If you haven’t read ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes till today, you probably
- Live on another planet
- Are as heartless as the step sister of the wicked witch who kidnaps Hansel and Gretel.
- Haven’t been part of the online hype surrounding the book when the eponymous movie starring Sam Claflin (the hotness) and Emilia Clarke (of GoT fame) and Matthew Lewis (yes, our dearest Neville!) released in 2016.
Anyway, it’s never too late to read Me Before You. And if you choose to read Me Before You in this upcoming Valentine’s Day week, you can have the awesome pleasure of reading ALL the books in the Me Before You trilogy. ‘After You’ and ‘Still Me’.
The plot of this hopelessly romantic book goes like this: (as seen on GoodReads. I cannot talk about Me Before You without lapsing into a fit of uncontrollable tears)
Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.
A love story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?
1. Louisa Clark
The character of Louisa Clark is just brilliant. The odd, bumbling bee, who makes mistakes and looks cute while she has an abashed look on her face. She’s the type of person with whom you could never get angry. Loving, cheerful, positive and naive. Not 100% naive, but 50% naive.
The evolution of this character over the book is dramatic. Will Traynor is shown to have taken urgent steps to help her unleash her potential, and make her way more ambitious then she already is. He shows her dreams of a world beyond her small mind, the dreams that he could no longer accomplish because of his being wheelchair-bound.
Seeing Lou grow over the span of the book feels like a proud moment for me, as a reader. She sets tiny goals for herself, in order to make Will’s life a little more happy. As a reader, I almost felt like a cheerleader in the parts where Lou worked on her ‘activity calendar’. Go, go Lou! You can do it! I’ve read this book twice, and that sense of excitement as she unveiled her outdoor activity of the day for Will never diminished.
Lou took an exceptionally long time to understand that her fiance was a dodo. I mean, how can anyone not understand that Patrick is a complete loser? But using Patrick’s character, the author masterfully showed the evolution of Lou. Breaking up with Patrick was an important stage in Lou’s growth as a person.
2. Will Traynor
Will completely fits into the stereotype of a ‘grumpy, angry young man’. The Beast from Beauty and the Beast. But he’s a sweetheart deep within. A chocolate candy hidden within an exterior of a bitter gourd. (Ugh, my analogies suck)
Will Traynor, and the tragedy that beset him, makes all readers tear up. I mean, who knew that an unimagined and uncontrollable road accident could make someone’s world turn upside down completely? The high-flying executive of a company, now reduced to sipping juice from a straw and not being able to move without assistance.
The entry of Lou in his life was like the first ray of sunshine that enters in when you open a closed window in the morning. Stunning, but it makes your eyes wince and close for a brief moment. Until you adjust to the brightness of the sun. And then, the sun is your best friend, till it gets really fierce in the afternoon. You are totally angry with the sun for blazing and being so radiant. But then, when the sun sets, you miss the brightness. Forced as you are to use a tubelight now, you long for the next morning, the first ray of sunshine.
Lou was that sun in Will’s life. When she entered his life, he was mean and sarcastic with her 24×7. But then, he warmed up to her, as it didn’t seem that she was going away in the next few months. Their love and passion built up over the course of Lou’s role as a caretaker, and soon it became something more than that. The breakup between Lou and Will shortly after their foreign vacation was like the sunset. Will missed her, but there was nothing he could do about it, besides wait for her to come back.
3. The ending, and the need for a sequel.
I loved the ending. I ugly-cried for fifteen minutes after closing the book. I ugly-cried even after I read the book for a second time. The ending was not a fairytale, it was as tragic as a real life romance. The knowledge that there could have been no other justifiable ending makes you despair. You want to resurrect Will from the dead, but you also want to respect his decision. You want to comfort Lou and tell her everything is okay, but deep down you know that nothing can help her grieve the loss of a true friend, lover and mentor.
Frankly speaking, I would have loved for the book to end there. I didn’t feel the need for a sequel or a series. I didn’t want to know what happened to Lou after Will passed away, I didn’t want to know what happened to Will’s family after Will passed away. I needed no information, I loved the book for exactly what it told me about Lou and Will’s story.
Hence, I was reluctant to pick up ‘After You’. I did, however, end up reading a few pages of the book. I didn’t like it. I just couldn’t picture Lou without Will. I couldn’t imagine Lou with anyone else. I had to hold on to my memory of Lou and Will, because that is the story I loved the most. After reading the blurb of ‘Still Me’, I’m wondering exactly where this series is going.
However, if you have any alternative views on the series, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Who knows, you could be the person who persuades me to read the entire series!
Of course, I have given this book a 5/5 star rating. Nothing else would be justified.
Hola FabFollowers! This discussion of Me Before You is the first post in my Valentine’s Day Book Review series. I aim to publish a review of a romance book that I’ve read and loved every day, till 14th of February. If you like today’s dicussion post, do share it on your social media.
And of course, if you haven’t read Me Before You yet, go order your copy now!