My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Actual Rating: A million
Oh. My. God.
So much ugly crying.
I’m going to begin by saying that I had no idea what to expect and before I read this, I had been doubtful of its high rating. And I’m also going to start with a note saying that this review is going to be gif-less because all I really want to do is talk about it with my own words.
So here we go.
I didn’t have high expectations. I didn’t read any reviews before starting this book- it felt like I was going in blind. But I thought it would have been a typical romance novel.
Boy, I have never been more wrong.
First of all, I honestly wouldn’t classify this as just a romance novel. It’s just not enough. Me Before You is a story about life, about happiness, about love – all types of love, including the most important kind – loving yourself.
Second of all, it’s 3:30 AM right now, I’ve used up a box of tissues, and I’ve watched the trailer for the movie, and I’ve sat here for half an hour, and I still don’t know how to begin.
But one thing is clear: Me Before You was a beautiful, beautiful book.
It is a story that surrounds Louisa Clark and Will Traynor, two characters that are so different, and yet so similar.
Lou is an average twenty-six year old in search of a job. She stays with her long-term boyfriend, who she feels she may not love. But she stays, because it is comforting and it is familiar and it is safe.
Will is a thirty-five year old who has lost everything he has, including himself. Rendered a quadriplegic as a result of a motorcycle accident, he loses the will to live and struggles everyday with who he has become.
When Lou is hired to care for Will, it is something neither party wants.
I know, I know. It sounds cliche. The poor, stuttering girl and the cold, sarcastic male.
And yet, I wouldn’t have this book any other way, because it is this growth that makes the book so amazing.
As time goes on, the two become close and Lou becomes determined to make Will happy again. Their feelings gravitate past friendship, past love, and into something so beautiful and rare that there is honestly no word worthy of describing it.
What Moyes does is turn a common idea into one that is so tragically beautiful, which reveals her potential as a writer. I describe the three most important aspects of a story as character, plot, and writing style, all in which I think Moyes succeeds.
Her characters are so three-dimensional – even the parents who exemplify struggle, even the sister who serves as support, and even the ex-boyfriend, who is mostly there for comedic relief.
Her plot is so layered as well – and I know the ending is something that people will argue about, something that people will disagree on, but what it means to me is the idea the your life is just that – yours. Make sure you cherish it, make sure you spend it well. At the end of the day it is yours, and yours only.
But then there are blurred lines – how far will you go to make the person you love happy? What is the line between giving up and acceptance? And above all, what makes you you?
And the third part of a story: writing style. No doubt about it, Jojo Moyes’ writing style is phenomenal.
From the funny pieces of comedic relief –
‘Oh, lighten up, Clark. I’m the one having scalding hot air directed at my genitals.’
(No, I’m not giving you context for that; you’ll have to read the book)
– to lines that rip out your heart and tear it to shreds-
‘I just . . . want to be a man who has been to a concert with a girl in a red dress. Just for a few minutes more.’
– Moyes has it all.
If you haven’t read this book yet, I would definitely recommend it, and I’d give it a million beautiful stars if I could.
It’s wrecked my heart and my soul – but I’d say it was worth it, because this is a book that has honestly helped me think about who I really want to be.
And now I hope, one day, I can lie on my back, staring up at the stars, talking and dreaming and wishing, and someone will ask me – ‘Didn’t you ever love anything that much?’
And I can answer honestly, ‘Yes. Yes, I did.’