Me Before You Review
They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .
They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .
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 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.
Oh, reading this reminded me just how much I loved this movie! I went into this having already seen the movie, and it’s one of my favorites. So I already knew basically everything that was going to happen. Now I’ll say this book has become a favorite just like the movie is a favorite. But I didn’t think it was a 5 star read, and I’ll explain why.
If you aren’t familiar with this book or the movie, the premise follows Louisa an ordinary girl living an ordinary life and is perfectly content with that. Until she loses her job. However, her family relies on her income, and Louisa picks up the next available job becoming a caregiver for Will Traynor, who has become confined to a wheelchair after an accident. Will Traynor is moody and arrogant, but determined not to give up Louisa puts up with it all. Shortly, Lousia becomes wrapped up in trying to make Will’s life better, intent on showing Will that his new life can be happy and worth living.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you might have discovered that I’ve grown up around the special needs community as three of my siblings are disabled. So I went into this book with a slightly different mindset than most others probably have. Since I already knew the main events of this story, I was more curious about how the author went about this topic of having a disabled character. For the most part, I thought Moyes did really well. I appreciated following Louisa and seeing her character grow and becoming more attuned to the special needs community. This growth was much more apparent than it came across in the movie.
I’ve grown up around the special needs community as three of my siblings are disabled. So I went into this book with a slightly different mindset than most others probably have.
In the beginning, Louisa was very closed-minded to this community. By the end, however, she was so much more considerate. Not perfect by any means, but she showed a really great representation of someone who had no knowledge of this community and was thrown in head first and learned very quickly how not everything is easy for those a part of it. And I honestly loved seeing her become more aware of the challenges that these people face. Pointing out how hard it is to find adequate parking, the constant stares and whispers out in public, the uneven sidewalks, and even all the alternate entrances/exits that are nowhere near the actual entrance. Louisa learns all the frustrations we face and tries her hardest to find ways around this and being prepared for them.
In the beginning, Louisa was very closed-minded to this community. By the end, however, she was so much more considerate... I honestly loved seeing her become more aware of the challenges that these people face.
That being said, there were a few quirks that I just couldn’t help but get bugged about. One was the description of Will’s adapted van. My family has one of these and the way it’s first described just didn’t really make sense and then it wasn’t consistent throughout the book of how the van worked. I even spoke to my mom about it and she agreed it didn’t sound right.
Another thing was when Louisa starts on her quest to show Will how much better his life can be, her sister helps in researching things Will might be able to do. One of these things is bringing up the Special Olympics, but Moyes didn’t use these words. Instead, she used “Disability Olympics.” I’m sorry, but no one calls it that, it just seemed so wrong. Even I googled “Disability Olympics” nothing shows up under that particular name, what does pop up is “Special Olympics or the “Paralympics.” And if this is what Louisa’s sister just did, she should have called it by the actual name, why would she purposely say the wrong name?
Now, this last thing was the most infuriating thing to me. We’re well into the book when we get to this scene. Louisa’s boyfriend has a go at Louisa about Will after finally meeting him, more so being jealous at the fact Will is actually a good-looking guy. Louisa then makes the comment “would it be better if he looked like an actual vegetable?” At this point in the book, Louisa is more considerate of this community and has even defended Will in front of her family in the past in a much more respectable way. Then she says this insult “vegetable” it just really irked me. No one should ever use this term, it’s degrading and I hated that I had to read that. There were so many other ways Lousia could have approached this. Ways that would have better fit her character instead of saying that.
I know these are small, but especially for being someone in this community, details matter. These details weren’t right, sorry! A little more research would have fixed these.
Despite all these, I did thoroughly enjoy this book. I especially loved being able to see the growth of Louisa’s character, more so than just her becoming more attuned with the special needs community. I loved reading the interactions between Louisa and Will. I appreciated that Will pushed Louisa to aim to become better. Louisa was content with living this small life, and Will would constantly nudge her to strive for more. It was sweet to see that Will gave her support that her family didn’t.
I loved reading the interactions between Louisa and Will.
That leads me to one change I thought was interesting. That being just how rude and inconsiderate Louisa’s family was. In a way, it helped me root even more for Louisa to take Will’s advice to leave and find a life for herself. In the movie, they weren’t nearly as bad. Especially Louisa’s sister, my god! Was she an entitled bitch! I really want to read the rest of the series now to see how Louisa’s life ended up.
Since I went into this knowing the plot, it read very easy and I flew through it quickly. I loved our two main characters, Louisa’s energy and crazy style were easy to imagine. I even loved Will’s broodiness. It reminded me how much I loved the movie. I can’t wait to pick up the next book. I think if you’re a fan of contemporary and romance, or have seen and loved the movie, I highly recommend picking this one up! It’ll give you all the feels!
Warning! Spoilers :)
One thing about this book there is a lot of controversy over the ending. Now I’m not by any means going to say I condone the choice of suicide. I think there’s always a better option. However, I understand the reason Will does choose it. It comes to a matter of quality of life, Will wasn’t going to get better. He was always suffering, always in pain. Without getting too personal, I understand completely where Will’s mindset was. At some point, the body can only take so much before it gives up, it’s been a talk I’ve had to listen to regarding my little brother’s health. Will being a consenting adult didn’t want to wait for that day. Will wasn’t born into this life, he remembers days where he wasn’t in constant pain. He tried to get better and learned after months of no results he wouldn’t get better and his health was slowly deteriorating, Will was going to continually get worse and couldn’t handle it anymore. So although I don’t think he should have gone through with it, I understand the choice.