Me Before You (Me Before You, #1) Me Before You discussion


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Me Before You

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Kira Let's get a discussion going, I kinda want people who already read the book and or saw the movie to comment, because I don't wanna spoil it for others. I just wanna know your thoughts, what did you think of the book? Because I have a lot of things I wanna debate. Let's keep the debate positive though, no put downs, just agrees to disagrees that is my only request :D Can't wait to hear your thoughts


Jennifer This book has moved me like no other. What an amazing writer. I fell in love with Will, identified in so many ways with Lou, and gave so much more thought to those in wheelchairs. I cried through the entire last chapter but could not stop reading.


message 3: by Jo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jo Forrester I thought it was interesting how Will's was bound by his physical limitations but Louisa's life was bound by the limitations she has put on herself.


message 4: by Susan (new) - added it

Susan Chapman Jo wrote: "I thought it was interesting how Will's was bound by his physical limitations but Louisa's life was bound by the limitations she has put on herself."

Jo wrote: "I thought it was interesting how Will's was bound by his physical limitations but Louisa's life was bound by the limitations she has put on herself."

Jo wrote: "I thought it was interesting how Will's was bound by his physical limitations but Louisa's life was bound by the limitations she has put on herself."

And Will wasn't willing to live at all with those limitations


message 5: by Susan (new) - added it

Susan Chapman Kira wrote: "Let's get a discussion going, I kinda want people who already read the book and or saw the movie to comment, because I don't wanna spoil it for others. I just wanna know your thoughts, what did you..."

Did Will have the right to make the decision to end his life - he acted like he was the only one who would be affected


message 6: by Kira (last edited Jul 25, 2016 08:15AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kira Jennifer wrote: "This book has moved me like no other. What an amazing writer. I fell in love with Will, identified in so many ways with Lou, and gave so much more thought to those in wheelchairs. I cried through t..."

Excellent insight! I can definitely resonate with the last chapter feeling. The author left me feeling as though the book was incomplete, regardless of the fact it was the last chapter. I really enjoyed Lou's character development in the story-line. She really inspired me to have more patience, not just in general, but with the people in my life I hold near and dear to my heart.


message 7: by Kira (last edited Jul 25, 2016 08:19AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kira Jo wrote: "I thought it was interesting how Will's was bound by his physical limitations but Louisa's life was bound by the limitations she has put on herself."

Yes! I couldn't agree more. It makes you wonder which one is harder to struggle with. Granted physical limitations is a huge hardship to live through everyday, however in Lou's case it is hard to get out of feeling unmotivated and merely staying in a place where everything is within your own comfort zone. Sometimes we must travel outside of the invisible barriers and face our fears no matter how scared we may be. Lou helped me to understand its okay to want to stay on the safe side of the "playground of life" but you won't ever fully experience life to the fullest if we do that.


Kira Sue wrote: "Kira wrote: "Let's get a discussion going, I kinda want people who already read the book and or saw the movie to comment, because I don't wanna spoil it for others. I just wanna know your thoughts,..."

I found this part hard to wrap my mind around in the story line. All Will ever wanted prior to his accident was to be the man he was before. And he felt he could never fully be that unless his limitations were lifted. But unfortunately that wasn't going to ever happen given the circumstances. I think Will's physical disability blinded him so much that he forgot his blessings he already had even before the accident happened. I wish he could've seen how much his love of his family and Lou could've been enough forever, had he given it a chance. But sometimes we cannot explain why people choose the choices they do. Some readers may feel he chose this because he felt there was no way out.

So my question is, do you think Will was emotionally unstable which strengthened his desire to want to end his life? Do you think professional help or a even a therapist would have helped? Or do you think Lou was the only way he opened up at all?


message 9: by Jo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jo Forrester Kira wrote: "Jo wrote: "I thought it was interesting how Will's was bound by his physical limitations but Louisa's life was bound by the limitations she has put on herself."

Yes! I couldn't agree more. It make..."


'Staying on the safe side of the playground of life'
Beautifully phrased! I know what its like to just want something in your life to be easy and safe. So much of life is out of our control and for some people that is hard to accept. It's nice to have even one small thing under your control. But your life will be BORING if you aren't willing to step out of your comfort zone and experience it.

I think that's part of the reason Will felt that he had to end his life. To go from having complete control over everything in your life to absolutely none. That is terrifying in its own way. He couldn't even decide if he could have the lights on or off without someone else doing it for him. He repeatedly said to Lou "It was never your decision." I think he felt empowered by being able to control whether he remained alive or not.


message 10: by Kira (last edited Jul 29, 2016 07:28PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kira Jo wrote: "Kira wrote: "Jo wrote: "I thought it was interesting how Will's was bound by his physical limitations but Louisa's life was bound by the limitations she has put on herself."

