Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.”
Published: January 5th 2012
Nominations: Book of the Year at the UK Galaxy Book Awards
Film Adaption: June 3rd 2016
Here is the trailer 🙂
Genre: Adult Contemporary
You follow Louisa Clark aka Lou who is 26 and just lost what she feels is her dream job in a café. Lou is very simple minded to what she wants in life. She is not very ambitious and takes what she gets without thinking of more. Desperate to start working again a position is offered up to be a caregiver to a 35 year old man, Will, who gotten into a accident 2 years before and made him quadriplegic (paralyzed from chest down). Though with the great pay of the job she is told it is a 6 month contract. She does not know why and finds it curious but goes along with the job anyway. Lou finds herself in a very complicated position with Will because it was a abnormality to be of help to someone who is paralyzed and as well as he has a fierce and stubborn personality.
As time goes on Lou discovers many family secrets and the person Will was before the accident. Lou faces the challenge that Will hates her, and is as well challenging her to who she really is and wants in life. The journey between Will and Lou with his medical conditions challenges not only Will but Lou as well as she finds out what happens at the end of the 6 months.
Why I Recommend
Okay let me first get this out. OH MY LORD THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD. For those of you who are not Contemporary readers, if you were to read just one in all your reading lifetime, this would be the book to read! This book contains every emotion you could possibly think of. And as an emotional reader, you could probably guess I was a wreck when I finished this. It contains so much of self identity with Lou, self loss even with Will, and heartbreak because you love someone, anger, and courage to live your life to the fullest. And how incredibly convenient my blog post tomorrow is actually about living life to the fullest. Not planned. This book will drag you along even if you can’t relate fully. I can’t imagine what the people who are quadriplegic must feel if they ever get a chance to read it.
Immediately with every charcter you fall in love with them. This book takes place in England so it give you that British humor as well, which I love so much. Each character from Lou’s current boyfriend in the beginning of the novel to her family it was so interesting to read. Each character almost has their own story. Which when writing form the point of view of one person through the entire novel is quite impressive and entertaining.
I can’t really give much detail as to why I loved this book so much because there would be many spoilers… but I can say it will challenge you. It challenges your way of living and thinking. There is also a sequel to this book called After You which I will definitely be reading. I honestly cannot wait for the film adaption to come out. I already know it will be another silent sobbing session in the movie theater.
For the discussion with spoilers scroll down 🙂 For those of you who stop here I really hope you decide to pick up this book and give it a try. Thank you for joining me and I’ll write you guys tomorrow! xo
I was so happy to see that the end of this book had some discussion questions! So I’m going to answer some of them here as well as some of my thoughts because there were so many post its of my notes in this book it was insane! So without further ado here are a few questions to join me in!
- If you were Lousia, would you have quit working for the Traynors? If yes, at what point? I don’t think I would have quit honestly because I would constantly be thinking “I gave up on Will” because what if I had convinced will to change his mind? It would haunt me more than me failing to convince him to live.
- Why is Louisa able to reach Will when so many others could not? I think as Louisa had her mission to convince Will to live he had his own mission to show Lou what she was missing. As Lou is such a wonderfully distinct person she I would think challenged Will as well to her own thoughts about his life.
- Were you as surprised as Lou to learn of Will’s plans? Well first, I had no idea a thing like Dignitas existed. So yes, I was very surprised. I myself have a very strong opinion about planned deaths, especially for criminals. I think its completely wrong and then I found a quote that says “why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?” which basically set it in stone. I’m not particulary sure that I agree with the system. If it were for people who were depressed and along came suicidal I don’t agree. But for people who basically live there lives in a chair with no hopes I understand but like Lou, I would always want someone to live their life. It makes it I guess a little better that Will before the accident lived a great life.
- Would Patrick have asked Louisa to move in with him if he hadn’t felt threatened by Will? If Louisa had never accepted her job with the Traynors, where would her relationship have gone? For the first question, absolutely not! I feel it was a totally pressured and problematic situation and that’s basically all Lou has lived with. She has the responsibility of making money for her entire family at 26 which is insane. I thought it was quite funny as well that a what I’m assuming a very fit man felt threatened by a man in a wheelchair. That itself shows what Lou has said, that the chair does not define Will and I strongly believe that. If Louisa had not taken the job I feel it would still be one of those relationships that “you are just there because that is what you have and if you left that would you have anything else?” I feel it would go on for a very long time till eventually fate would bring to her what Will brought to her.
