Me Before You.

62-me-before-you

It may look like a standard chick lit from the front cover, but DO NOT LET THAT FOOL YOU. This is far from your average romantic boy-meets-girl book.

This is a heartbreaking, funny, poignant, story that will make you want to really live. 

Amidst hundreds of books being published in this digital day and age, I think it’s rare to find a book that truly opens up your heart, cuts you deep, leaves you breathless, vulnerable and makes you question the way you are living your life now; whether you are living it to your full potential and how maybe, just maybe, you could be living it so much MORE?

Me Before You did just that for me and so much more.

When I found myself wishing for the Powers That Be and some other Divine Force for this book to miraculously turn into the NeverEnding Story, I knew I’d found an absolute treasure.

The Story
Will Traynor was all about living the high life. A successful businessman, an adrenaline junkie and someone who had travelled all over the world, he knew how to live. However, after being involved in a nasty motorcycle accident, Will is now a quadriplegic. Growing bitter and more miserable each day, he is now in the caring hands of middle-class, ex-waitress, Louisa Clark, his new and reluctant/desperate-for-money care assistant. And as they start to form a friendship, they both end up changing each other’s lives in a way neither thought possible.

As soon as I had opened up the first page, I could not put it down. I was so anti-social, ignoring my parents and guests. But my eyes were glued to each page, trying to absorb every word as I was drawing near to the end. And I was dreading it because I just wanted it to go on and on. I ended up finishing this book at around 1.30am. And once I was done and had settled my emotions, all I wanted to do was read it again.

Because I was BLOWN AWAY.

This was the first book I had read from the author and it certainly will not be the last. Moyes creates characters that may at first seem stereotypical – Louisa is bubbly and awkward, Will is miserable and withdrawn and you may think, pah, typical!

NO.

Will and Lou are not your average characters and you will, without a doubt, fall in love with them. Lou is pretty, funny and awkward but also wears her heart on her sleeve and doesn’t believe she is someone who can be into things like foreign films and travelling, or even bright enough to carry on with education. Will is unhappy and reserved but also handsome, sexy, sarcastic and is extremely knowledgeable. And the two mesh so well together, you cannot help but reach out to try to grasp some of their happiness and store it in a safe place so it comes to no harm.

There is a dark, controversial subject that aids the entire story: euthanasia. Moyes grapples with this tough subject with such ease. She handles assisted suicide with sensitivity and perfection, taking the reader on an emotional journey with the characters, making it all realistic and finally, leaving you to tackle your own thoughts about it. She doesn’t drown the book with complicated words so it sounds like a medical dictionary, nor does she shy away from the physical pain the paralysis brings on Will (and there are plenty) or the awkwardness people feel when faced with a quadriplegic. A perfect example is when Lou’s dad Bernard, meets Will for the first time and he embarrassingly holds out his hand, then stammers, “I don’t know how to greet a… I can’t shake your-” Moyes’ strong humorous reply from Will, “A curtsy will be fine,” breaks the tension and draws a laugh from the reader. A perfect balance.

I won’t carry on more about the story. All you need to know is that you NEED to read this. And I cannot stress that enough. It is a powerful story, combining love, heart ache and humour in such a way, that it will leave you in awe and possibly change your outlook on a few things. It changed mine.

So thank you Jojo Moyes for writing a story that will follow me forever. It has a special place on my bookshelf and in my heart and is definitely a story that I will never, ever forget.

Will Traynor and Louisa Clark are forever “scored on my heart.”

You told the world something good.

Advertisements

A Morbid Truth.

When Death knocks on your door as an unexpected guest, you have no choice but to answer it.

You stare up at the Dark Messenger as he stands in front of you in all his black-robe-glory, towering above you as he patiently waits. He knows and understands you have to say your goodbyes so he just simply nods and waits until you’re ready.

Which of course you’re not. Any fool, living or dead can see that. But what can you do? Try and cheat it? Final Destination tried that (five times was it?) and look what happened to them.

The tagline says it all...

I call him Unexpected Death.
He arrives at the most unexpected times, creeps into your dreams, follows you around, watches you grow and start your life, as he patiently waits in the background until he gets the dreaded phone call from above saying two simple words, “It’s time.”

For people who know Death is around the corner, or as I like to call it, Predicted Death, it allows time for preparation, for themselves and their loved ones. This doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking but when Unexpected Death arrives, it’s as if grief, suffering, sorrow and misery have all joined forces, entered your heart and soul and planted a seed there so that this new emotion is forever rooted inside of you. It may ease away with time but it will never let you forget.

You try to do all you can to cope but ultimately you can’t help but think,

 ‘This is unfair. It’s not right, it shouldn’t have happened, so why did it? Why do bad things continue to happen to good people? Why was he/she taken away so soon, when he/she just started living his/her life? Why? Why? WHY?’

No one can answer these questions. They can offer advice, their opinions, say a prayer or give you a shoulder to cry on but one thing you have to accept is that the hardest questions will never be answered.

Unexpected Death is painful beyond words but I believe it can teach you about life. When you are forced to face situations that leave you feeling numb, angry and confused, it also forces you to face reality; that life really is incredibly short and fragile. No one knows who or what is around the corner, so the next time you feel miserable about your job, or that you’re not 100% happy with where you are in life, start making some changes before it’s too late and just embrace life with all its flaws and imperfections, live it to the best of your ability and truly live each day as if it is your last because…what if it is?