*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

"Me Before You" by Jojo Moyes

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely 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.

I've noticed that I have been branching out in my reading lately. I still read a lot of children's book but I've been drifting away from Young Adult and finally embracing titles marketed towards adults (I'm almost 30, I guess it's about time). Me Before You  was one of those books that I had heard a lot about, but still didn't know much about. Several friends had recommended I see the movie, but I wanted to read the book first. I'm glad I did.

Louisa Clark is looking for a new job and since her family relies on her paycheck, she's a little desperate. She takes a job as a caretaker for Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound thanks to a terrible accident. He is unhappy being in his position and at first, Lou cannot stand her new job. But over time, she realizes that she opportunity to make a change in Will's life. She makes it her goal to change Will's outlook on life and help him find happiness. She then embarks on a personal journey that will change her life forever.

I listened to the audio version of Jojo Moyes' book. Due to the subject matter, I wouldn't call it a fun experience, but I really enjoyed the plot and the voice work. The story is told mostly through Lou's perspective, but a few chapters are told from the point of view of side characters. What I really enjoyed is that they cast different people the read for each character. I can't help but be a little picky when it comes to the auidobooks I listen too, and if the person reading grates on my nerves, I can't continue. This often happens to me when one person tries to do voices, but fails. This wasn't an issue in Me Before You. I loved Susan Lyons reading as Lou.

This book was certainly emotional. I had a vague idea that the book dealt with the topic of doctor assisted suicide, but didn't know much outside of that. There is a lot of emotion behind this book and it's not the kind of book I would recommend to read just for fun. It's not often that I cry during books, but my heart was heavy for awhile after finishing it. Don't think that this book is a complete downer though, there are many moments of joy and happiness throughout. Overall, this book gave me a lot to think about and I am anxious to read the rest of the series.

One other note: I was impressed by the film adaptation. I watched it within a few days of finishing the book and was surprised by how faithful it was to the book. Of course there were some changes and omissions, but that's always going to be the case. Not everything that works in a book works in a movie and there are time restraints. Overall, this is one of the best adaptations I have seen in a long time. If have seen the movie and liked it, I highly recommend the book as well.

Happy Reading!

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