Here are the basics ...
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Publication date: Dec. 31, 2012
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Category: Adult Fiction / Literature
Summary: 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. (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…The good: When I reached the end of Me Before You, I felt like my heart had been ripped out. It actually made me feel a little crazy to be sitting at my desk crying my eyes out over two people that are fictional. But as I read Lou and Will's story, they came alive through the author's words. I could picture it all so clearly. Every conversation, every look, every detail. I honestly thought I had the whole story figured out before I opened the book. I didn't consider that a bad thing though. I was in the mood for two great characters, an unlikely relationship, a little romance, some laughs. What I got once I started reading was so much more than I had anticipated.
Louisa ("Lou") Clark is an ordinary, small town girl with a nice family, steady boyfriend and a job at a local cafe. She's content with her less-than-exciting life. Then she loses her job and after a slew of unsuccessful opportunities, she becomes a caregiver to Will Traynor. Will's life has been the exact opposite of hers. Head of a corporation, worldwide traveler, sports extremist. Which makes the motorcycling accident that left him wheelchair bound, all the more tragic. I'm sure you can picture the scene already. She's never worked this kind of job or done anything outside her comfort zone. And he's unhappy and pretty much an arse (they're British, btw!) about it. They don't exactly hit it off.
What makes this story so beautiful is what they end up bringing to each other's lives. They both change and evolve and develop this comraderie that often made me laugh or moved me. I really loved Lou's character. The book is told from her point-of-view mainly (we get a couple chapters told from other people's perspectives) and it's impossible not to relate to her in some way. She's scared of the unknown but she's smart and has this energy that's totally infectious. You want her personality to crack through the walls Will has put up. Then Will. How can you not feel for this man. His circumstances are undeniably tragic and the author doesn't shy away from describing the daily pains he faces. We get to see the perspective of someone in his position but also what it means to be a caregiver. This is not a light and fluffy book with a Hollywood ending despite what I've written so far. It touches upon some very serious and dark themes that will definitely make you think. It brought what might've been a straightforward story to a whole other level.
(No) reservations: I really don't have any but because the book takes place in London, there were a couple things here and there that I had to google when I didn't get the reference.
Do I recommend?: Yes, yes, yes! I immediately told friends about it the day after reading. I seriously want everyone to check it out so, please do!
Estelle from Rather Be Reading featured my recommendation of this book on her blog last week :)