Wow. Just WOW. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is an awe-inspiring work of adult fiction that will leave you feeling speechless. I’ve been feeling so speechless, in fact, that I have been putting off writing this review for weeks now! Thought-provoking, sweet, charming, and very emotional, Me Before You caught me under its spell from page 1!
The story focuses on Will and Lou, two very different people who suddenly find their lives colliding. A vibrant, handsome, and successful business man, Will feels like he is on top of the world. From a luxury apartment to thrill seeking vacations, he has everything he could ever dream of. Will’s fast paced life comes to a crashing halt, however, after a terrible accident leaves him paralyzed and almost completely dependent on the help of others.
Enter Louisa. Recently unemployed, Lou still lives at home with her parents in their cramped and tiny home, and has never even left the small town that she has grown up in. Desperate for a new job, Lou agrees to become a companion to Will, helping to feed him, drive him around town, and making sure that he has everything he needs. Initially gruff and cynical, Will slowly finds himself opening up to Lou, and a friendship between the two begins to form. As their relationship deepens, readers will be moved by Will’s wish to end his own life, and Lou’s determination to make him change his mind.
One of the first things that struck me about Me Before You was its similarity to one of my all time favourite movies, The Intouchables. Based on a true story, The Intouchables tells the tale of Philippe, a quadriplegic looking to find his place in a world that only seems to show him pity, and Driss, a rough African who only accepts the position of being Philippe’s caregiver so that he can receive his unemployment benefit. The friendship that evolves between these two men is hilarious and moving, and shows a lighter more hopeful side to Philippe’s situation.
While Me Before You has its cute and funny moments, unlike The Intouchables, Moyes’s book takes a closer look at the darker aspects of both Will and Lou’s lives. I loved how far this story was from your typical romance, and I sat eagerly on the side lines waiting to see how Lou and Will’s relationship would turn out. While I initially found Lou’s character a bit dull, I was amazed by how much she changed and developed over the course of the story through Will’s influence and guidance. Likewise, Will’s change in attitude and willingness to try new things for the sake of Lou was touching.
I guess what I’m trying to say in this terribly written review is that Me Before You is definitely worth a read! You’ll find it impossible to put down, and will want to talk about it with every friend, mother, aunt, and co-worker you run into once you are finished reading. Just make sure that you have a kleenex box ready, as you near the end.
Rating: 5 Stars
Also! Check out The Intouchables too! It really is one of my all time favourite movies, and it will make for an interesting comparison between Will and Lou, and Phillpe and Driss, who tackle paraplegia in two completely different ways! Don’t let the fact that the movie is completely in French stop you! Suck it up and read the subtitles because I’m 98% sure you will fall in love with this movie too! Check out the trailer below!