Friday 22 March 2013

Me Before You - Jojo Moyes

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

Review: Everybody told me that this book would make me cry, but they were also very insistent that I should read it. So although I thought the subject of the book sounded a little depressing, i began reading with the kind of feeling that something bad was about to happen at any turn. I found myself hooked into a wonderful story, filled with extremely well developed characters and entirely beautiful writing. I read The Last Letter From Your Lover by Jojo Moyes last year and found it pretty hard going, but this was a much easier read because I found myself instantly involved in the story and wanting to read on.

The majority of this book is told in the first person by main character Lou. A character just a couple of years younger than me who is struggling to find work so that she might pay her parents the rent they so badly need in order to support her and her sister, who has the fabulously awesome name-Katrina! However, as the book progresses, we hear the story told from other characters in the book. Quadriplegic Will, Will's mother, Will's father, Will's nurse and Lou's sister Katrina. I thought this was a really effective way to break up the story and this author timed the change in voice perfectly throughout the novel. When things started to get particularly heavy or particularly bleak, another character would pipe up with their point of view, it really was captivating.

At first I thought that I might not like the characters in this book, on the surface Lou can seem like a silly little girl who can't cope with what is going on in the world, but once you get to know her, she is actually an incredibly strong young woman who can do anything once she puts her mind to it. Her family seem, at first, to be controlling and selfish, but again once you get to know them, they want what is best for their children and grandchild and will do anything they can to support their daughters. Will seems like your typical arrogant city man at the start of this novel, and when we first meet him following the accident, he seems self-centred and not at all likeable, but as we read about his interactions with Louisa, his nurse and his mother, his sense of humour and strength totally comes through too. I think that way Jojo Moyes has developed these characters is also very clever.

I will admit that sometimes I had to step away from the storyline because things do get really deep and a little hard to take at times, but I actually didn't cry and thought the whole thing was really beautifully written. Although I didn't cry in the end, I can see why other people have done, especially if they have devoured the book in one sitting as it was very tempting to do... All in all I enjoyed this book more than I thought i would. The entire storyline was well written and the ending, an excellent conclusion to a thoroughly meaty tale!

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