Friday, 6 January 2012
Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
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.
This is one of the books chosen by Richard and Judy for their Spring 2012 books club in partnership with WHSmiths (full list can be seen here). There are some great books in the selection and I will be featuring more of the titles here soon.
As soon as I started this book I fell in love with it. It was such an easy book to read and get lost in - one morning I read until 2am.
The book starts in 2007, where we meet Will Trayner, a city, high flyer, who leaves his flat as usual one morning, to be involved in a terrible accident which changes his life forever - however it is not until later in the book that we find out he did survive but with life changing injuries.
The other main character in the book is Louisa, who at 26 years old, still lives at home with her parents and her sister and her young son. She worked in a local cafe, where she was happy people watching and chatting with the regulars, however she returns home early one night after the owner tells her he is closing the cafe to return to his hometown. After many unsuccessful job suggestions from the job centre, she applies to be a private carer for a quadriplegic man.
This book does have the expected carer falling for her 'patient' but there is so much to this book than that. That is a back story really and the book is alot more than a love story. Before Louisa took the carer's job she had no plans for her life, with a boyfriend who seemed to care more about training for an extreme race than spending time with his girlfriend. From the moment Louisa meets her charge, there is a spark and they play well off each other - there are many witty comments and Louisa is determined not to let him dwell on his condition. These quick, witty comments and conversations are very funny and there were times when I was laughing out loud while reading the book. However, there is a darker side to the book too. When Louisa finds out the real reason that she has been hired for a strict six months, she is determined to help her charge's parents as much as possible and make a difference. It is during this time that Louisa changes, Will helps her to decide what she wants out of life and for her to change her life and take steps to achieve her dreams. However, Louisa also decides she needs to do all she can to improve Will's life, and prove to him that, despite his injuries, that he can still do things and enjoy life. I found myself, throughout the book, beginning to think of Lou as a friend, I learnt so much about her and her ways that I could easily have been a friend who I met in the pub to talk about the day. Will was also a likeable character, and I found myself understanding his decision but I wished he would let Louisa in a bit more.
This book had me going through a wide range of emotions - laughter, humour, sadness and also, that feeling of 'if i was affected, what would I do?'
The book was released yesterday (05/01/12) and to turn on the news and to find one of the top stories being about the main story of this book I found to be very poignant. I think that JoJo has covered this subject very sensitively and looked at it from the points of view of both the patient, his parents and also that of his employed carers and I hope that the book is enjoyed by many readers and the subject can be discussed by many, informed, people, although I am sure that when the subject relates to someone close to you, a person's view may be changed or become blurred.
I would recommend this to anyone who would like a thought provoking read on a emotive subject, which is well written and researched and a great read!
I received this book through the Amazon Vine programme.