Book Reviews

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes | Book Review

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes | Book Review Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Genres: Fiction, British Literature
Original Publication Date: 2013
Source: I purchased this book
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three-half-stars

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for 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, and 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.

Jojo Moyes’ novel Me Before You has been labeled a romance novel or chick-lit.

However,  Me Before You tackles some very serious issues: What if your life is irreparably changed in an instant? What if you suddenly have no control over any aspect of your life?

In Me Before You, Louisa Clark and Will Traynor Slowly Fall in Love

Louisa Clark gets a job as a caregiver for a quadriplegic, Will Traynor.

Will was a man who lived big – he was a financial wheeler-dealer, he climbed mountains, jumped out of planes, and loved traveling the world. All that changed when he was hit by a speeding motorcycle and his life was changed forever.

At first, Will and Louisa don’t like each other. Will is understandably bitter – the former daredevil now only has very limited use of one arm. He needs care 24/7 and is completely dependent upon others.

Will was a corporate type and Louisa is more of a free spirit, at least in the way outrageous ways she wears clothes, but is far more careful in her personal life where she prefers things to be simple and safe, due to a traumatizing personal incident that happened years earlier.

But as they get to know each other, Will and Louisa learn to understand each other more than they thought they would. Will is intrigued by her kooky dress sense and her warm spirit. Louisa gets to know the charming, playful side of Will that he rarely displays to anyone anymore. They grow to care for each other and depend on each other. But is it enough?

Final Analysis

Even though the subject matter is so sad, I thought that the book was well written and was completely immersed in it right from the start. I was curious to see how the book ended. I liked Louisa very much – she’s spunky and fun, but she does need to expand her horizons.

At first, I didn’t like Will very much. He is very, very bitter, which is completely understandable in his case.

Will has made a certain decision that will not be changed by anyone else.

He also never really tells her how he really feels until the very end.

Will’s mother is rather cold, but that may just be her way of handling trauma. We all have different ways of handling stress and tragedy in our lives, and that just might be her way of handling tough issues.

Also, as some feminists have pointed out, why does Louisa need a male figure to expand her horizons for her? Can’t she do it herself?

However, because of the dark incident in Louisa’s past, she needs to learn to get past that fear and learn to live again – to live big. Will helps her to do just that.

I believe that this book is worth reading. It does raise serious issues that need to be discussed, which is why I believe this book is a favorite of book clubs.

Me Before You was the first book in a trilogy.

If you like this review, please read my review of People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry.

Thank you for reading The Literary Lioness!

About Jojo Moyes

Jojo Moyes is a British novelist.

Moyes studied at Royal Holloway, University of London. She won a bursary financed by The Independent newspaper to study journalism at City University and subsequently worked for The Independent for 10 years. In 2001 she became a full time novelist.

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