Reaction: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Hi

On Friday I reviewed ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes, but on further reflection I’ve decided to express my reaction to the book as well.  In a way this is a spoiler review, so if you don’t want to ruin the book for yourself before you read it, don’t read the rest of this post.

I loved this book.  I really did. But when I finished reading I really didn’t know what to think.  I was so upset.  I googled it and read as many reviews as possible, because I just couldn’t get it out of my head.  I just wanted to talk about it with somebody, you know?  So I ended up annoying both my mother and brother (who haven’t read the book) by telling them the story.  My mother said it was too sad for her to read, now that she knew the ending.

I was in tears for a large section of the novel.   I think that Jojo Moyes did a great job in giving the reader hope that Will would choose to live.  I know that I couldn’t believe he’d done it until about halfway through Chapter 27: Crown Prosecution Service Advisory letter thingy.  I started crying way before that though, around 85% on the Kindle.  The bit where Lou confesses her love for Will, but he says it’s not enough was hard to read.  It was always just so believable, which is something that might not have been if Moyes hadn’t done such a great job.  I also found it interesting (after a couple of days) how it could easily have gone either way – in terms of the story it would have worked for him to live or die.  I thought that was very life-like, because Will had options, even if he didn’t see them.  It was always about choice, as pointed out by the people Lou speaks to online.

‘Do you know what, Louisa?  It would be nice – just for once – if someone paid attention to what I wanted.’

Will Chapter 4

I also liked how Will was always more than his disability.  His final decision was his own to make as a person, and as a reader I didn’t hate him for it or felt cheated in any way.  Moyes based the book on a real life issue, and it is clear that she wanted to portray it as realistically as possible.  Camilla Traynor is another example of this.  Her chapter was actually one of my favourites.  She was the parent with everything to lose, and she was the one that everyone, including Lou’s mother, blamed.  Mr. Traynor didn’t get the same criticism, which is an entire debate on its own really.

After the last scene with Will (Chapter 26) I have to say I felt a little disassociated with the book.  I think that the epilogue was okay, but it also fell kind of short.  The way Will’s death is conveyed to the reader is impersonal as well.  I felt like the book had already ended.  Saying that I think a lot of books that end with a main character dying end this way, because it is such an emotional event.

The humour in the book was excellent too.  It was very British.  I was either laughing or crying with ‘Me Before You’ really.

If anyone reads this – what did you think of ‘Me Before You’?

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