Plot: 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
I purchased this book for the sole reason of knowing who dies when the film comes out (if anyone dies, to be more correct). I really wouldn’t walk away from the film just because of it, but it is better to be prepared than to suffer from shock in an audience.
What I liked:
- The book isn’t soppy. I was expecting something in the line of The Notebook or a Walk to Remember, and it couldn’t have been more different. I’m not saying that there aren’t moments that make you rub your heart because of the sudden surge of pain shooting through it, but for the most part the author steers clear of cheap manipulative tricks.
- The book reads really fast and easily.
- It is pretty realistic – never once does anyone pretend that Will Traynor can be cured of being a quadriplegic, and they don’t even hint that there is some miracle treatment because there isn’t.
- SPOILER TERRIROTY: The book touches a lot on whether we have the right to force someone to live. I would say that it is the main theme of the book, and that romance is the second, but falls far behind what is really addressed in this novel. It is a really dark concept, but forcing a clear headed person who isn’t suffering from a mental illness to live in a state that is a shadow of their former selves seems incredibly cruel and selfish. There will be so many people that will say they are completely against assisted suicide and I used to be one of them, but things change when you’ve seen someone you love die of a dreaded disease and who had become a mere ghost of the person they once were. I guess that is why I had some sympathy with what Will Traynor wanted to do – he was one of the most adventure seeking men out there and he became someone that couldn’t even feed himself – that is a long way to fall in my opinion.
- The author has been compared in some articles to Marian Keyes, and I just don’t think so. Both authors have their merits, but just because two people write about British and Irish characters doesn’t mean that they even cover the same material. REMOTELY.
- The book isn’t overly littered with medical terms, you just understand the severity of Will’s condition and the complications that come with it.
What I didn’t like:
- I take it that the book takes place in England – I don’t think the country was actually ever mentioned, and I couldn’t place the characters.
- Louisa – in the beginning her main attribute is that she is Why do women in books even have to be nice anymore? Haven’t we progressed 66 years from 1950? Naturally she improves throughout the book and experience the most character development, but it is a damn shame that she is so flipping nice.
- Peter. What.a.loser.
Me Before You is thought provoking. It is sad and wonderful and full of emotion, and once the book starts progressing, it is really hard to put it down and walk away. I will move on to read its’ sequel soon, and I am really excited what it might hold. As always, I will keep you up to date!
Have you read Me Before You? What did you think?