Yes! I couldn't agree ..."


I'm literally speechless right now. Your insight is truly amazing. I totally see where you're coming from, to be honest the way you put it, it makes a lot of sense. Sure, it's very sad that Will died but sometimes we don't always know what the other person is feeling or experiencing. This book was just such an inspiring book. I wish more people would read it.


Tariqah No wonder there's so much hype over "Me Before You". It's not your stereotypical love story, the context of the story is what makes it so relatable. It's awfully miserable from start to finish considering Will, the quadriplegic, but the balance is within Lou's character: upbeat, carefree, and definitely free-spirited. It isn't the love forming between the two that's the focus (a twist to your average "love story"), but how our personal choices have a domino effect on others if we're not careful. It's also a self-analysis guide at the same time; you can't help but reflect on your own path after reading.

Personally, the movie didn't do a spectacular job in representing the characteristics of Lou or Will. It seems that Twilight has dominated society's perception of just about everything concerning love: everyone is photogenic, happy-go-lucky 99.9% of the time, and always for the greater-good. Will's character seemed to be watered down, as if the director was trying to avoid offending anyone with his constant swearing in the book and distaste for Lou at the start (he was a real jerk to her, not just sarcastic) The film also had a bad habit of casting him as good-looking all the freaking time.

And poor Lou. Sure, in the book she had a fetish for bumble-bee stockings, but they didn't have to give her pigtails and kindergarten clothing in the film. It was an overkill on her somewhat-immature tendencies. She was just not not that upbeat. As the saying goes, "the book was better".


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

Hana usually i'm not emotional person. But to be fair, i cried all night bc of this book. I read it inone day. I laughd i cried, felt every emotion. It is a beautiful story, really. I would love to thank Jojo for writing this book. It really opend my eyes about disabled people and the struggle to live their lifes. I give it 5/5, amazing..


message 13: by sufi (new) - rated it 5 stars

sufi ibrahim I juzz loved it.... I mean I wept like a baby when I finished it. The main strength of this book is how Moyes have displayed will and Lou's feelings and emotions. The movie on the other hand is good but it Lou's are not so well expressed I think


message 14: by Kira (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kira Tariqah wrote: "No wonder there's so much hype over "Me Before You". It's not your stereotypical love story, the context of the story is what makes it so relatable. It's awfully miserable from start to finish cons..."

I never thought of it that way. I can totally see where you're coming from and now having seen the movie twice, I totally understand the whole Will being "watered down in the movie" he wasn't as mean as he was in the book. And Lou's character did seem to be kicked up in bubbly bubble gum personality. But that's what movies do, they're not supposed to be 100% book accurate. And the whole Lou not getting along with her sister in the book goes wayside from the beginning of the movie. They weren't friendly with each other all the time. They fought hard and deep battles. Thank you for commenting, ur response was very insightful.


message 15: by Jo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jo Forrester I appreciated the fact that Lou and her sister didn't get along all of the time. That is realistic, at least in my family. People are multilayered and complicated. No one likes someone else all of the time. It is possible to love someone and have them irritate you to no end. But, when it matters, they're your biggest cheerleader. Lou's sister exhibited spoiled little sister character traits but she took care of her sister after her rape and whenever Lou was down she was there to pick her up. That's sisterhood.


Nishi I really liked this book. It was hard to put it down once I started reading. I was so hoping that he will change his mind and yet somewhere in my heart I felt it not going to happen.
I have not watched the movie as I feel books is always better.


message 17: by Becky ♡The Bookworm♡ (last edited Aug 21, 2016 11:53PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Becky ♡The Bookworm♡ I'm very passionate about this book, so please don't get to rattled over my enthusiasm for my position. I'm not judging anyone. I just want to share my perspective and hopefully provide another point of view. I'll start by asking a question. You don't have to answer it here, just think about it or have it on your mind as you read my post. For those of you who say you have a new perspective on disabled people, or those confined to wheelchairs, what do you mean? Exactly? Because the ending of this book was really, really hard for me to accept. In fact, I was furious.

Will 's choice to end his life rather than live within the confines of his disability is not heroic, or romantic, or admirable. Yes, it's ultimately his body and his choice, but I think it's a weak and selfish choice that left his family in ruin and Lou heartbroken (big deal if she's rich...money doesn't buy happiness). We're not talking about a man born into abject poverty here. He had every option available to him and the best this brilliant, college-educated man could come up with was death.

