Me Before You
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.
On sun loungers across the world this summer, there will be legions of women doing the same thing.
As they lie back in the tropical destination of their choice, hundreds of happy holiday-goers will be plunged into a state of near misery. Tears will trace snail trail-esque tracks in their sunscreen-ed faces, snot mixing in with their sunbathing-induced sweat, their lives momentarily over because of one thing – Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.
This was me. As I soaked up the sun in my yellow polka dot bikini on the first day of my summer break, I was a snotty, tearful devastated mess behind my sunglasses, all thanks to this utterly fantastic book.
Hailed as the new One Day, Me Before You doesn’t disappoint. Meet Lou Clark, a quirky 26-year-old waitress who’s just about to lose her much-loved café job. Desperate to get a job to help support her financially challenged family, she ends up applying for a job as a personal assistant for a disabled man, a hundred miles away from the tea and cakes she knows so well.
Which is how she meets Will Traynor. Will was a high-flier in the City, whose fast-paced life was changed completely after a motorbike accident. When Lou walks into his life, Will is a quadriplegic wheelchair user and very, very angry about how his life has turned out. Lou has been brought on board by Will’s parents to help him around the house, and help him rediscover his love for life.
Will and Lou both embark on very different missions – but how will it end?
I really don’t want to give too much away about this book, because part of the joy of it is the unexpected element. Lou’s bid to bring a little bit of sunshine to the life of a man who wishes his was over is a triumph, even if you don’t get the ending you’re hoping for. For all the unlikely relationship which develops between the two has its heartbreaking moments, it compensates with plenty of laughs, smiles, romance and a bittersweet ending.
Beautifully written, incredibly realistic and tackling a very difficult subject, Jojo Moyes made me come over all clichéd with Me Before You and couldn’t put it down. I demolished it in a day.
Don’t get caught short like me though – have your Kleenex at the ready. Definitely my read of the summer.