Jenny Smith's Reviews > Me Before You

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
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May 05, 2012

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Read in April, 2012

I chose this book after an old bookshop colleague of mine called it the new One Day. This recommendation alone was enough to get me to read it; One Day is one of those books that really did live up to the hype.

After twenty-six year old Louisa Clark loses her job at her local cafe, she is at a loss about what to do next. The Job Centre sets up an interview for her as a carer for a young quadriplegic man called Will. Against all odds, Louisa is chosen by Will's mother for the role. Frustrated by life and his constant line of carers, Will is prickly towards Louisa at first, driving her towards the edge of quitting. But, as the two get to know each other, they each begin to influence the other's perspective on life- and the future. Just when Louisa believes she's made a breakthrough with Will's attitude, she learns the tragic reason that her contract is only six months- and quickly sets on a mission to change Will's mind, before it is too late...

The vivacity of both the main characters- Will with his typically-handsome face and sarcastic tone, Louisa with her bubbly nature and bizarre dress sense- will pull you into the tragic situation, whether you like it or not. Like David Nicholls before her in One Day, Moyes shows us that unlikely friendships can help both friends break out of the box and spread their wings to unexpected places. Smashing personal boundaries- going further than you ever thought you could, after the influence of somebody who knows you better than you know yourself- is a subject very close to my heart.

Moyes' novel deals with a few tentative issues, making the reader constantly reassess their own ideas of morality. There's not much more I can say on the subject without spoiling it for you; all I will say is that you may find yourself changing your mind on what you thought you believed as the novel progresses. It's not always a case of right or wrong; it can be a case of regaining control from an uncontrollable situation...

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