Let's look at the other side of this situation.

What about a man who starts his life as one of seven siblings, the son of a live-off-the-land, Montana cattle rancher? The future doesn't look too bright for him. There won't be money for college and the ranch barely supports the family as it is. Looks like the boys are headed to the mines after high school.

Then when the boy is fifteen, he's involved in a near fatal car accident that leaves him a paraplegic. Now he can't even work the ranch, let alone work in the mines. How will he finish high school? He's looking at a long rehabilitation - two states away from home. What's he going to do with the rest of his life?

His family might've been poor, but they were tight-knit. His mother refused to give up on him and in turn, he refused to give up on himself. With their support, he survived the depression.

Everyone who's been through a disabling event will tell you that the depression is rough, especially those who've lost limbs, or the ability to walk, see, hear, speak, etc. It's a normal progression. What isn't normal is giving up on life and choosing to die because you can't have your old life back. You make a new one. You learn to do things a different way.

With the exception of a legitimate mental illness, I believe that happiness is a choice, People can live their lives wanting what they can't ever have, or they can get busy finding ways to get around the obstacles keeping them from things they can have. For disabled people and people in wheelchairs, the options are always bigger and better than "death by suicide."

By the way, the man born into poverty went on to get a Masters Degree in Business. He married a polio survivor in 1962. She was also confined to a wheelchair. Tragic? No, I don't think it is. I think it's courageous. After securing a good position with an accounting firm, this man bought a nice house in a comfortable suburban middle class neighborhood. Together they did the daily chores. Normal stuff like we do. He mowed the lawn, washed the car. She shopped for groceries, cooked meals, ran the vacuum, planned for Sunday School classes. Yes, they owned a car and both drove it when they had someplace to go.

They raised two daughters, went to their softball games, volunteered for PTA, and took annual family vacations. They made friends easily, maintained a social life and occasionally paid a babysitter to go out with other couples (disabled and able bodied).

This boy from Montana made a life that was worth living and he did it from a wheelchair. He adapted the world to fit his needs.

After the children left home, his wife passed away. Eventually he remarried and had even more adventures. He went snowmobiling, hot air ballooning, and white water rafting. He was there to "walk" his daughter down the aisle when she married and held every one of his grandchildren when they were born. When he died at age 63, there was standing room only at his memorial service as friends and co-workers came from all over the country to say goodbye to a dear friend.

This man was my father.

So you can see why I don't care for the example Jojo Meyers has created in Will's story. I can't applaud Will or call him brave for giving up. Not after watching my parents fight everyday to live the same life healthy people take for granted. To do so would be a gross disrespect to my parents and all the "aunts" and "uncles" that I loved as a little girl. I'm thankful that Dad lived long enough to be a brilliant example to my children that life is what you make of it.

I can agree to disagree with all of you about this book, but while you're looking at the tragedy and physical limitations a disability can cause, please don't forget to look at all the possibilities.

By the way, how do you view people in wheelchairs now? ; )


message 18: by Kira (last edited Aug 22, 2016 09:28PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kira Becky ♡The Bookworm♡ wrote: "I'm very passionate about this book, so please don't get to rattled over my enthusiasm for my position. I'm not judging anyone. I just want to share my perspective and hopefully provide another poi..."


Excellent points of discussion you brought up Becky. I admire how you can speak your mind. It's exactly what I was hoping for this topic discussion! So welcome. And I agree, suicide is never the answer but some readers become conflicted because Will wanted it for closure and peace. And it bothered him that he could no longer do what he used to. Does the narrator suggest that maybe something may be wrong with Will emotionally not just on the physical level? Do you think a psychiatrist or professional help could've altered his decisions to end his life? Do you think his mother's overbaring behavior added or affected his mental sanity? All questions to ponder.

But to answer your question, I never looked down upon people with wheelchairs and my view wasn't changed after reading this book. However, it did remind me what it must feel like as a quadriplegic, always feeling trapped and dependent on an aid or nurse for guidance.
I used to work with physically and mentally disabled students. And I wish they weren't labeled as disabled, sure they can't do everything we can but that doesn't mean they're hopeless people. They have special wits and talents about themselves. And it's okay to be different. Sometimes we just need accepting individuals in our lives to keep us going.


