Aestas Book Blog's Reviews > Me Before You

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
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it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites


What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

What an incredible story!!

When I finished this book, tears were pouring down my face. It was powerful, heart-breaking, and bittersweet but also oddly heartwarming. Absolutely unforgettable. I honestly think it’s impossible to come away from this book without an overwhelming sense of gratitude for all the blessings in your life.

I'll be honest, it's taken me over a year to work up the courage to read this book. I found out the ending back in 2012 when I first heard about the book and my initial reaction was Noooope, I can't do this!... but I was still drawn to the story and deeply curious about it. So I kept it at the back of my mind and would think about it from time to time. I'd even open the book, then chicken out and put it back. But I finally came to terms mentally with the story and got to a point where I felt I was ready to read it. And I just want to say that I am SO glad that I finally decided to go for it because this story will stay in my heart forever.

It's about a woman, Louisa, who is desperate for a job and accepts a position as private caregiver to a young disabled man, a quadriplegic, from a wealthy family. This man, Will Traynor, had once been on the fast track in life -- a high powered business man who pursued a thrilling life of action and adventure. But that all came to a sudden, tragic halt the day he was the victim of an accident that left most of his body paralyzed. Now faced with the medical reality that he was never going to recover, his entire outlook on life changed and he made a shocking, but yet oddly understandable, personal decision which he felt was right for him much to the despair of his family. And that was where Lou came into the picture.

It was truly tragic seeing this guy who had so much mental energy be so strongly and permanently confined. He was trapped inside his own body and, as a reader, I could really feel his hopeless frustration and rage. For the first time since his accident though, Lou brought moments of joy into his life.

Mind you, they didn't have the smoothest of starts. Will was cranky, moody, and had no desire to establish any kind of friendship with her. But as the days went by, things slowly began to change between them...

This story was quietly captivating. You could almost call it slow-paced and yet I didn't want to put it down and was constantly thinking about all aspects of the story even when I wasn't reading it.

I'm at odds with how much I should tell you about it though. On one hand, I fully respect and understand the benefits of going into a story like this blind, but on the flip side, if it was me, I would have wanted to know what to expect so I'm going to split things up here....

If you don't want to know anything more about the story before you read, you can just stop here. BUT.... if you want to get an idea of the way everything ends, then read on.

Essentially, prior to the start of the book, Will made an unwavering, clear-minded decision that he did not wish to continue his life in his condition. It was not a rash or unstable decision made out of depression or anger, but rather one based on medical facts and personal choice. Louisa found out about his choice relatively early on and when she did, she was horrified and decided to do everything in her power to convince him to change his mind. I think that it was a very natural reaction to want to cling to hope for a better future and the belief that there must be a way. I don't want to directly give the ending away but at the same time I want to warn you that this is not a fairy tale and its a painfully real and honest story.

There is no sudden tragedy or twist at the end. More like a personal choice made by taking a realistic look at life. It's painfully heartbreaking to admit but I do feel that, given the circumstances of Will's situation and what he wanted out of his life, it was the right ending for the person to whom it mattered most.

I'm not going to lie, prior to reading this book, I struggled with the morality of it simply based on my natural reaction. But, looking back, that was unfair because I didn't really know the complexity or details of this exact situation. I think we innately want to fix things, and it's easier to hold on to imaginary hope when you're not the person who is trapped. It's an incredibly selfless act to love someone enough to put their happiness first even at the cost of your own. It makes my heart ache to say this and I still can't even think about it without tears coming to my eyes but... it really ended the only way it could have.

There are so many valuable life lessons embedded in this story -- to find a purpose in life, to follow your passions, to never waste a single moment -- and I feel like this story gives an important reminder to value each minute, and cherish each of the things that we can so easily take for granted.

Everything is precious. Every ability, every minute, all of it.

Count your blessings. Be grateful for each one of them. Read this book.

Rating: 4.5 -- 5 stars. Standalone. This is fiction, not romance, even though there is a love story.


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Reading Progress

July 21, 2014 – Shelved
July 21, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
Started Reading
July 23, 2014 –
27.0% "I finally worked up the courage to start this last night and I'm totally loving it!! It's actually very different than I expected but I cant stop thinking about it! I know it's gonna be heartbreaking but I can't wait to read more today :)"
July 23, 2014 –
36.0% " "I had a hundred and seventeen days in which to convince Will Traynor that he had a reason to live." "
July 23, 2014 –
49.0% "Can't put this down!"
July 23, 2014 –
67.0% "*** SNIFFF ***\n "Do you know something?"\n "What?"\n "Sometimes, you are pretty much the only thing that makes me want to get up in the morning." "
July 23, 2014 –
99.0% "**SOBS** I loved it. Review to come."
July 23, 2014 – Finished Reading
July 26, 2014 – Shelved as: favorites

Comments Showing 1-50 of 91 (91 new)

Porsha Do it do it. So many feels. You're gonna love it. I absolutely LOVE your blog, BTW. :)

ℏṳ❡ṧᾰɴᖱḉ✺✺к!ḙṧ It's going to be worth all those feels. Happy Reading :)

Sandra I JUST finished this and "WARNING: This book may cause uncontrollable ugly crying, attempt reading in public at your own risk"

Paige Such an awesome book but I ugly cried for a long while afterwords. Read it!

