Author: Jojo Moyes
Series: Me Before You, Book 1
Release date: December 31, 2012
Published by: Penguin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Louisa Clark just needs a job. She suddenly has no job and no plans for her future. When the job agency talks her into trying a job that pays quite a bit more then she's been getting even at the restaurant to be a caregiver for a man in a wheelchair, she has no idea it's going to change her forever.
Will Traynor is stuck in this wheelchair forever only able to move his head and his hand a bit. He's in pain every day now and just wants it all to end, but when the vibrant and clumsy Clark bursts into his life he has no idea how much it's going to change him.
My thoughts on the book: This one that was chosen as a book club book with the intent to go to see the movie all together. We didn't have much time from when we decided to read it, which is a bit off from how we usually do things because we usually take a couple months to read something and get together. This was a couple weeks I think! What's funny is that even though this is especially a wildly busy time of year for the teachers in our group, almost everyone from the group read it and went on our little road trip to see the movie! Too fun!
First of all, you are going to need tissues for this one. I won't ruin the ending in case you are trying to avoid spoilers, but tissues really are a must. The author did such a nice job of writing the characters, both the lead and the secondary ones, so that I was very sucked into a story I was truly not that interested in. Nicely done. I kept thinking, "What is it that is dragging me through this so quickly?" I really think it was these characters who I became rather addicted to.
Clark and Traynor are both so damaged in their own ways, and dealing with it in such nontraditional ways, that I think I was fascinated in a way that car crashes are sadly fascinating on the side of the roadside. I couldn't seem to get enough of them. Then there was everyone else: his mom and dad, his nurse, his "friends", her sister and nephew, her mom and dad, and her boyfriend. These were all characters that I honestly couldn't stand at all except for the nurse, Nathan, of course who was a very good human being. Everyone else is written in ways that made my skin itch. They are all sucking the life out of Clark and Traynor in their own disgusting ways. Of course, this makes it all the more better to get through those parts so that you can read about Clark and Traynor who literally light up each other's world when they begin to engage.
As a whole the book was very middle of the road for me. I'm glad I read a book that's "HOT" right now, but could have lived without it too in the end. I'm also glad because I tend to have a hard time reading books like this: contemporary, romance, quadriplegic, etc., so this was outside my traditional "boxes" I stay in far too often. Anytime I can try something outside my "boxes" and actually read it through until the end is more of a win for me.
As for the plots - they did stay pretty close to the book, but did take pieces out here and there so it was a bit like looking at Brick cheese (not Swiss.) Ok, for those of you NOT from the land of beer and cheese: Brick Cheese = small holes & Swiss Cheese = large holes. So there were lots of little holes all over the place, but nothing that severely messed with the major plot. I will say that I was disappointed that the domestic violence issue that is in the book isn't in the movie and I honestly think it wouldn't have been much to add it in creating a different element to understanding Clark, AND anytime that light and awareness can be cast on violence against women it should be. It almost felt like it was brushed under a rug like it is in real life. Sad.
Lou Clark's clothes = AWESOMESAUCE! Too fun!
Tissues are still a MUST! Seriously. A must.
The annex and Traynor residence wasn't at all what I pictured for some reason, but as a whole the settings were nicely done as well. Even pretty at times. I loved that in the red dress scene when they are at the symphony, she is literally the only person in the entire room wearing color drawing your eye and emphasizing her. Gorgeous.
Final thoughts: I'm very happy to have read it and now watched the movie because it's a great way to connect with patrons in my libraries, but do not plan to read book 2. Every thing was just middle of the road for me. I know. I can hear the growling from the crowd. Sorry. I didn't say it was bad, just not great.
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