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

Jo Forrester Becky ♡The Bookworm♡ wrote: "I'm very passionate about this book, so please don't get to rattled over my enthusiasm for my position. I'm not judging anyone. I just want to share my perspective and hopefully provide another poi..."


Hello Becky. I understand why you feel the way you do. Let me preface my response with the fact that I don't agree with Will either. But the book allowed me to try and see his situation from his point of view. One factor that doesn't come up that often is that he was in constant pain and that pain was only going to increase as his life continued. He knew that his health and quality of life would decrease daily and that he wasn't expected to live very long. It wasn't just that he lost movement of his entire body. It was also that he was going to get more sick, more helpless and live with even more pain.

I didn't find him heroic at all. He complained bitterly and treated his mother TERRIBLY. Maybe I feel most strongly about this because I'm a mother now but she must've been in agony from the moment she heard of his near fatal accident. But, what I did see in Will, was his humanity. We can't all be heroes or gracious. Most people would be devastated to learn that nothing would ever be the same again. He even admitted that when he was completely healthy that he was an 'arse.' Both Lou and Will admitted that they would never have crossed paths in his former life and definitely would not have been friends. So, you take a flawed man and this painful debilitating diagnosis and what do you expect? Thinking back on the book, I think his choice was almost predictable. What wasn't predictable was that he got to experience love and true friendship before he chose to die and that was all thanks to Lou. He became more human and, thanks to him, Lou has the opportunity to live more completely.


Becky ♡The Bookworm♡ Kira wrote: "Excellent points of discussion you brought up Becky. I admire how you can speak your mind. It's exactly what I was hoping for this topic discussion! So welcome. And I agree, suicide is never the answer ..."

Good morning, Kira and thank you for your response. I appreciate your point of view on the book and we aren't far off in our feelings. There was a lot about the book that I enjoyed, but Will just drove me nuts. His choice was such a waste. I've given your questions some thought, in fact I've thought about these issues since reading the book. I'm pleased to have a venue to discuss them! : )

"Does the narrator suggest that maybe something may be wrong with Will emotionally not just on the physical level?"

Not enough. It's obvious there was family dysfunction, but Will came across to me as the same in control, no-nonsense businessman he was before the accident. The only change I saw in his personality was anger and self-pity that he couldn't have his old life back. The depression wasn't stressed.

Will's personality after the accident was a huge weak point in the story for me. Depressed people don't act the way Will acted, especially with Lou. Meyers constantly left me in a conflicted mindset when it came to Will's true condition, mentally and physically. Yes, he was unshaven when Lou first met him (wasn't he? It's been awhile) but Meyers could've let that go longer and expanded on an unkept state to enhance his depression, i.e. "I don't care how I look, or if I get dressed today." Of course, when he had someone there to maintain his daily routine for him... *shrugs*

Also, was his pain constant - 24/7 excruciating pain? Or was his pain chronic - a pain that could temporarily be relieved by intensive pain management? In my mind it has to be the latter, or how else was he able to go out and do things with Lou? Excruciating pain leaves you incapacitated, sometimes to the point of nausea and vomiting. So if it was 24/7....

It's a little thing, but it bothered me anyway.

Do you think a psychiatrist or professional help could've altered his decisions to end his life?

Well, if we were talking about a real life character, I'd say maybe. If a person is set on destructive behavior and their family can't talk them out of it, I doubt a stranger is going to have any luck. Then again, if Will had been my son, I would've admitted him to a hospital where he couldn't hurt himself and forced him to get therapy. As his mom, I would've taken the lead and been the first to "get my crap together" and deal with whatever issues I had.

Do you think his mother's overbaring behavior added or affected his mental sanity?

See my last sentence in the above paragraph. lol! Yes, she added to the problem in gigantic ways. Instead of coddling him, she should've found ways to engage him. She should've found work for him to do from home. He loved his job. Get the man a computer and the accessibility tools he needs to run it. Let him use his brain instead of sitting there thinking about everything he's lost and blah blah blah. And for pity's sake! She needed to Stop. Crying.


These are all great questions! People are very unique. The big thing I have to remember about Will is that his personality wasn't like my dads. He didn't have a close bond with his family. The challenges are different between being a quadriplegic and a paraplegic. The life expectancies after the injury are dramatically different.

But I still think he should have tried harder.

What it really boils down to for me, is that this book fails to show the characters AND the readers that people with severe disabilities have any other options for a fulfilling life.

That bugs the ever-living daylights out of me.

It would've been neat if Lou had found a few quads that had achieved their personal goals after their injury and introduced them to Will. Why not give him realistic reasons to want to live?

