Estimated time to read: 5 minutes
Previously we covered the fantastic Jojo Moyes novel ‘The One Plus One‘, and this time we are going to take a look at her older, 2012, offering called ‘Me Before You‘. One of the main reasons for this is because the film adaption is due to be released on June 3rd 2016. The movie stars, among others, Emilia Clarke as Louisa (the Queen of Dragons in Game of Thrones), Sam Claflin as William (he played Finnick Odir in The Hunger Games) and Matthew Lewis as Patrick (from Harry Potter and Happy Valley fame). An amazing and talented cast who are sure to do to the story justice, and bring the beloved characters to life in the best way.
“He smelt of sun, as if it seeped deep into his skin, and I found myself inhailing silently, as if he were something delicious.”
“How do you know? You’ve done nothing, been nowhere. How do you have the faintest idea of what kind of person you are?”
William is a highly ambitious, cultured and successful person living the high life in the city, Louisa is a 26 year old woman who works in the local café, lives with her parents and isn’t sure if she loves her sports-crazed boyfriend Patrick, they are happy with what they know. But what neither of them know is how things are about to change for them for the rest of their lives. Will is sadly left paralysed and confined to a wheel chair after a motorcycle accident, he becomes a shadow and depressed version of his former self and his mother requires help looking after him. Lou has just lost her job at the local café, and with her parents relying on her income to help out, she needs a new job fast, her personal trainer boyfriend Patrick is no help. But down at the job centre she finds an advert for a carer, Will’s mother sees that Lou is someone who might help bring Will out of his depressive slump, and maybe even start living again.
“You are scored on my heart Clark. You were from the first day you walked in, with your ridiculous clothes and your complete inability to ever hide a single thing you felt.”
“How is it you have the right to destroy my life, I wanted to demand of him, but I’m not allowed a say in yours? But I had promised.”
“I realised I was afraid to live without him.”
Lou walks into Will’s life with a splash of colour, quirkiness and hilarity. As a main character you can’t help but fall in love with this realistic, funny and endearing heroine, over time Will starts to become more open minded and even communicates with Lou. He realises she has had limited opportunities in life so he encourages her to travel, expand and explore her horizons, be more ambitious in what she wants out of life. At some point Lou notices scars on Will’s wrists and she then overhears his mother and sister talking, she learns that Will tried to commit suicide after his mother refused to allow him to go to Switzerland to the assisted suicide organisation Dignitas. Horrified at his suicide attempt his mother agrees he can go, if he agrees to wait six months, in which time she wants to change his mind and convince him to live. Lou is heartbroken at his sadness and only tells her sister of Will’s desire to die, and together they plan ways to make him live again, even planning an adventure filled trip to Mauritius for the two of them.
“…all the while telling him silently that he was loved. Oh, but he was loved”
Lou and Will grow ever closer, opening up to each other causing friction between her and Patrick and eventually ending their relationship, in large part due to Patrick’s jealously. Lou and Will travel to Mauritius together, and on the last night of their holiday they share a kiss, open up about Will’s desire to go to Switzerland and realise that the past six months has been the best of their lives. But Will admits that he can’t bear to live the rest of his life in a wheelchair and still plans to go to Dignitas. I don’t do spoilers so you will have to read the book to see if he goes through with it, or is love is enough for him to live for.
“‘You can’t change who people are.’
‘Then what can you do?’
‘You love them.'”
I laughed, I cried and I stayed up all night reading this thought provoking and moral searching story. Lou is hilarious and frequently had me in fits of giggles, the characters reactions and emotions were realistic and endearing. The book has a wonderful balance of funny, ridiculous scenarios and a hard dose of reality, however the seriousness never became too much to handle. Although marketed as a love story, for me it was about more than that, yes it has touches of finding love in unexpected places and against the odds, but for me the main focus was about living life and the importance of making choices. The relationship between Lou and Will is complex and is told in such a uniquely wonderful way, that it develops through several hilarity filled stages, it is impossible not to fall in love with them.
So before the sure-to-be blockbuster hits the cinema’s, grab a copy of the book and get ready for the biggest roller-coaster ever!
Happy Reading Guys and Dolls!
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