Book Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

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Readers have been falling in love with Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, and the film has recently emerged in theaters, garnering high ratings on IMDB.  I have heard people praising it and recommending it so much that I finally picked it up, and read it in one day.

Lou and her family are struggling through the recession, and when both Lou and her father face unemployment, it becomes vital that she suck it up and take any job that is offered to her. Her personality lands her a high paying gig watching over a recently disabled, wealthy man.


Source: Amazon

Will is sarcastic, grumpy, and often rude, but he has his moments. Moyes is able to depict what it is like to deal with the frustrations of being a disabled person in our society. Even with all of the physical limitations of being a quadriplegic, Will has to endure the emotional fall out of how others treat him and strip him of his identity.

Lou and Will have different expectations of what makes life worth living. Lou lives a small life, withdrawn from much of the world. It irritates Will to see an able bodied person with, what he sees as, almost limitless opportunities to waste them by living in mediocrity. Similarly, it irritates Lou that Will won’t take advantage of his financial means to do the things he is still is capable of doing.

Will has physical limitations while Lou has financial limitations, and neither can understand why the other won’t do what they can within the scope of those limitations. Neither of them recognize this flaw within themselves and are resigned to their fate.

In my opinion, both Lou and Will can be annoying and frustrating, locked away in their own little worlds, but they are also completely relatable. Their quips are often funny, and they both grow in understanding one another, learning to cope with their difficult moments instead of changing them. However, I felt that there was something beneath the surface of these characters that Moyes couldn’t quite capture.

Some of the issues that the characters face lacked a certain richness that would’ve added increasing depth to the novel, though they are extremely approachable for readers. There is a dynamic between the rich and poor and the disabled and able-bodied that is beautifully illustrated through Lou and Will’s relationship that is often shied away from.

The prose are clear and concise and present the reader with a depth and beauty that is truly remarkable which makes the story easy to read through quickly.

In all honesty, I wanted more out of this story, although I was also pleasantly surprised by how it was approached and carried out. While it could have been a typical ooey-gooey romance, there were other plots at play that made it something more.


What did you think of the novel? How does it compare to the movie?


Featured image via Me Before You Movie

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