Anyway, those are a few more thoughts that were on my mind this morning. Thank you for starting this discussion and allowing us the opportunity to discuss the book openly!


message 21: by Becky ♡The Bookworm♡ (last edited Aug 23, 2016 09:29AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Becky ♡The Bookworm♡ Jo wrote: "Hello Becky. I understand why you feel the way you do. Let me preface my response with the fact that I don't agree with Will either. But the book allowed me to try and see his situation from his point of view. ..."

Hi Jo!

I'm a mom, too, so I was a pretty shocked by Will's bad attitude and disrespectful treatment of his mother. I know she needed to pull it together, but we are all only human. One of these days maybe I'll be able to apply that to Will and give him a break for his decision. I thought Lou made such a huge leap in character growth through the story and for it to end the way it did was tough to accept.

I mentioned in my post to Kira that I felt Meyers left me conflicted on Will's personality and his condition in the book. It's been several months since I read Me Before You so I don't recall the details about his life expectancy, but I know they talked about infections. I'm not sure the author has the correct information on that. Granted, every patient is vastly different and I'm keeping that in mind.

My first thought was of, Christopher Reeves. He required the use of a ventilator to breathe after his spinal injury. That shortens the life span dramatically as the body has to work much harder just to take in oxygen. It also reduces the bodies ability to fight off infections. Will's injury was in the C5/6 region, so he retained his ability to breathe on his own.

I know they mentioned Will experienced UTI's, but was it a chronic situation he had before the injury? A UTI infection due to catheter use is an avoidable situation if the patient follows proper protocol and takes in plenty of fluids. I remember my dad taking a two quart tupperware container filled with water to the bedroom each night and by morning it was gone. He was meticulous about his diet and care. The life expectancy of a spinal injury patient in the 1940's (the time of dad's accident) was 5 years. He beat that by 40 plus years.

So, once again, I was conflicted about Will. : /

I guess this book touches something profoundly personal in me, because I'm unable to overlook certain aspects surrounding Will's disability. It's kind of odd. I'm usually the first person to say "Don't add to a book" or "Just take it for what it is and let the author tell his/her story." I haven't read the second book and I'm on the fence about picking it up. On one hand, I'm curious to see where Lou goes from here. Perhaps it will give me a little more information about what Will was really thinking about.

Have you read the second book?


message 22: by Jo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jo Forrester Becky ♡The Bookworm♡ wrote: "Jo wrote: "Hello Becky. I understand why you feel the way you do. Let me preface my response with the fact that I don't agree with Will either. But the book allowed me to try and see his situation ..."

I haven't read the 2nd book but have purchased the audio version from Audible.

I think your father was exceptional in his adjustment and meticulous in his upkeep.

With Will... I kept thinking that it would have driven him crazy to have this beautiful and curvy woman in his life and never be intimate with her. Lou had been assaulted once before and if, God forbid, anyone tried to physically hurt her Will couldn't defend her at all. And people often grow and evolve. What if she outgrew him? He had to have been thinking of all of that. With that in mind, his choice seemed like cowardice. But, I tried my hardest not to judge because I have no idea what that kind of life is like and, honestly, I don't even like contemplating it.

I think the part of the book that I found the most inspiring was Louisa. Her past, present and hopeful future. Her growth. She lived this life of self imposed restriction and it struck a chord in me. I know what it's like when your family has a very small vision of what you should be and you just walk along to the beat of their drum out of habit. It takes incredible strength to push past those boundaries and she did that.


message 23: by Becky ♡The Bookworm♡ (last edited Aug 23, 2016 04:36PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Becky ♡The Bookworm♡ Thank you for your kind words, Jo. Dad was really special. That's for sure. : )

Thinking more about your post, I agree with you about Lou. I think this was primarily her story...about her personal growth, falling in love and ultimately being forced to let go. She had to move on with life away from her family...and without Will.

Control was a big theme in this book for all of the characters. Will had no control over his body. He was a man accustomed to being in control of every aspect of his life. In the end, he took control of the only bodily thing he did have control over The choice to live of die.

For Lou, it was all about learning to take control and reach for the life she wanted, not the life she was expected to live. While she was with Will, she began to take charge in a valiant effort to save him. She was determined to do it and grew tremendously from the process. Despite the fact that Will still made the sad choice in the end, Lou grew from the experience.

She learned to take control of conflict and uncomfortable situations instead of avoiding them. Eventually, she applied these skills to her own life and family, making positive changes that opened a whole new world of possibilities to her.

Just a thought...


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