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.
A Love Story for this generation and perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?
My Thoughts about this Book
It has been four days since I finished reading this book and I still couldn’t get over it. Today, June 15, is the release date of its movie here in the Philippines so I decided to make this review (even with the fact that almost everyone must have read this book already). My Mom and I are supposed to watch it on Friday because she still is attending a training for her work. I’m so excited for the movie though I’m pretty sure, I’ll only cry 90% of the time, what with knowing the ending already. 😊
Okay, enough with running around the bush. Let’s do this.
I started reading this book as an ebook months ago but because the past semester has swallowed me into its bustling environment, I hadn’t had the time to read (anything! I’ve never read anything besides textbooks and handouts. I didn’t even know how to survive!). So last month, I decided that I was going to start reading it when I already have bought the book. However, here’s the thing, I was spoiled! GAAAHHH! My roommate told me the ending and I literally broke down in front of them. But no, this didn’t stop me from reading it.
The book was about Louisa Clark who, at first, was a waitress at Buttered Bun cafe. Eventually, the shop closed so she ran out of job opportunities and was left with the choice of caregiving to a quadriplegic man. She took it and little did she know that this was going to be the biggest plot twist in her life.
On the other hand, there was Will who was very successful on his own; he was also a traveler who knows what it’s like to live his life to the fullest. Until he got into an accident. He was suffering C5-6 quadriplegia, an illness where he couldn’t move the body parts from his chest down to his toes. He could only move little on his fingers so he could still control his wheelchair. However, this was not the life he wished to live and since the accident, though he was still hopeful at the first few years, there came a point where he gave up. He became so depressed and thought that there is no hope in what he had anymore so to cut all the sufferings short, he wanted to die already. Until Lou came to his life.
The two didn’t get along each other at first. Will was unfriendly and indifferent to Lou but the latter couldn’t resign from this job because she and her family needed the money. But Louisa, with her very charming and bubbly attitude, got to know Will and they both became close to each other in the time they spent together. But then, Louisa overheard Will’s mother and sister talking about Will’s plan of killing himself through euthanasia. This is where Louisa started to set forth with her mission – to try and change Will’s mind.
I had a hundred and seventeen days in which to convince Will Traynor that he had a reason to live.
The first part – Will’s accident – shocked the hell out of me. After that first chapter, I swear to you, I was left staring at my ceiling for minutes. It broke some part of me because it made me realize how sudden life can be – one moment, you’re fine and the next, you’re not. However, at first, I thought it was pretty boring, somehow cliché because there might have been a lot of stories of jobless characters that have been hired and would suddenly fall for their bosses or employers. I was also somewhat challenged by Jojo Moyes’ British style of writing. I don’t know if I have ever read British books but either way, it sounded different to me. That isn’t a problem though because it actually is kind of cool; I get to read it in my mind with imaginary accents and whatnot (hihihi!).
But then came the actual story. It was beautiful, how Jojo Moyes presented it. I was totally wrong when I thought it was cliché because it was actually far from that. Theirs was an unconventional love story and I loved it the same way I loved The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (and also the same way I wept because of it). I liked how the two characters were so genuine and real to themselves and how the story developed. I also liked that this was not just a book of mere romance because it actually encompassed a debatable and relevant topic which is euthanasia.
The only thing I probably didn’t like is the ending. *spoiler alert* Although I understand that this is just a work of fiction and the ending was perhaps just a part of the story, I do believe that only God can take away our lives as he was the one who brought us to this world. I think that even if we all have our “right to die”, we also have our “right to live” and the latter weighs much more than the former. However, with this said, I respect how Jojo Moyes wanted to end the book because duhhh, I am pretty used to this by now – the silent torture of loving the character throughout reading the book and realizing that they are just going to die in the end. Am I alone on this or what? (Hahaha! Comment down below if you feel the same way!)
From Lou and Will’s vacation on Mauritius, I couldn’t stop crying already. Screw that, I wasn’t only crying, rather, I was sobbing for heaven’s sake! I was up all night with the book on my hands while the world was asleep, too unfeeling and unaffected of how I was on one corner gasping for air, breathless, and with tears flowing down my cheeks. It was a long time since I’ve cried this much and I didn’t imagine it being caused by a book. But, in the end, as much as I wanted to save Will’s life as well, there are just some things that we don’t hold control in our hands. It was a pleasure though – crying and laughing over this book. It made me realize a lot of things in life that I would always remember and bring with me for the rest of my life. This book, I fell in love with, and though we just don’t want to simply share the things we love, I’d still recommend that you read this, loves. It is totally, awfully, beautifully worth it and it’s worth breaking your heart.
Take Home Lessons from the Book
- Life is too short to be taken granted. You don’t know when you’d talk or walk or breathe your last so you might as well live your life to the fullest. As Will said it, “Just live well. Just LIVE.”
- Don’t be afraid and take risks. Go out there and live your life. Live boldly, like how Will reminded you to.
- Sometimes, love is meant to break your heart in the end. And even if it does, there is always a reason. And when you love someone that much, you will have to learn to let them go.
- Be fearless. Don’t live up to society’s expectations and just be yourself. Louisa Clark slayed all her “weird and exotic” outfits because she knew that, at some point, you just have to own and be contented with what you have and who you are.
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Comment down below your thoughts about the book and let’s talk, loves! Also, here’s the Movie Trailer 🙂 Happy watching!