Book Review: Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

I don’t know how in the world I did it, but I managed to finish two books in April! It was a triumph for me considering I haven’t read an awful lot since probably October when I realized getting through the third Harry Potter book was a no-go.

I had started Me Before You back in August as it says on my Goodreads. Thank god that it keeps track because even I don’t know what I actually started reading it! I knew about the book itself from all of my blogger friends and they were going back and forth between loving it and absolutely hating it, and then the film adaption came out and there was a big backlash that came afterwards with0 the whole disabled community, they weren’t so pleased with the actors! I was on fence about the whole thing and so I wrote a blog post back in November called “What’s The Point Of Acting?” that explained my reasons for keeping in open mind for able-bodied actors playing characters with different disabilities.

The story is about Louisa Clark, the ordinary girl who lives a simple life in England, who in the beginning works at a coffee shop while she lives at home with her parents, granddad, younger sister and nephew. She is in a seven-year relationship with Patrick, a man obsessed with fitness. After losing her job, she goes to find another job and the only one she seems to find that isn’t too bad is working as a caregiver to a severely disabled man by the name of Will Traynor.

Will Traynor was “the perfect guy” to some standards. He traveled and did everything that he wanted. He was also a partner at a firm and in a relationship with a beautiful girl Alicia but one day he loses it all when the accident happened and he became a quadriplegic, who was now stuck in a wheelchair with 24/7 care; the man who could do things for himself now had to depend on other people for the most intimate things.

Somehow these two’s lives would change forever, for the best or worse depending on how you looked at them.

One of the things that I applaud for the author, JoJo Moyes for doing is giving the reader all of the information they would need to get a semi-understanding what goes on for a caregiver to somebody like Will. We’re not easy to take care of, sometimes our families aren’t strong enough to lift us and they need help to do things like getting us in and out of our beds, wheelchair, etc. I say “we” even though not everybody is the same, I am able to scoot myself around on the floor but I cannot put myself back on the bed like I used to. I can’t even give myself a proper shower and wash my hair like others can, my mom has to help me for those types of things. So in certain parts, I could definitely relate to Will’s attitude towards life.

The other point of the story is whether or not you should be able to end your life. I think that’ll always be a hard subject to talk about, whether it’s caused by bullying or if you in Will’s shoes and you have to live out your life in a wheelchair, never being able to do the things you loved doing before this happened. I will be honest, this is a touchy subject for me as well because I have been suicidal in the past. I’m not as open about it, because I feel like I would never do it despite having those strong thoughts. Sadly those ideas still live deep in my mind.

I see Louisa and Will’s family point of views on the topic, and at times I will pulling for Louisa’s ambition to try to change his mind, but as my mom and sister were discussing one day, if a person is very depressed and suicidal, and if the first time they don’t succeed that doesn’t mean they don’t have a plan B. Sometimes people don’t feel like their situation isn’t going to change, that is their decision on what to do next. It should be a respected thing, they’re not being cowardly, they just don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel and for a long time I didn’t either, but somehow I lost those thoughts and began to live and love my life.

I hope I haven’t offended anybody with those two paragraphs (I probably have) but I figured since I was going to this review I would decide to unleash all of my thoughts I had while reading this book. Now I can finally watch the film!

Have you read “Me Before You” yet? What did you like (or didn’t like) about it?


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12 thoughts on “Book Review: Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

  1. I read Me Before You absolutely years ago and at the time didn’t know what to think of it.. but hearing an opinion from someone with a disability is really interesting! Love your blog btw 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m not fairly outspoken about this type of thing, I mean there have been certain times were I can’t help myself and need to unleash my thoughts, but this is technically my first ever book about physical disability.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this review Meghan and to get your opinion on this subject was really interesting too, and I’m so glad to read that you’re loving and living your life because it’s always hard to read or go through those periods where life feels unlivable and I know that was a big topic for this book, especially considering disability and I know it upset a lot of people so I’m glad you shared your thoughts on this and I hope you’re doing OK now. I know feeling suicidal is never easy to talk about, and it can be difficult to move past those thoughts sometimes, but I hope you’re feeling brighter and stronger now so thank you for talking out about that as well. I think the whole topic of ending life due to illness or a condition is always going to be a difficult subject and depending on the person’s outlook on life will always be emotive, but it is interesting to see these topics tackled in fiction. I haven’t read the book but I did see the film and it was hard to get through, so I should try and read the book as well and see how it differs. Sorry for the long comment but this review really got me thinking and I loved reading your thoughts and opinions and would definitely love to read more from you on this subject Meghan! – Tasha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you and never feel bad for leaving me a big comment. I love them!

      The only person that really knew about my suicidal past is my poor nana because she somehow managed to get me through it, once that December came through I no longer had any bad thoughts until late 2011 and early ’12, I still get depressed here and there, but it’s not as extreme. Thank god!

      Liked by 1 person

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