I started reading this book yesterday and finished it today. This morning I was so engrossed in Me Before You that I didn’t notice the train start and fell on a very good looking man. This made some random woman’s day as she couldn’t stop laughing.
If you couldn’t tell from the first paragraph, I loved this book. I was gripped, hooked, drawn into it and unable to get back into the world until I had finished it. I don’t know how much I should write in this review (I never really do) and while I used to love telling spoilers and in my interviews I do ask spoilerific questions, I am coming to the realisation that discovering some things for yourself is best. This is one of those things that deserves discovery without prior knowledge which thankfully I had.
Considering how much I read and how much I love books I was really surprised with how I hadn’t been spoilt about this book or just want the book was about. Because I started reading with an almost blank slate (I knew about the movie if that counts for anything) and loved it all the more for that. Lou and Will won’t be leaving my mind or heart for a long, long time. But I want to say something so I will tell you the bare bones.
Lou Clare lives with her parents, grandfather, sister and nephew in a small house in a small tourist town (it has a castle). Her boyfriend Patrick is a triathlete and she works in a café. She is content with her like and then when the cafe is closed she is made redundant. After multiple attempts to find a job she likes she interviews for and gets given a position looking after Will Traynor. Will’s mum makes it clear from the very beginning that she doesn’t want a nurse, she wants someone who might be able to cheer her son up. Will Traynor has to be one of the most active characters I have ever read about – he has done all the things I want to do and more I didn’t even know humans were allowed to do. After his accident he is wheelchair bound and his whole life has changed. When Lou comes in things don’t start off well but slowly, so slowly they start to get along.
I loved the slow pace of Me Before You and how it takes time for their friendship and respect and love to develop. It’s these little things in the story – the concerts, the newspapers, the shaving – that take on a different meaning, almost a conversation without words. And I loved that. I loved both Lou and Will as individuals and when they interacted with each other. (I also want to specifically mention Patrick, Lou’s fitness crazy boyfriend. He is obsessed with running and competing. Is this how I sound? I am going to have to make a conscious effort to not narrow my world to only running, no matter how much I love it because no one likes to read / hear about it 24/7.)
I am so glad I read this before seeing the movie (which will be out in 2016) and before the sequel After You is published, a book which has shot right up my reading list. It’s a beautiful, funny, heart breaking book and I really urge you all to read it.