Me Before You - Jojo Moyles

Genre: Romance/Drama/Fiction
Synopsis: 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: Originally I gave this book 4 stars, but I have to be honest, upon reflection it has dropped down to 3 stars. It's extremely easy to read - I flew through it in two evenings - but 'easy to read' is not the same thing as 'good'. While the premise is an interesting one, and the execution is refreshingly not a typical chit-lit girl-meets-boy romance, there are also virtually no characters I ended up caring about (except Will) and way too many unlikely plot points which seemed forced in order to achieve a specific outcome.

Louisa kept making me think of Bella Swan - while I can understand her appeal for Will - someone who treats him like a regular person instead of 'a guy in a wheelchair', there isn't much of interest to her beyond that. And I say this as someone with a relatively small town unambitious quiet life myself. Louisa's lack of ambition is hugely relatable for me, but I still didn't particularly care about her as a person. She occasionally seemed like she had zero autonomy at all, especially as related to her long term partner. Her family provided an occasional bit of comic relief, and I have to admit it was a part of the story concerning their financial wellbeing that made me tear up moreso than anything that happened with Louisa and Will. The characters just lacked depth. The only real pull in the story was to see what the final outcome would be.

And getting there was a little bit painful. The only example of poor plotting that springs to mind right now, but which was definitely not the only one in the book, was the failure on both the parts of Louisa AND Nathan, to make a sufficient effort to locate disabled parking on one of their days out, especially considering Louisa then spotted it literally driving out of the venue. Whatever about Louisa, surely Nathan, having worked with Will for two years and other quads prior to him, would have thought to call the venue, or failing that, ask an attendant on the day before assuming there was none and pulling into a field?

All that said, it was easy to read, some of the writing was beautiful, and I have to give Moyles credit for not backing down from some tough issues and realistic approaches to them. I felt the ending, which seems to be a point of debate on Goodreads, was actually credible, well-executed and well-handled. I felt Louisa's feelings, and I also completely understood Will's perspective. So I can't say I didn't enjoy it - I did, but there were far too many niggly bits for me to consider it particularly noteworthy.

Rating: 3/5

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