Saturday, February 22, 2014
Me Before You
They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . . Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.
Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.
A Love Story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?
I finished listening to this book a few weeks ago and am still thinking about it. If you plan to read the book and don't want to know the details, stop reading now. The big issue of the book is the fact that Will plans to go to Switzerland where euthanasia is legal. He can't handle the physical and mental aspects of being a paraplegic and is not willing to continue living. Louisa has been hired to "babysit" him for the six months that he promised his mother he would wait before going through with his plan. In theory, the idea of assisted suicide is really horrible to me and I have a hard time understanding how someone would make that decision. However, I think that judgement is much easier to make while living a healthy life with lots of good years in the future. As Will described his situation and his decision, it was clear that this wasn't just about missing the things he previously did, a lot of it was just the daily pain and discomfort with no hope of ever having relief. I stand by my feeling that no matter the situation, that would never be a decision for me, however, I certainly have a lot more empathy for anyone who find them self in a dependant situation with no real hope for the future.
I liked the fact that the book made me think, but I especially like the fact that it made me feel. The story and relationship between Will and Lou was super sweet and I found myself really liking both of them. It isn't always necessary but I generally prefer a book where the characters are somewhat endearing - almost everyone in this book is. For the most part the book was fairly serious and dealt with a lot heavy issues. But, there was plenty of comedic relief, and several parts literally had me laughing out loud. When it ended I was a little sad to leave the characters behind.
The audio version was well read, this book would be equally good if you listened or read. A-