Title: Me Before You
Author: Jojo Moyes
Genre: Contemporary / Romance
Source: Purchased (Paperback)
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.
As I sit here thinking about how to write this review, I have to say that it has been a long time since a book has completely enraptured me enough that everything else seems to fade away and seem not as important, except to read this book. Of course, as I read the book I knew I was also a new mother to a baby so at least ONE thing had to remain top priority — funny thing is that the baby must have known how much I was loving this book because I managed to finish it in three sittings. He turned into a master sleeper, obviously knowing how much I was loving this book!
As usual, when I started reading this book, I had no recollection of what it was actually about (despite buying it previously in the month of January). I had bought it because everyone was raving about it and I had to be a part of that club. Sure, I had read the synopsis when I bought it, but then cracked it open during my mission to read books as they come in (rather than letting them sit and collect dust on my shelf) oblivious to what lay ahead.
All I can say is this: Holy shit.
I was NOT expecting a story like that. I knew people loved this story, were raving about the author and how amazing this book was, but I wasn’t really prepared for how much I was going to love it. Almost instantaneously I was in love with the characters. There was the initial prologue which confused me once chapter one started with a character named Lou and not anyone in the prologue (also the confusion of whether Lou was a female or not, but that was cleared up right away). I was thinking that once I finished a prologue with such a cliffhanger, I couldn’t possibly start caring about characters that didn’t seem to have a foothold on me.
But no. I loved Lou, I loved her family (even though they really seemed to nag on her), and Will. Oh my gosh, Will. I’m trying to recall any book where a character is named Will and I don’t fall in love with them and it’s not possible. Right from the beginning it seemed like such a Beauty and the Beast kind of story. There was Will, the horrid beast who had changed from what he once was into something he hated, and there was Lou, the poor girl working in this home just to save her family. I rooted for friendship, I rooted for love — what I got was a combination of a shattered heart and a heart like the Grinch at the end of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, three sizes too big.
By the last page, the tears were forming in my eyes and the baby was still asleep in my arms and I just had to sit there for a moment, holding the book in my hands, since it was that kind of book that requires a breather when finished reading. I’m still trying to debate whether that breather was good or bad. Regardless. this book made me have ALL the feels and I am so thankful for having a book like that so early in the year.
The writing was enough to suck me in and keep me there, enough to have me rocking that baby for a nap in one arm, while reading out loud to him the story I couldn’t put down (he’s little — it’s nice to be able to read anything to him). It was British enough to make me want to drink tea while reading. Lou was utterly charming. She reminded me a bit of Anna from Stephanie Perkins’s Anna and the French Kiss, the character who loved to wear wacky outfits and loved fashion. I kind of wanted a pair of bumblebee stockings by the end of the story. I also wanted to look out my window and see a beautiful castle surrounded by a garden.
As I sit here, still trying to collect enough thoughts to do the book justice, I realize that I can’t. This is one of those books that readers have to experience all on their own without the help from someone like me. It’s one of those books that you just have to crack open and start reading, without reading the reviews, without reading the synopsis, without any previous notions of how you may feel about it by the end. This is a book that you have to read in a couple of sittings — in fact, I dare you to try and read it just a few pages at a time and not wish that you could just sit down and take the day to absorb it. It’s just that kind of book.
All I can say is that I loved this book and that it has made it onto my favourites list. It’s romantic, funny, heartwarming, and certainly controversial. I highly, highly recommend it.