Erin YES YOU MUST!! IT IS INCREDIBLE! They are making it into a movie too! :)

Kristy Awesome book, heartbreakingly good! Five stars from me. :)

message 7: by Aestas Book Blog (last edited Jul 21, 2014 05:36PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Aestas Book Blog Kristy wrote: "Awesome book, heartbreakingly good!"

Erin wrote: "YES YOU MUST!! IT IS INCREDIBLE! They are making it into a movie too! :)"

Paige wrote: "Such an awesome book but I ugly cried for a long while afterwords. Read it!"

Sandra (thebooktrend) wrote: "I JUST finished this and "WARNING: This book may cause uncontrollable ugly crying, attempt reading in public at your own risk""

hugsandcookies wrote: "It's going to be worth all those feels. Happy Reading :)"

Bookie82 wrote: "Do it do it. So many feels. You're gonna love it. I absolutely LOVE your blog, BTW. :)"

Ahhhhhh you guys!!!!! Love these recs! I'm totally gonna do it soon!!!! I'm thinking sometime this week maybe. I'm in the mood for a heart-wrenching story!

JoAnn I can't believe you haven't read this yet. One of my all time faves. Can't wait for your review!

Aestas Book Blog JoAnn wrote: "I can't believe you haven't read this yet. One of my all time faves. Can't wait for your review!"

Sooooon!! I think I'm ready to go for it!

message 10: by Mo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mo Great book.

message 11: by Sarina (new)

Sarina Bowen This book WRECKED me for awhile after I read it. But it was TOTALLY worth it! :-)

message 12: by Mo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mo Wrecked me for days. Hubby thought I was a nutcase. Woke up crying at night, blubbering about it.

Sadie An all-time favorite!

Aestas Book Blog Sadie wrote: "An all-time favorite!"

Mo wrote: "Wrecked me for days. Hubby thought I was a nutcase. Woke up crying at night, blubbering about it."

Sarina wrote: "This book WRECKED me for awhile after I read it. But it was TOTALLY worth it! :-)"

DEFINITELY will be reading it soon!!! *stockpiles the tissues*

message 15: by Aria (new)

Aria  Tatiana I recently bought it but haven't read it yet! Soon too!

Morgan It's a really beautiful story... about love, in every form. You won't be disappointed!

Mariana Oh, do it! You'll love it (well, at least I think so). It's heartbreakingly beautiful. It was worth every tear shed and I'll tell you I lost count of them.

Jeynna ( The Romance Junkie) mygosh! you should totally read it, it's worth it!:D

message 19: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy it's a beautiful story!

Jaime Beckler It's Ah-mazing... Will not disappoint. Now go grab your Kleenex.

Karen You will LOVE this book!!!!

Fancy Nancy Be prepared to dehydrate yourself from tears! So awesome!!!

Aestas Book Blog I love all your comments, guys!! Can't wait to read this :D

Karen stock up on tissues

Reanell Tisdale This one is in my top 5 books ever. Absolutely beautiful!

Marta Definitely go for it, its a beautiful well written story that makes you laugh out loud in some instances and cry in others.

message 27: by Ella (new) - added it

Ella Looks like i'm adding this one to my tbr!

Nicola get ready to cry your eyes out...

Aestas Book Blog Nicola wrote: "get ready to cry your eyes out..."

Totally ready for that!!

message 30: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 21, 2014 11:34PM) (new)

This book broke me, prepare yourself.

message 31: by Lori (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lori Patterson It will be a story you will never forget! Beautiful love story. I ugly cried for hours after reading this story.

PAULA It is a very good book, well-written but heartbreaking to the bone. :(

Arshpreet i bawled like a baby during this book and had a huge book-hangover after reading this one but its a beautiful story and is completely worth it.

Miranda Just do it! you'll be glad you did!:)

Albina You are going to love it!

Tiffany Such a great book. You need to read it now!!

Angila Landsaw YES DO!!! LOVED THIS BOOK!

Laine The Librarian And when you do read this book....PLEASE write a review about it...been wanting to read it but like you afraid to. Let us know!!! :) Enjoy

Carissa READ IT!!!! I read it last year and I still think about it alot. Might be time for a re-read.

Sabrina It's pretty good and definitely worth the read. I'm hoping for a sequel.

Tiffany A sequel would be awesome!

message 42: by Mo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mo No, no sequel!! For what???

Amanda Mo wrote: "No, no sequel!! For what???"

LoL. (view spoiler)

Lindsay You definitely must read this book! It really is amazing and without a doubt one of my favourites of all time. I always recommend it to people. It's one if those books that makes you feel so much and be grateful for what you have in life x

Tess (books.with.tess) Tiffany wrote: "A sequel would be awesome!"

Nooooo! No!! A sequel would NOT be awesome because we do NOT need to hear about how extremely (view spoiler) because PAIN ALL THE PAIN

*sobs in a corner*

message 46: by [deleted user] (new)

One cannot simply write a sequel to THIS.

Julie I purchased this book yesterday, and I've been debating if I should start reading it or wait till I'm in the mood for an ugly cry.

Andrea Wonderful book! Enjoy :)

Leslie Metsch Such a great book!!!!

Stephanie This was one of my favorite reads last year. Not a typical HEA, but a very powerful and memorable story. I still think about Lou and Will!

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