Well, I have a confession to make… I watched the trailer for the movie before I actually started reading Me Before You by JoJo Moyes. I have probably watched that trailer over a dozen times which is a bit embarrassing to admit but it’s true. However, I think that might have colored my opinion of the book. Oops?
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.
The plot in this was really interesting. While it’s a little cliché with the quirky girl meets arrogant rich boy, I liked the uniqueness of the guy actually being the vulnerable one. It was heavy subject matter presented in a lighter tone. It actually reminded me a lot of this French film, The Intouchables (go watch it now because it’s amazing!), except Me Before You is a romance. The pace did kind of move up and down, with some slower parts here and there but it was never enough for me to think, why the hell am I reading this? I think that’s a good sign really, because I tend to hit that point with a lot of contemporaries. Sorry to all of you contemporary lovers, they’re just not my favorite!
Oh Lou, you were an interesting character. I get why a lot of people liked her, I really do. I see the quirkiness and I can identify with that. She’s one of those people who can make a situation really awkward without even trying and can’t keep a straight face but shows exactly what she’s thinking. I’m the same way! However, I think for a 26 year old, she was a bit too naive to be believable. I didn’t connect with her that way but that’s just me. I didn’t see how she could just accept that life was never going to get any better. For me, settling is like the worst thing you can do, that’s just giving up and I don’t like to see people do that. Thank God, she met Will and he taught her that life is worth living it. I would have tossed the book out the window if she ended up never changing.
Now, Will, he was a great character. I felt he was so much more complex than Lou, which I guess makes total sense due to his disability and all of the issues he’s had to deal with. But I really connected with him and why he felt the way he did. He had experienced all life had to offer and then it was all taken from him. Watching how he reacted to Lou and the relationship that they built overtime was my favorite part. His snarkiness and her optimism/naivety were hilarious when they interacted. I also loved how much he grew to care about Lou. He truly didn’t want her to waste her life away in that small town and never any ambitions. Plus, his friendship with Nathan was a nice touch. I’d like to be mad at Will and call him selfish, but he’s actually selfless and I think that’s what makes it even harder to understand.
Okay, here’s my issue with this book – I think it suffers from being overhyped. I really did enjoy it, it was cute and funny and bittersweet. However, was it amazing/incredible/glorious/superb? No, I don’t think so. Like I mentioned, I’ve watched the movie trailer an insane amount of times and just fell in love with it. So I was hoping that this book would live up to this expectation that I had in my head between the trailer and all of the rave reviews. And guys, it just didn’t. Something was just missing me for me and the strange part is that I don’t know what exactly it is or what I was looking for to give it that last star. If I’m honest, it’s a bit of a shock to me that I can’t give this book the 5-star rating that it seems to be getting from almost everyone else. I just knew that Me Before You was going to astound me but alas, it didn’t. So I’m sorry JoJo, but I just can’t.
Maybe someone else can tell me what it is that was missing for me? Did anyone else feel the same way? Or am I just a crazy person?
Final Verdict: 4/5 Stars