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.
Five big emotional stars. Just read this one.
Lou is stunned and heartbroken when she loses her job working in the diner. It has been the only job she has ever had, and at twenty seven and in the midst of a recession, good jobs are hard to come by. Lou must find a job because her family needs her income. When a job opportunity for a caregiver for a quadrapudligic comes up, Lou agrees to an interview as long as there is "no bum wiping". Even though Lou has absolutely no experience as a caregiver, she somehow manages to land the job on a six month trial basis. Unfortunately, when Lou meets Will, she realizes the job is going to be harder than she imagined. What follows is a moving story of how two different people come together, learn, live and change. Are you willing to take life and live it to the fullest?
What I Loved:
- I am not one of those readers that reaches for sentimental books meant to toy with your emotions, and I am certainly not a person who cries when they read books. I am almost never cry. Yet, when I read Me Before You, I had no idea what a surprise I was in for. This is a book that reached in and brushed my soul. It made me feel, it broke my heart, and mended it, and it made me cry. I wanted nothing more than to curl up in a ball after reading this in order to shed a few tears and to contemplate on what I had just read. I am still thinking upon this one, and I know without a doubt, this is a book that will end up on my all time favorite shelves. I actually borrowed it from the library, but I guarantee you I will be purchasing a gorgeous hardback for my bookshelf. I can go on and on, or you can stop here and go read the book. I can say without a doubt, that this book is "scored on my heart".
- For those of you still here, I will tell you about Lou and Will, the heart and soul of the book. Lou is a twenty seven year old girl, still living at home, content with her small and simple life. She has no big future plans, and she has never dreamed of life beyond her small town. She is quirky, funny, bubbly and chatty, and she has the most eclectic taste in fashion. Will is thirty five, a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair after a freak traffic accident. Will is someone who lived life fast, hard and to the fullest, and now his sees life as restrictive, hopeless and full of pain. Somehow these two opposites come together, and they transform one another. Their friendship is beautiful, moving and bittersweet. I loved every moment of the journey, from the prickly moments to the laughter. It was just perfect.
- I loved that this book had a strong focus on family as well. Lou especially has a family who is eccentric, but they all love and support one another for better or worse.
- This is what I call a thinking book. It explores some tough topics, and it certainly made me think about life for those who are disabled. It also takes on euthanasia. I appreciated that the author made me think and feel, and I know this book changed me. I know that not everyone is going to love how the story plays out, but after I thought and I thought on it, I agree with the decision, and I don't think it could have ended any other way. I so admire Will for his bravery and for the choices he made.
- Finally, this book is one that made me sit up and realize just like Lou that we all only have this life, and that we need to live it to the fullest. We need to take time to smell the flowers, to find adventure, to live, to laugh and most of all to love. Don't waste one moment!
And The Not So Much:
- The book is mostly told through Lou's eyes, but there are some chapters from other character's view points such as Will's parents, Treena, Lou's sister and Nathan, Will's nurse. I found the switch to the other narratives was jarring. Furthermore, the voice I wanted to hear the most was not included. Why no narrative from Will? In all honesty, if the author ever chose to write the story from Will's point of view, I would be all for it, as I would love to get inside his head.
- The ending was too fast, and there were so many story lines left undone. I wished that there was more of the aftermath, instead you get a quick Epilogue, which was lovely and it made me cry, but I felt like there was so much more. I wanted to know how it all went down. I wanted to know how Lou worked things out with her family, I wanted..... I don't know I wasn't ready to let go......
Me Before You is one of those books that caught hold of me and touched my soul. It made me feel so many emotions. I laughed, I cried, I smiled and was reminded to grab hold of life and live it to the fullest, every single day. I am not a sappy, romantic type reader, and this certainly isn't that type of book. Instead it is a book that focuses on a life changing friendship and a life altering choice. Do yourself a favor and read the book because I know my words don't do the book justice. Read It! Enough said.
I borrowed a copy of this book from the library in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.
"All I can say is that you make me...you make me into someone I couldn't even imagine. You make me happy, even when you're awful.I would rather be with you- even the you that you seem to think is diminished- than with anyone else in the world."
"You only get one life. It's actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.”
"So this is it, Clark. You are scored on my heart. You were from the first moment you walked in with your ridiculous clothes and your bad jokes and your inability to hide every single thing you felt."
“Push yourself. Don't Settle. Just live well. Just LIVE.”
"I will never, ever regret the things I've done. Because most days, all you have are places in your memory that you can go to.”
"I hadn’t realized that music could unlock things in you, could transport you to somewhere even the composer hadn’t predicted. It left an imprint in the air around you, as if you carried its remnants with you when you went.”
“...I told him a story of two people. Two people who shouldn't have met, and who didn't like each other much when they did, but who found they were the only two people in the world who could possibly have understood each other.”
“I let him know a hurt had been mended in a way that he couldn’t have known, and for that alone there would always be a piece of me indebted to him.”
"I'm fine. I just...I don't want to go in just yet. I just want to sit and not have to think about...I just...want to be a man who has been to a concert with a girl in a red dress. Just for a few minutes more...”
The movie is set to hit theaters in June, and I urge you to grab a copy and read it before it releases.
Here is the trailer:
After reading and contemplating this book, there are two songs that stick with me that convey so many of the emotions. I think Ed Shearan's Photograph is Will song:
And for Lou, Genesis In Too Deep:
Here is the movie revamped book cover: