Belinda’s Book Nook Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

me-before-you1

Title: Me Before You
Author: Jojo Moyes
Copyright: December 31st 2012
Genre: fiction
Format: book  Pages: 369

Wow, it’s been a while since I have written a review. Don’t be fooled, because I have still been ferociously reading books! This is one I recently read on vacation and completed it’s final chapters at home.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

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.

My Thoughts:

I have been hearing about this book for some time.  It’s not a new book but last year it was all the buzz and I typically shy away from all that stuff. So when I knew we were going on vacation, I thought this would be a great beach read.  It’s also been made into a movie. So I started it before leaving to make sure I would enjoy it. I felt drawn in pretty fast to the story.

I enjoyed the building of the story in this book. I liked getting to know the two main character’s backgrounds prior to meeting each other. Often times, I found myself laughing out loud when the book focused on Lou’s family life.  I felt like I was reading lines from a funny TV sitcom. I felt both Lou and Will had their flaws but under the circumstances acted appropriately. I enjoyed the slow burn romance and that it didn’t take away from the story.

My take away from this book might not be the typical but after reading it, I think we must really examine the folllowing questions:

What we define as a quality life? What rights do we have over our life and death? How we see the physically disabled community? Why much of the disabled community is hidden from mainstream?

In the book, Will frequently brings up that he hates the fact that he either receives the pity look or people try to pretend that they ignore him. He argued that people no longer see the person in the wheel chair. I had to stop and think about my own experience and take a critical look at my own shortcomings. Because I have been guilty of both.  But I also think that because many venues are not truly compliant for the disabled, they often aren’t seen in large numbers on an average day. That is  a problem. All buildings should be truly accessible for all so that everyone has a choice to participate and feel welcome. But this lack of exposure cheats everyone of opportunities to meet great people and to practice really seeing the person not their disability. I am sure this book wasn’t intended to be an advocacy book but it has struck a cord in me regarding these topics.

I had a girlfriend in college that went home for the weekend and came back several months later with one leg gone from an accident. I watched how hard it was for her to navigate the buildings and for the first time, I really thought about it. This book brought up those feelings again.

I enjoyed the story, the characters and the feelings that have arisen because of it. Now the question is, will I read the next book?  At this time I say no, because I am satisfied with the ending of book one and fear book two may spoil it. But I may change my mind later. Do I recommend this book to you? Yes, I do. I think it’s a nice summer read and I also hope an advocate for changes in mindset if nothing else regarding the disabled community.

Happy reading my friends!

Belinda

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