- Before his accident, Will was a philander and corporate raider who would probably never have given Louisa a second look. Why is it that people are so often unable to see what’s truly important until they’ve experienced loss? Loss is a very interesting and important thing to life. It brings out the worst in people and then the best. Because without loss you just have your greed, or your “happiness” and life is so much more than that. So when everything is basically taken form Will he is left with the hatred of everything basically. This is the storm before the rainbow. But life is a funny thing when it comes to loss because with loss comes a gaining of knowledge to how life works and with that came Lou. And as it was the best 6 months of his life he figured out what really was important. And sadly he though the chair would prevent him form attaining it.
I myself relate so much to Lou. I would be exactly like her to work at the Buttered Bun and love the life that comes into the shop. And without a second thought to where those people come from, I would gladly stay there for a long while. Tomorrow my blog post is all about living life fully which was interesting because I had it planned even before I read this book!
But the first post it note I have is in Camilla’s pov which I enjoyed so much and it is about the concept of God. She says this: It’s not that my religion forbade it (Dignitas)-although the prospect of Will being consigned to hell through his own desperation was a terrible one. I chose to believe that God, a benign God, would understand our sufferings and forgive us our trespasses. As a Christian who is very confused by Gods wanting’s I wonder if the people who did Dignitas or committed suicide would in fact go to hell. In my own way, if they did, I guess I would think that is unfair. But what does that say about me as a Christian? I just want the best for everyone.
The next thing I would like to bring up is in chapter 12 and Will and Lou are discussing how she cuts herself off from all sorts of experiences because she tells herself she is not that ‘sort of person.’ I think this is the most relatable thing for me in this book. I elaborate a lot on this in my blog post tomorrow as well. I think of myself as a homebody, shy, introverted, doesn’t put herself out there kind of person and so that’s what I limit myself too. But Lou denies it and Will says this: How do you know? You’ve done nothing, been nowhere. How do you have the faintest idea of what kind of person you are?
And that hit me like a brick.
This next quote takes place in chapter 15 when Lou has turned to the site where other paralyzed people are and someone says something that catches her eye.
If he has love, he will feel he can go on. Without it, I would have sunk many times over.
This hurts so much considering he went through with Dignitas. But he did have love. In fact he experienced more than he ever has in his entire life within those 6 months. So why did he choose to die? I think maybe Will knew he had love and that was the final piece for him to rest in peace. With Lou as well, she loved Will so much, but she let him go.
Now on a not so serious note, this is not so much a dig deeper into the meaning of this quote but a place for me to express my very much disliking of Patrick. I thought Treena was my least favorite character but when Patrick said this particular thing my post it note literally says UGH! And so he says this, “Do you have to wear these pajamas? I hate you in pajamas.”
I literally screamed at Patrick and would have ended things right then and there. Because WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU MAN? Like say if I had a boyfriend and if I wore my Christmas pajamas around him, which I basically do anyway 24/7, and he said I hate you in pajamas we would have some problems. If you can’t be happy with how I look when I’m at my worst or even most comforting then its like they say, you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best. Maybe I’m overreacting! I don’t know! I just know that this was the moment I truly hated Patrick.
In chapter 18 when Will and Lou finish the wedding of Alicia and Rupert she doesn’t quite know why he was so okay with it now when before all he felt was betrayal. But Lou says this about Alicia aka his ex girlfriend: But I think in the last couple months she had lost the power to wound him.
I think that is such great and powerful stuff honestly. And I can say, that it is the best feeling in the world. All any ex boyfriend or girlfriend want is for their ex to lose the power to wound them. I feel like the realization of this is the final piece for any ex that has been mourning or still trying to move on from a breakup.
And finally the last thing, is the letter that Will writes to Lou to read in Paris. This honestly I thought would make me cry out of sadness and distraught but it didn’t. I felt as well as if this letter had been written to me from I don’t know and changed my life. I was so happy for Will for finding his peace and Lou for finding the journey she needs to find herself. And I think that was the overall feeling of this book that I had, was just being so happy for Lou, her family, the Traynors, and Will.
Thank you so much guys for joining me and I hope you have joined me in this discussion. Keep a look out for tomorrows blog post with more about living life to the fullest. Have a wonderful rest of your day and hopefully I will see you tomorrow!