Saturday, 18 April 2015

Me Before You, by JoJo Moyes

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 is 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 rather small and 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.

Having seen this book down various social media feeds I was eager to get my hands on it, and I can honestly say that I was gripped from page one which resulted in the book being read within 48hours... I admit, if I hadn't had the alarm set for work this morning I would have stayed up to finish it.

For me this book I one of them ones where you instantly fall in love with the characters. From the off I adored Lou's quirky dress sense and the way she described things in detail, it really builds up the setting of the book in your head.

Lou lives at home with her parents, sister and nephew. She has a long term boyfriend who is more interested in his running and personal training business that he is in Lou, cue myself forming an instant dislike to Patrick's character! She lives in a quaint village that has a castle bringing in a steady stream of  tourist each summer. The Buttered Bun where she works suddenly closes and Lou is at a loss. The vacancies at the job centre aren't much to go by and just when she thinks thes hit rock bottom something turns up - being a carer for Will.

Will is a quadriplegic as a result of a motorcycle accident and has made his mind up about his life, it's the only decision he seems in control of making. I won't tell you about this decision here as I feel it will ruin part of the story for you. Lou is hired on a six month contract as Will's carer and from the beginning Will is difficult however it doesn't take Lou long to realise that the best way to get along is by purely talking to Will (and she doesn't have an issue chatting!) and allowing him to make choices.

Slowly they start to form a relationship and Lou gains his trust and day trips out become a regular thing. As Lou and Will grow closer, Lou and Patrick grow farther apart - thumbs up from me!
Lou's biggest challenge comes when her and Nathan, Will's daily nurse, take him on holiday. She's super organised so that nothing goes wrong... After all there is a lot riding on this, and on the last night finally admits her feelings for Will... Something the book is aiming towards and as a reader something I hoped would happen. 
What I wasn't expecting however was Will's reaction. Usually with a good chic-lit there is always a happy ever after ending but this was not the case.
Again without totally spoiling the plot line for you, Will is stubborn and sticks to that one decision he made before he met Lou, however she does come to accept this.

At a few intervals of the book there would be a chapter written from someone other than Lou although she narrates most of the story. There's a chapter from Will's mother, one from Nathan and one from Katrina, Lou's sister, and each give their view and prospective of the situation. I particularly liked the way these were thrown in the mix to keep my own views open minded and it added a little freshness to the book.

Despite Me Before You first being published in 2012, JoJo Moyes is a new author to my book corner and quickly became a favourite.
The book is a tale of love, lost and bravery. It genuinely had me laughing out loud on one page and then wiping my eyes a few later and I would thoroughly recommend to anyone who's not already read this or or some of Moyes' work.

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