Author: Jojo Moyes
Series: Me Before You #1
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Best before: 19 March 2007
Some jackwad on Goodreads ruined the ending of this novel for me in the very. first. sentence. of. their. review. So even though I tried to fool myself into thinking that maybe I had misread what they wrote in my skim of reviews while scrolling, in the back of my mind the entire time I was reading this story, I knew how it was going to end. Which was annoying, because the ending is, well, KIND OF THE WHOLE POINT. So thank you, nameless stranger. Thank’s a bunch. In my head I am doing the Amy Poehler airport yelling in my best fake Boston accent.
So anyway, enough about me. Let’s meet Lou. She is definitely a main character I can relate to. Twenty-six and not really sure what she wants to do with her life. Loved her job until suddenly it wasn’t there anymore. Had to work a slew of other jobs just to make ends meet while she scrambled to get back on track. But at least I moved out and got a place of my own before getting married, while she it still living at home supporting her parents – who are having a rough go – and secretly praying her boyfriend doesn’t purpose. Well, jolly good, that sounds like a healthy relationship (it isn’t, and that’s a reoccurring theme throughout the novel).
Enter Lou’s family. Can I just say that I love them? Her mum and dad especially. Even the crazy neighbors. This line from the book kind of sums them all up perfectly:
In our street “posh” could mean anyone who didn’t have a family member in possession of an antisocial behavior order.
Talk about relatable! And the way her family is so humble and optimistic. Gave me warm and fuzzies inside.
Then we get to Will. He is the opposite of warm and funny. If he isn’t ignoring Lou, he’s being snarky and rude, or just downright mean. It takes a lot for him to open up to her quirky ways, but he eventually does. Kind of sort of, sometimes. Considering what he’s been through and where he’s mentally at when Lou enters his life, it’s hard to blame him (at least most of the time).
Then add the plot and prepare to dissolve into a retention pond of tears at least once during your reading. It is not a romance novel, not really, which is why I think I liked it. It is a novel about friendship and trust, about two people trying to open up to each other, while discovering things about themselves that perhaps they hadn’t realized before. It is the way Will pays attention to her and listens when she talks, when everyone else just talks about him, instead of to him. And, okay, maybe there’s a look here and there along the way. But that’s not really what the story is about.
It’s about what it means to live. It’s a story about the right to live the way you want, and what quality of life means. It’s a story about freedoms, and what happens when the ability to decide for yourself your own actions is stripped away. It’s about life, plain and simple.
Who can’t relate to that?
I hear the sequel was rubbish, and it really wasn’t needed, but I think this one’s worth the read.