Friday, June 14, 2013

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to loseLouisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

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?
 
Leeds Castle, Kent England
Me Before You is one of the best written yet horrible books I've read to date and I just finished a Jody Picoult so that is saying a lot.
 
One of the lines in the book describes how I felt about all the characters in a nut shell.  "Her default setting seemed to be stuck on disapprove." (pg 289).  In other words I had a hard time liking any of the characters, not just because they were humanly flawed but because Jojo Moyes focused on those flaws more than the positives (but then again the type of character she was writing didn't have many positives).
Louisa's fondest childhood memory is of her bumble bee tights and green rain boots
Me Before You is written in first person.  I love first person books, they always end up at the top of my lists.  But this one switched characters which I found very strange and unnecessary.  The first switch doesn't occur until page 105 and it switches to a very minor character and covers something that could have easily been inferred through Louisa's POV.  Some of the switches sections were so short (like 4 pages) that it was just disruptive to the story. 
 
This was a truly British novel.  I have read many books by British authors but this one I actually had to look up some of the terms and traditions.  Jojo refers to tea a LOT!  It took me a bit to realize she wasn't just talking about tea but about meals as well.  I enjoyed this aspect, I felt submersed in the culture. 
 
However on the flip side there were two things she referred to that I had no idea what they were and had to stop reading to look them up and get the entire meaning out of them. One was a reference to someone named Christy Brown the other was Dignitas (this one becomes clearer through the story)
 
Mauritius, where Louisa takes Will
As I stated earlier it is hard to like any of the characters and the moral issue explored in Me Before You is a very touchy one.  I believe you have to be on the fence about assisted suicide to be able to make it through this book at all.  It requires an open mind, not necessarily designed to change your mind but it does show the struggle presented to these people in a very straight forward manner. 
 
I enjoyed this book despite its heavy subject matter and would recommend it, but also recommend you read a happy light book at the same time.
 
I'm linking up with Art @ Home: Literary Friday
come join us 
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1 comment:

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

Wow, this sounds heavy. I don't know if I could read it. I did love the movei My Left Foot (it's fantastic), but since I'm not on the fence about assisted suicide, I think I'll skip this one.

Was this a book club selection? I still haven't gotten involved with the library's book club yet.

I linked your post up. I hope you don't mind!

xo,
RJ