I feel like I need to take a month long nap to get over this emotional exhaustion this book caused. I was either on the brink off tears of flat out ugly crying for like 80% of this book. I literally have a headache from crying so much, but at the same time this book lifts you up. Me Before You has quickly become a 2015 favourite.
I knew Me Before You was being adapted into a movie which will be released next year staring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin two people I LOVE (I mean, Khaleesi and Finnick – yes please), so when I saw the book on sale I figure I might as well give it a read, even though adult contemporary romance isn’t usually the first genre I’d go for. I didn’t know anything really about it, and had really no expectations to like it that much. Which is probably part of the reason it has blown me away.
This book is marketed as a romance, and it definitely is, but it is so much more than that. It’s a book on acceptance and grief and growth and family. It’s a book that takes a hugely controversial issue and debates it in a heartbreaking way – going against the happily ever after to give readers an educated and realistic conclusion. I’m not sure that if I knew what this book was about going into it if I would have decided to read it, but I am so glad that I did! There’s no way you can read this book and not be emotional invested, not just in Louisa and Will’s budding romance but in their families, their issues, their pasts. This book pulls you in and then spits you out a different person.
Moyes writes about Will’s injury and his life in a raw and genuine portrayal of what life must be like for a man who lived life to the fullest to be confined to be made severely disabled. I loved the real way Moyes wrote about family dynamics in this book. The way us readers are able to compare the differences between Will’s family and Louisa’s, how they are both so realistic and understandable under their different conditions. I was able to connect with Louisa’s family life, the way they all looked after each other with it being a little dysfunctional and unusual.
Me Before You has a very prominent theme of bettering yourself. That if you are able to, you should always be striving to grow and learn and live life to the fullest. This is probably why I liked Louisa so much, at the start of the novel she is annoyingly content in her small bubble of a life, haven’t had changed in many years but because of how her life changes so drastically she starts to grow, learns not to take life for granted.
As for the controversial issue I mentioned, I’m not going to tell you what it is because when it came out of nowhere for me it really shook me up and I want you to experience the same thing! As a psychologist student I have studied this issue when doing ethics in detail and I loved how Moyes was able to argue both sides so clearly. You as the reader hate it but understand it. You learn and expand your viewpoint having been educated – which I love!
The sequel, After You, is being released at the end of this month and I have no idea what Moyes is going to do with it, and I’m not sure if I’m emotional prepared but I can’t wait to read it!
Overall, I loved this book, I was not expecting it but I did. It has quickly become one of my favourite books of the year and I really urge anyone who hasn’t read it to do so!
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