Hello and happy Wednesday. I thought about this title, and then I was like, “well, technically you didn’t cry THAT MUCH reading this book,” but whatever, let’s just go with it. Today I’ll share an in-depth review of Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, and I hope you really appreciate it. Let’s get started, shall we?
When I say “in-depth” I mean that I usually just share my thoughts in a very superficial way, telling you what I liked and didn’t like, and that’s pretty much it. I share the notes I take as I read the book, but in the case of Me Before You I took a shitton of notes, way more than the average.
I was shocked from the start by this book because I started reading it kind of expecting to hate it. It had all the disappointing elements, you know? It had been a bestseller and was turned into a movie with basically the most gorgeous actors available, and that’s the kind of combination I tend to steer clear from, at least until the whole fuss goes away. Basically yes, I was predisposed to not like this book.
I say I was shocked from the start because what we get to read first, the prologue, is the narration of how Will’s “accident” happens. I don’t want to let out too much about it, but I just always thought, based on the movie trailers I’d seen, that we were going to read about a skydiving adventure gone wrong or something of the sort. I like when from the get-go a novel manages to surprise me and prove my preconceptions wrong.
Will is Lou’s patient, and Lou is our main character. To me, she was a very refreshing character for various reasons, the first one being her age. She was 26 years old when the narration of the novel starts, and I love that because as much as I love my YA, it’s nice to read about characters my own age. She also lives with her parents, which is something we usually don’t see in new adult novels because 26 year-olds are supposed to have their shit together and have their own place.
This novel was seriously addictive, and I think it was the author’s style what did it for me. I feel that British authors tend to be way more descriptive than American ones, and that makes stories all the more believable because they’re easier to picture in my mind. Now, obviously the fact that there’s romance involved helped influence my love towards the novel, but here I have to stop and clarify something. This novel is about love, it is about true love and I had never before seen a more clear representation of it. If you’re looking for kisses and touches and sex, then look elsewhere because this is not that kind of book.
I also felt personally connected to the story because through Lou’s narration we get to understand the struggles people on wheelchairs have to endure sometimes. My uncle is in a wheelchair, and I know what it is to become aware of how unprepared the world is for people with certain disabilities, and how urgent some adaptations are.
Now, here are some trigger warnings. You should not read this book if you have serious issues regarding suicide attempts. There is one in the novel, and it is described with some detail. There are also mentions of rape, or at least sexual assault. These scenes are not fully described in the story, but there are mentions of it and one can infer that one of the characters could have been sexually assaulted.
This is not a trigger warning per se, but a personal opinion. I hated the way Lou’s family treated her. I cannot talk about verbal or emotional abuse, but I can tell you that sometimes their comments were straight up mean. This affected Lou and her self-perception to the point where she was convinced she wasn’t a smart person.
As you have been able to read, Me Before You definitely surprised me in several ways. I must admit that it was way deeper than I’d initially anticipated. I was also surprised by the chapters told from other character’s perspectives. We get Will’s mom, Nathan, Will’s dad, and Lou’s sister. I would’ve liked a chapter from Will’s perspective as well, if I’m being completely honest.
Now, this story is truly heartbreaking, but it didn’t straight up made me cry from page one or anything. I feel it mostly reminded me of things from my own life that did made me cry, you know? Also, yes, the last pages made me straight up cry like a sobbing mess, but I knew that was bound to happen.
I searched for the movie, but it isn’t on Netflix, so I guess I’ll have to keep looking. In the comments below, let me know whether you’ve read any books from Jojo Moyes and what you thought of them.
Love, Miss Camila