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.
Song For This Book: A Thousand Years by Christina Perri
This wouldn’t typically fall into my preferred type of book. I don’t generally go for sappy romances, or heartbreaking stories, because they just don’t interest me. But there has been so much hype around this book, and so many glowing review of it that I figured I should probably at least give it a try.
And it was fine. Better than most other books that would fall into similar genres in my opinion, but still not the greatest thing I ever read. I didn’t cry, or even feel compelled to cry, but I did read it in three days, so that’s something. I never really got bored with it, but it also wasn’t the most exciting, fascinating thing I’ve read. A very middle-of-the-road sort of book for me.
The Good Points of Me Before You:
Will’s character is fantastic. He’s the major focal point of the story, and he handles the job very well. His personality comes through easily, and his snarky comments will make you laugh. He’s a big driving force in the story, pushing it forward every time he pops up.
Everything related to Will’s disability was handled very well. And when I say handled well, I don’t mean that everyone just automatically accepts him as he is and ignores the wheelchair. I mean that people stare, ask uncomfortable questions, try desperately to ignore the fact he’s disabled, or make a big deal out of it. It’s realistic, and honest to what you would find in the real world, which I really enjoyed.
The romance is handled beautifully. It’s not over the top and cheesy, and no one is leaping tall mountains to help the other deal with the smallest of things. It develops slowly, and everyone takes their time to figure everything out. It’s a great depiction of true love, rather than love driven by over-the-top lust.
The Downsides of Me Before You:
Lou’s character was not what I was promised early in the book and in the description. She is described as having a quirky personality, but she comes across as very average. Sure, her clothes were unique, but personality wise she was nothing special. Not that I didn’t like her or that she wasn’t a good character, just that there were discrepancies between what was expected of her and what she actually was.
The changes of point of view were unnecessary. I know they’re supposed to give us information that we may not have gotten from Lou’s point of view, but I think this book would have been much better if we had learned about all of it as she did.
For the first half or so of the book, it seemed like the author was taking time with the characters and slowly developing their relationship. It was nice, because we got to see the little interactions between Will and Lou and the others. But the author seemed to race through the second half, and big, important moments were taking the same amount of time as something simple had earlier in the book.
Half of the lesser characters in this book were completely unnecessary. I know it was to compare and contrast families, but half of them served no purpose to the story.
All in all, not a bad read. Definitely one for the romantics out there. A great beach book, if you’re looking for something a little more serious. I think it’ll be really interesting to see how they put the movie together, especially with the stellar cast the seem to have selected for it.
Have you read this one? Or are you planning to read it before the movie comes out?