I guess the first thing you need to know is that I inhaled Me Before You. Once I got started and through roughly 100 pages, I could not put the book down. I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning finishing that sucker, only taking minor breaks to recover from all the crying.
I’m thinking a synopsis of this story will benefit from the less is more strategy. Will Traynor is one of those douchebags who had it all – money, amazing job, blonde leggy girlfriend, and all the adventure he could stomach. His life is changed with he suffers a spinal injury and can no longer move from the chest down. He doesn’t deal well with his new life.
Louisa Clark is 26 and newly unemployed. Her trusty six year cafe job has gone away rather unexpectedly and now she has no idea what to do next. She’s desperate to find work to support her parents, grandfather, sister, and nephew. She takes on the caregiver position for a wheelchair bound man who turns out to be our charmingly snarky Will. There might also be a castle involved.
Me Before You won’t blow you away with its amazing literariness. The writing is fine if rather uninspired, but the story – so good. Moyes impressed me with her characters and her ability to make me care so freakin’ much about what happens to them. She also knocked me silly with her moral confrontations and the questions she demands you ask of yourself.
Will and Lou make such a great pair. You’ll love everything about them, even their faults of which there are many. The side characters are just as brilliant – specifically Lou’s colorful family. You’ll root for their strange little group and wish them nothing but the best page after page.
Finally, this little romance is the one I’ve been searching for – the one that has renewed my faith in love stories. I’m tempted to read Moyes’s backlog in a feverish rush. She doesn’t write an easy book – so please be warned. So many tears – an ugly cry that I haven’t cried in a long time. Her ending is difficult, layered, and will leave at least a tiny hole in your heart, but I never really yearned for a different conclusion. I loved the moral quandaries I battled with and I’m glad Moyes poses them to her readers in such an honest way. I love that the romance of this story rises above ‘cute’ to become something much more candid, serious, and realistic. Highly, highly recommended.
Bonus Points: All the British-isms! I love that you know this book takes place in England without even being told. So many times British novels are watered down and edited to Americanize them which is dumb. I’m glad Me Before You retains its accent!