Monday, June 06, 2016

Book Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Title: Me Before You
Series: Me Before You #1
Author: Jojo Moyes
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publish Date: 2012
Pages: 481

Book blurb: 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.

Overall rate: ★★★☆☆ (3.68 out of 5)

Book cover: 4/5

Story plot: 3.7/5

Characters: 3.5/5

Language: 3.7/5

Book's world: 3.5/5

Favourite excerpt from the book:

'Then I'll tell you something good,' he said, and then he waited, as if he wanted to be sure he had my attention. 'Some mistakes... just have greater consequences than others. But you don't have to let that night be the thing that defines you.'

I felt his head tilt against mine.

'You, Clark, have the choice not to let that happen.'

The sigh that left me then was long, and shuddering. We sat there in silence, letting his words sink in. I could have stayed there all night, above the rest of the world, the warmth of Will's hand in mine, feeling the worst of myself slowly begin to ebb away.

After procrastinating my reads for almost eight months, I'm back to reading again! I have decided to pick up Me Before You since it was already adapted as a movie, and I definitely do not like to watch a movie without reading the book first. I gotta say that Me Before You is really my cup of tea, even though I did not rate it 4 or 5 stars. I did rate it 5 stars at first, but after contemplating for a few moments, there are parts that I wish were written better.

CHARACTERS: I personally enjoyed the development of the characters throughout the story. We have Louisa Clark, a rather sensible (is it?) woman with a quirky taste in fashion, Will Traynor, a quadriplegic who had lost his interest to live and other characters that were related to these two. I think rarely read stories related to people with disabilities, not because I dislike them, but it was more because I couldn't find any good ones. I'm glad I read Me Before You, because it opened my eyes a little more to the life of a people with a disability and psychological matters. 

I am quite fond of Lou's character, but there were moments where I just felt like screaming at her because of her actions. The way she dressed would have definitely made me stare if I actually see a Lou in real life, but Lou herself was a really nice person. She managed to make Will laugh and smile again, which was a really heart-warming thing. I read some reviews saying they think Lou thought too much about Will and how they think it was ridiculous how she changed just because of a man. Well, I gotta say that I disagree with them. Because 1) it is possible, humans do change because of the opinions coming from the opposite sex, 2) she spent many hours taking care of Will, and of course something was bound to change. And yes, I also don't think that it was ridiculous for her to fall for Will and to simply forget her seven years of relationship with Patrick. That is reality.

Then we have Will Traynor. Will, oh Will. Just as Lou had put it, Will really was an arse at first, but as we delve deeper into the story, we could see the sweet and charming man underneath all the wealth and cockiness. He could be bitter at times, especially when it was about things related to his life, but at some point, one can't help but fall for his charms. The only thing that saddened me was his view on his life. It was heart breaking, because he did not want to live, despite given the chance to.

The other characters were great too, and it did make the story more interesting. I think my favourite character would be Mary Rawlinson, even though she was only mentioned less than five times and it was only from one scene in one chapter. She was a very nice lady, and the way she treated Will just like a normal person seemed amazing to me. I do think the world needs more people like Mary.

PLOT: I think I did find the story quite interesting since the start. This is possibly due to the fact that I've seen the movie trailer, and I got so excited that I dashed through the book in a happy manner. The story started with Louisa Clark losing her job at a cafe and going through multiple job interviews, finally acquiring a job at the Traynor's. It was a bit questioning how she ended up getting the job to take care of Will Traynor when she had no experience at all with quadriplegics. But maybe it was just as Camilla Traynor had said, Lou was hired because she seemed like a cheerful person and she could possibly cheer up Will.

The twists and turns for the whole story were rather praiseworthy; I like the originality of the story. I didn't find the flow of it to be too slow or too fast, it was just nice. I absolutely liked the sarcasm and witty retorts that we exchanged between Lou and Will. They added the spice to the story, and it did made me laugh from time to time. The settings in the story were good too, and I couldn't help but wonder how the castle or Will's expensive house, or Lou's bizarre house must have looked like.

The story was told from Lou's point of view, and I really appreciated the occasional chapters of point of views from other characters like Camilla, Steven, Nathan and Katrina. These little chapters managed to grab my attention and even though it did confuse me a little bit when I was unfocused, but it did help to explain the story deeper. I just wish we were given at least a chapter from Will's point of view. I really would like to know what he thought about his life, his family and especially how he thought about Lou.

My favourite part of the story would be when Will made Lou enter the maze that she was so scared of again. It showed us the insight of what had happened to Lou when she was younger, and the reason why she changed into someone who wanted to only stay in her comfort zone. I also do like the part when will allowed Lou to shave him and trim his hair, although the moment did not last too long for some reasons.

The ending was... quite startling. I admit I did expect for it to happen, but somehow I had a belief that it would different. I had hoped for a nicer closure, but Jojo Moyes's had given the ending that I had dreaded. I wanted a different ending, but somehow deep inside me, I felt like this ending was better.

LANGUAGE: The language and how the words were put were really nice, to be honest. I am not an expert in English at all, so I don't think it was my place to judge an author's choice of words, but I can't help but feel slightly irritated by some words in Me Before You.

I found that there were around four to five wrong usage of the word "was" and "were" in the story. I know it seemed like a small matter, but it still irked me. It surprised me a little by how these small mistakes were missed by other people.

RECOMMEND: I would definitely recommend this to everyone. It was quite a bittersweet read for me. For people that have family members or friends that were suffering because of a disability may think that this story would be too much, and I wouldn't disagree with them. But somehow, it is the reality of the world. 

There are people that still side-eyes people with disabilities, not realising that these people are normal human beings too. They have feelings too, and they did not asked to be born or to be destined that way. We all have to change. Treat everyone nicely, no matter how scarred that person is. I will keep saying this: everyone deserves to be loved and treated with respect. 

Will I be reading the sequel? Of course. But not anytime soon, I'm afraid. Mostly because I am sort of in a book-buying ban, so I can't read the sequel yet. I'll probably purchase the book next month, depending on how I save my money. I hope you enjoyed my review, and please do share your thoughts if you have read this book too!

Till next time ♡ Love, Aishah Humaira'

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