Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Louisa Clark is an ordinary young woman living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.
Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.
A love story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?
This review will contain spoilers for both the book and the movie
Overall, I was actually surprised that I enjoyed this story. I’m not huge on romance novels (anymore) and often times I think that they are very poorly done or just completely over the top.
Firstly, I appreciated the progression of Will and Louisa’s relationship. I hate insta love so I’m at least glad that that was left out of the story. However, from reading it, I didn’t really feel that Will loved Louisa like she loved him……idk maybe that’s just me.
I like Lou. I like having her as the main character. I like her mother but not so much her father. He’s an asshole. You could at least try not to shove your favoritism of Treena in Lou’s face.
Katrina is a bit of a bitch sometimes.
Patrick is a complete dick.
I like Nathan though, no complaints there really.
I understand why Will acts the way that he does toward Louisa in the beginning but I really appreciate that she eventually got fed up enough to deliver some clapbacks. He needed a bit of a wake up call and she gave it to him.
I love when stories are written from multiple perspectives so I loved the little pop up chapters from other characters. That was a great touch because you got get outside of Louisa’s head for a bit. However, I was really hoping that there would be a chapter from Will. I mean, I guess there’s his letter but it’s not the same.
There was one thing that really annoyed me that most people would probably gloss over. Now I’m not really sure what Alicia’s ethnicity is supposed to be, but because she was described as “caramel” it made me believe she was a woman of color. Anyway, then this happened…
“I wanted to tell him that he was too good for that silly caramel woman…”
First of all, I hate when people of color are described as food. It’s a constant fetishization that needs to stop. Don’t get me wrong, I dislike Alicia (and Rupert) as much as the next person, but why couldn’t it just say “silly woman” instead? I don’t really think that was necessary.
I also wasn’t a fan of the wedding scene where Mary Rawlinson claims that the younger generation expects to have everything they want instantly. Like, can we not? An entire generation isn’t defined by one group of people.
I was surprised when I found out the real reason that Mrs. Traynor hired Louisa. I did not expect that. It also brings up a very tough topic that has been a huge debate since forever. Obviously, it’s heart breaking to know that someone wants to end their life. And I think as a decent human being the immediate reaction is to want to prevent them from feeling that way. On the other hand, I’ve seen people suffer. I know that you have to think about how they feel and what they want. So at the end of the day, I think that I agree with Nathan: it has to be Will’s choice. It’s a hard decision for someone on the outside looking in. He was positive for a long time that things would change despite the fact that his life had been so drastically changed. Do I agree with his decision? Not necessarily. But I understand, and whether or not I agree doesn’t really matter. I know everyone isn’t going to agree with me on that, and it’s fine. That’s just my personal opinion on that specific topic.
I also think it’s important to note when Louisa was talking to Ritchie in the chat group. All of the things that he said about able-bodied people trying to tell them how to feel or make choices for them is something that needs to be discussed. You don’t get to tell others how to feel about a situation that you don’t understand.
Another topic that I appreciate being discussed in this story is sexual assault. It’s something that this society often likes to sweep under the rug which is bullshit because it desperately needs to be talked about. However, I would have appreciated a content warning. Going into this story I had no idea that something like that would be a part of it and I was caught off guard. It was a lot like Perks of Being a Wallflower where everyone talks about how much they love it while ignoring a huge issue at the center of it all. On the other hand, I still love that it was talked about and that Will was there for Louisa to tell her what she needed to know; that it wasn’t her fault.
I felt that the ending was inevitable. I really didn’t think that it would have ended any other way. I hoped so but I felt like that was wishful thinking. I think it was awfully cruel of Louisa’s mother to throw her out but I suppose the bright side is that Will supplied her with what she needed.
3 out of 5 stars.
Next I will read the sequel: After You
I really like the actress who plays Lou, she did a great job.
I also had no idea that Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) was going to be in it. It was contradicting because I love Neville, but now he’s Patrick and I hate Patrick.
I like that Mr. Clark, Treena and Mrs. Trynor weren’t assholes like they were in the book.
Honestly, I was surprised that they didn’t include Louisa’s assault. After reading the book I was kind of glad but then again…..why? I kind of also feel that not including it is sweeping the issue under the rug. What happened to Lou played a huge role in the type of person that she had become and why she chose to dress how she did, so why would they erase it? Maybe there’s an article somewhere that explains why, I’ll have to do some research.
The thing that I loved the most about this movie…..was the soundtrack. Seriously it was fantastic. Between the Ed Sheeran and classical pieces, I’m in love with it.
3 out of 5 stars.