Me Before You
Genre: Women's Fiction
Summary (from Goodreads): 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.
Marcie's Review: This was a wonderful book! The blurb and the cover and the author's history make it seem like this is going to be a romance, but it is definitely not. Yes, there's a bit of a love story, but this is nothing at all like a traditional romance. It's so much more than that! It's about Lou's process of self-discovery, Will's struggles with the limitations of his new quadriplegic life, and the difficult topic of euthanasia. The author presents the challenges of life in a wheelchair, including how Will and Lou are treated by strangers, and then tackles Will's desire to end his life, and his family and friends feelings about that. It made me think about euthanasia in a different way. I cried buckets towards the end!
The only complaint I have is that the author included a few chapters written from the point of view of some of the other characters - Will's mom and dad, Lou's sister, and Nathan the medical caretaker. It disrupted the story a little - I guess I don't read the chapter titles at all, because I didn't realize those chapters were from someone else's perspective until I was a page or two in, and I was very confused! It was interesting to hear snippets from Will's mom and dad, and it helped me understand them better as characters, but I think I would have preferred the story without them.
Marcie's Rating: 5 stars
Becky's Review: I almost didn't read this book because of the cover art. It looked like a light romance novel or maybe chick lit and generally looked unappealing to me as a reader. (I hope the publisher takes note of this and other people's complaints about the cover!) I am so glad that Marcie made me read this book as it was very addicting! I stayed up far too late many nights to read this book. I needed to know if Louisa could make Will happy and I truly wanted Will to learn how to enjoy life as a quadriplegic even though it would be enjoying life in a different way. The author made me love these characters and feel very deeply for them which is why this book has stuck with me. I think it will be a while before I forget about it and that is the mark of a good book! I could not stop tearing up and crying at the end of this book. My heart was breaking while reading this book. I agree with Marcie's complaints about the chapters written by other characters-I didn't feel that they were necessary and in fact I found them distracting. I'm still trying to decide if the ending was what needed to happen or if I would have been as content with the book if it ended a different way. This is definitely a 5 star book and if I had more stars I would have given it more!
Becky's Review: 5 stars