Me Before You (Me Before You #1) by Jojo Moyes
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.
Publishes in US: December 31st 2012 by Pamela Dorman Books/Viking
Genre: adult contemp
Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC (advanced review copy). I am not paid for this review, and my opinions in this review are mine, and are not effected by the book being free.
After You (Me Before You, #2) already released
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I wanted to read Me Before You because it was recommended to me when I asked for recommendations about other main characters being in a wheelchair after reading The Season of Me and You. And I am so glad that I took it to heart and gave it a try.
Most of the book is from the main character Lou, but there are a few sprinkled throughout from other characters. So technically it is multiple POV, but it didn't overwhelm me or switch back and forth. We get into the head of another character at a critical moment to understand their perspective.
Lou is the main character and she is quirky and talkative. She takes the job of caring for Will, who is a quadriplegic, and the main secondary character, after the cafe that she happily worked for closed. She was reluctant to take the job, and she thought she made a big mistake when the first weeks of working with Will are difficult. He is sullen, rude to her, and generally miserable. But as they get to know each other, they begin to share stories, and Will comes out of his shell a bit. Lou begins to think of adventures to get him out of the house and breathe life back into him, show him that he can still enjoy life and get pleasure from things he used to enjoy as well as discovering new things. He also introduces Lou to new things like foreign films and classical music performances that she'd never experienced.
I knew that I wanted them to get together from the beginning, so Lou's boyfriend, Patrick was automatically on my bad list. He was very fit, and he and Lou are just a strange match because she isn't physical.
The family dynamics takes star in the book at times. Lou lives with her parents, her grandpa and sister and her child. The sibling rivalry between Lou and sister Treena is still active but they also share the bonding moments. Lou's parents just want her to be happy, but also depend on her income as Treena doesn't work. As far as Will, his parents hired Lou even though she didn't have any care experience but that she is friendly and chatty, and was hoping she could help him. There is also Will's main intimate care giver, and I really liked him. He is upbeat, and is able to banter with Will and help Lou on her quest to bring Will back to life.
Me Before You was a contrast, Lou and her cheerfulness, Will and his sullenness. And then there was the way that they pushed one another to discover new things. Me Before You is character driven, and its slow blooming, but still captivated my attention. It made me think about things like what kind of life could I imagine me living. Could I live without sight? hearing? being able to walk? only being able to move my head and a bit of one arm and dependent on others for every little thing like Will? Is love for another person enough to bring on that will to live?
The emotions and all the feels really started to kick in BIG time in the last bit of the book. I am NOT a crier, but it made me want to.
The ending. It has me so torn, because I understand and was so torn about how I wanted it to end. But then again, it broke me and I wish that it could have been another way,.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Have you had any experience being in a wheelchair or disabled in any way?