me before you

Me Before You is not the type of book that I’m usually drawn to. I had seen the multiple glowing reviews and testaments from bloggers and other readers, but it just didn’t appeal to me when it was released last year. So I’m not really sure what drew me to pick it up when I was walking through the stacks a few weeks ago and saw it on the shelf, but I am very glad that I did.

When down-on-her-luck, endearing Lou gets a job as the companion to Will, a paraplegic, she breaks him out of the self-imposed isolation he has been living in. Taking him on adventures, outings, and day trips she manically tries to help him enjoy himself because she’s learned something about his future plans that she can’t accept. As she tries to understand him and his struggles they inevitably grow closer and form a bond that Lou hopes is stronger than Will’s unhappiness with his life.

This is a book that I think many might confuse as a romance, but it isn’t really. It is more a book about life choices, making the most of the days you have here on earth and the question of whether we should have the choice to decide for ourselves when our own days will end.

The characters, especially Lou, are realistic and heartbreaking and life is is portrayed in all of its mundanity and glory. It is funny and sad, absurd and somber – a really perfect contemporary ‘issue’ novel that is much more human that any Jodi Picoult book.

Moyes’ next book, The Girl You Left Behind, comes out in the US tomorrow and I am very much looking forward to reading it.

12 Comments

  1. Like you this not the sort of book I am usually drawn towards but I have read some lovely reviews of it. That I really do fancy reading it now. I must also say I really like the cover on your copy. Much more striking than the British cover I’ve seen.

    • It was surprisingly good. It is very well-written and funny and real – all things to love. And, yes, the cover is very striking. I love the typography.

  2. I enjoyed this one, and so much more than I ever expected to. My book club picked it, and I probably wouldn’t have read it without them. Great book!

    • I think it would be great to discuss this in a book club – I’m sure there would be such differing opinions on Will’s decision.

  3. I put off reading this for ages, I’m not usually one for chick-lit, ended up loving it. Completely agree with your comparison with Picoult.

  4. Another book for me to add to my list! Thanks for letting me know about this one, it sounds very good. Your last post about Rebecca struck a chord with me. My book group has been going on for about twenty years and Rebecca was our very first book. It was a hit! I love the book myself, and find the narrator fascinating, especially since she has no name. I am so glad you started a book club!

    • I wonder why my book club didn’t take to it so much? I thought it would be a hit, too, but it fell flat.
      I am really glad I started a book club also! I’ve really loved our meetings and conversations and it is something I look forward to every month.

  5. I’ve been confusing this one with the book about the ill teen-agers (The Fault in our Stars, I think?) Your review does make it sound appealing. A book group I belong to is meeting this weekend to choose books, and I’ve been trying to come up with suggestions (I know my favorite Victorians won’t fly). I might try this one!

    • The Fault in Our Stars is good, but they are completely different books! 🙂 I think this would be a perfect choice for book clubs. Enjoyable to read, but with a definite ethical issue that would make for a vigorous discussion.

  6. I’m still umming over this one, as I’m not sure I like the take on the theme, but I have a lot of good reviews.

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