Monday, July 4, 2016

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

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Publication date: 2012
Publisher:  Penguin
Pages: 369
My rating: 3.5 stars (?)
Ages: 18+

When Lou Clark loses her job at the cafe, she has very few choices. When a caregiver position opens up to care for a quadriplegic man, she decides it's better than working at the chicken factory. However, Will Traynor is rude and sullen from the moment they first met. Determined to help him see that his life is still worth something, Lou steps outside her comfortable life to show him that the world is still open to him.

Moyes's writing is amazing. Descriptive and simple, straightforward but at the same time subversive. I found Lou relatable, though at times I really wanted to smack her (especially when it came to her boyfriend).

The thing about this book is that it isn't the normal "boy meets girl" romance novel. It deals with some pretty heavy morality--which is why I gave it a questions mark after my rating. I've known a quadriplegic man who became paralyzed at 19; my brother was one of his caregivers for two years. This man lived a full life; he was cheerful, funny, went on cruises and did skydiving. He had gone to school and become a lawyer before deciding he wanted to book cruises for people. So when it came to Will . . . it was hard to me to understand his choices. That he had become so caught up in what he used to be that he didn't even try to see what he could still be. For everything that he told Lou, he should have been listening to himself instead.

I know how I feel about the situation at the end of the book. My moral compass couldn't be swayed by the sympathetic nature that Moyes portrayed. However, if we never read about things like this, we wouldn't ever be able to make our own decisions.

There was surprisingly little language and crudeness, based on other English books I've read. However, there was still some hard language spattered throughout and some sexual talk.

*I do not receive any compensation from Amazon.

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