Monday, February 23, 2015

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Release Date - December 31, 2012
Publisher Website - Penguin
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 369 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**borrowed from library**


Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.
After closing the final pages of Me Before You I knew it was going to be one of the hardest reviews I had ever written. How to convey what this book made me feel adequately when I was barely able to be coherent after. Me Before You is a love story. It is also so much more than that. It's smart, unrelenting, and shines a bright light on the quality of life for disabled people in the process. A story that stole my heart, and left me an ugly sobbing mess in it's wake, but also infused with me an appreciation for this life I get to live.

This is the first novel I've read by Jojo Moyes and it certainly will not be my last. Her talent is in creating characters, and crafting emotions with her words. She makes you fall effortlessly in love with her characters, and in a novel of this nature, that is key. Even her secondary characters are written as incredibly life like and complex.

The moments of humour are so wonderfully woven into this plot. They are bright lights in an otherwise murky setting. They contrast the darker moments and create a realistic balanced portrayal that really brings the characters to life. You are thankful for these happy moments because they allow you to breathe in between the moments of crushing sadness. They are timed perfect, and add to the novel's pacing.

The romance in this was a lot like John Green's classic line of falling slowly and then all at once for me. I fell for Will and Lou slowly, but when it happened it was all consuming. I was enthralled by their connection and love story. They are the type of couple that becomes iconic because you feel their chemistry through the pages. Their little moments show that a romantic, swoon worthy connection can be effectively capture with minimal physical interaction. It's their words, banter, and actions that define and create their love story.

This novel deals with how the disabled are treated, their role in society and the hot button issue of assisted suicide. The author doesn't take a strong stance but instead, through the characters, lets you see all sides of this complex issue. She allows you to sympathize with those who are in Will's position, while still feeling for those who care about them. While she doesn't tackle the political and legal aspects with as much depth, she chooses to focus on the personal elements. The novel wants you to see a view point that is perhaps not your own. It will encourage conversation, and that is perhaps this novel's greatest achievement.

A novel that makes you see things in many different aways. A story that embraces the many complexities around the issue of assisted suicide, and shouts the notion of living your life to it's fullest from every page. A romantic, heart crushing, inspiring story I will not soon forget. It's one with an important message at it's heart, and it just so happens it'll also leave you feeling everything all at once.

1 comment:

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