Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

A few years ago at my local library, Me Before You popped up constantly on my reading list. Multiple times I'd picked up the book and check it out, but something about it failed to grab my attention. The recent movies trailers (and the smallest of crushes on Sam Claflin) convinced me to give another go.

Louisa Clark is recently unemployed cafe worker becomes a caregiver to Will Traynor who has quadriplegia. Faced with Traynor's decision to commit assisted suicide, Clark tries to change his mind by broadening his horizons and reminding him of the simple pleasures in life, and in turn, ends up broadening her own.

Extraordinary or tragic circumstances bringing two people who may have never met otherwise is not really a new tale. Sometimes life gives us what our hearts want or gives us new people to meet, but not in the ways we expect.

Traynor aids Clark to be free of her past and fears, and to a certain point, vice versa. Though Clark doesn't define Traynor by his disability, his physicality, mental and emotional state is something that he can't or hasn't adjusted to. There are parts where I wished Moyes delved deeper into Traynor's mindset, however she does provide a nice balance to both characters' reasoning and how their relationship evolves from friends to something more.

Author Jojo Moyes opens up a lot of questions and debate, not only for those who are able-bodied but people with disabilities who disagree with how disability is portrayed in books and film. Traynor's decision to end his own life and Clark's efforts to see that he can still live for is the biggest one. A part of the story sounds bleak, their relationship is bittersweet and raises our own questions or ideas about assisted suicide, the close loved ones who may not be in a position to make that choice.

Me Before You made me feel exhausted from relief but also examination. Any reader may disagree with Traynor or Clark's plans and the morality of their situation, but I felt coming away like a changed person. The final pages deliver lot of things to ponder and digest. Happiness, sadness, hope, disappointment, and curiosity rolled into one.

What about you? Did you enjoy Jojo's book? Looking forward to the movie?

Rating: ★★☆

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