**SPOILER ALERT** (if you haven’t read the book skip the last two sentences of the third paragraph)
It’s been about two weeks since I finished Me Before You by JoJo Moyes and I am still reeling! It has been an absolute struggle to find the right words to express just how much I loved this book (and the sequel, review to come.) This was honestly one of the most captivating, moving, and truly organic love stories that I’ve ever read and I strongly encourage everyone to seek out this emotional rollercoaster of a novel.
In this heartwarming, yet heartbreaking tale Louisa Clark takes a job as a caregiver for Will Traynor, a young, successful businessman who is struggling to cope with his paraplegia. What begins as a rocky and solely professional relationship between Lou and Will evolves into so much more as they take the time to get to know each other. When Lou learns the true reason behind her employment, she makes it her mission to try and show Will how to live life to the fullest, even from the confines of a wheelchair.
The character development in this novel is absolutely stunning. I think the main reason I was so moved by this book is because Moyes makes each character leap off the page and become so real to the reader. Louisa captures the true essence of young adulthood; the floundering, the lacking self-assuredness, and the naivety, while Will exquisitely captures the darker side of living with a disability that I feel is often strategically avoided. More importantly, Lou and Will’s relationships captures love in its purest form. The way their relationships unfolds allows the reader to explore just how intoxicating, yet painful that love can be. The hard truth about love that this book explores is the fact that if Lou truly loves Will, she’ll let him go through with what he wants to do, even though it would mean losing him. As Nathan eloquently puts it, “No I want him to live. But I want him to live if he wants to live. If he doesn’t, then by forcing him to carry on, you, me–no matter how much we love him–we become just another shitty bunch of people taking his choice.”
I apologize if this review isn’t as in depth or informative as others but it’s really difficult to put into words how this book touched me. It challenged how I thought about love, disability, personal choice, and most importantly living life to the fullest. If you’re looking for a book that will make you laugh, cry, and grapple with bigger issues than you’ve ever experienced in a love story, Me Before You is it.
Let me know your thoughts on the novel or the movie if you’ve already seen it!
5 out of 5 stars 🙂