I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Me Before You on December 31st 2012
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.
My heart was not prepared for those kind of feels… *sigh*
‘The thing about being catapulted into a whole new life – or at least shoved up so hard against someone else’s life that you might as well have your face pressed against their window – is that it forces you to rethink your idea of who you are. Or how you might seem to other people.’
Louisa’s life is lackluster and she’s completely content with ‘playing it safe’ at life. Not that she’s ever allowed herself to contemplate how different things could possibly be. She goes to her job at the tea shop, she goes home to her windowless room at her parents house, and she occasionally spends time with her boyfriend Patrick who is far more concerned with his exercise regiment than he is with her. But when she loses her job at the tea shop she accepts a temporary 6 month position as a caregiver to a quadriplegic, Will Traynor.
Louisa and Will are complete opposites and the first few weeks of them knowing each other the quite truly hated each other. Will was oftentimes irrationally difficult and Louisa was ready to quit, but she stuck it out and slowly they developed an extremely touching friendship.
All I can say is that you make me…you make me into someone I couldn’t even imagine. You make me happy, even when you’re awful.I would rather be with you- even the you that you seem to think is diminished- than with anyone else in the world.’
Their blossoming romance was one of the most convincing I’ve read in a long time and was truly uplifting. They changed each other in massive ways in such a short period of time. Louisa gave Will happiness that he hadn’t experienced for a very long time and Will gave Louisa the determination to do something with her life and not let it go to waste.
Calling this book chick-lit isn’t doing this book any sort of justice; the subject matter is simply far too thought-provoking for that kind of label. The real meat of the story focuses on Will’s decision to end his life by assisted suicide, which is the reason behind Louisa’s ‘temporary’ position as he promised his parents he would give them another 6 months but no more. Convinced that he just needs something to live for, his parents hire Louisa who is bright, fun and talkative in hopes that she can convince him that he still has something to live for.
“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.”
It was certainly a tough subject matter to read but was so well written and managed to actually make me laugh out loud at several parts. I loved Louisa and Will’s wittiness and constant banter, it was the perfect addition to this poignant story. It was hard not to picture what it would be like if you were put into a situation such as Louisa and Will’s. What you would do, if you would actually do anything different. All I know is that they both had an incredibly difficult decision to make and either way was bound to lead to heartache.
This was an incredible story that was so painful (in that crazy heart hurting kind of way) to read but I simply could not put it down. Me Before You is a heartbreaking story about finding what makes life worth living and making the decision whether it’s truly enough. Definitely a new favorite and one that my heart won’t be forgetting any time soon.