerable too and she’s far from perfect. But she does the best that she can on a daily basis and her unfathomable love for her family and friends is so palpable. Lou was such a determined young woman that she got up every time she fell. Will, on the other hand, goes though a great (and very obvious) character development, making you love him with all your heart in the very end. In the beginning he is angry and bitter but Jojo Moyes, as I said, did a great job of showing that Will wasn’t always like he is. He can barely perform a simple task like feeding himself without his body hurting. Lou and Will’s relationship also changes and while it may seem that this book is simply a love story, it is so much more than that. Believe me when I say that this book has heart and their budding relationship is slow and builds on friendship and trust.

Yet, the dark aspect of this book surprised me the most. While books with moral questions might make some readers uneasy or weary, I sincerely hope that that does not stop you from reading this book. The moral questions presented in this book not only give this book a somber, almost melancholy mood but one of hope. It makes you question what it means to live and how to live in the best (and sometimes the worst) way possible. I think it’s because of these questions that in the very end, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the end result. Was I utterly happy or utterly devastated? Did I have a right to even want the alternative to the ending? So many of these questions have been swirling in my mind and I’ve yet to come up with an answer. Not many books make me seriously think about their subject matter but some how, Jojo Moyes did just that in Me Before You.

Overall, I want to buy a copy of Me Before You and that is a rarity for me. Me Before You has one the best most complex mix of plot and characters that I have ever come across and I wasn’t expecting to love this book as much as I did. I know some will not love it as much and that is understandable. I am still angry at Jojo Moyes for ending it the way she did but at the same time, I am so utterly relieved by the ending. Do you see my predicament? So, please read this book and see for yourself. Read it with an open mind with little to no judgments before hand and I’m hoping you’ll love it as much as I did.
Cover Comments: 
First thoughts: WTH is this?!
Comments: This cover does this book NO justice what so ever. On the other hand, what kind of cover would fit this book?
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