Louisa Clark has lead a quiet life in her small town in England, with a long-term boyfriend and living at home with her family. When the local cafe she works at closes, she takes a much-needed job as the caregiver of a wheelchair-bound young man. After an accident, Will Traynor – a formerly powerful business man – has been left paralyzed. Not deterred by his moody attitude and sarcasm, Louisa is determined to prove to him that there is still a life worth living.
I cannot tell you how often I have had this book recommended to me in the last 6 months. With the movie coming out, I figured this was finally the time to read this. I purposely held back from even watching the trailers, as I didn’t want anything spoiled for me, and I’m glad I had. Now having finished the book, and watching the trailers, they give away some key moments – so stay away from the previews if you don’t want to be hinted at what happens!
I loved reading how these two seemingly very different people connected into each others’ lives and I couldn’t get enough of it. What I could have done with less of though was her horrible family! I actually can’t decide if I think their horribleness was intentional or not, because it really doesn’t serve a definitive purpose other than maybe build sympathy for Lou. The sister was horrid, the parents were horrid – especially the dad with his dismissive and patronizing comments. Considering that Lou was the one bringing home money, it seemed so odd and unexplained at how they were with her.
There was a lot of warning that tissues would be needed for this book, and while I didn’t cry (I’m oddly cold-hearted with books and movies), I can easily see how others might. I did experience many emotions throughout this story. Yes, there were sad moments but there’s also such inspirational and uplifting moments as well. I actually found myself getting more choked up at the happy moments because their joy seemed to fly off the pages. Me Before You has left such a lasting impression in my mind. I appreciate how much it brought to light the challenges of those living with disability. The issues of accessibility (or lack thereof), getting around and all the planning ahead to ensure smooth access. And perhaps the biggest lasting message, to “live boldly”. It’s an eye opener to have page after page remind us that we have this one life to live, so stop being afraid and stop being resistant to everything.