To live, not to exist

I’m a picky reader. I think that phrase probably gets used more to describe  peoples eating habits, and I don’t think of myself as a particularly picky person. But I’m a picky reader. What can I say, I like what I like.  And I know what I don’t like. That said, I’m willing to try a lot of things. Before starting this book, I read the first chapter of another book and felt like it just wasn’t for  me. At least not in follow up to the last book that I couldn’t put down. Or the one that I was in the middle of listening to and couldn’t stop! So my friend Jen mentioned she was reading this one and I picked it up quickly.

Book #17 Me Before You, Jojo Moyes

me before you

Rating: 4- Would recommend to a friend

Synopsis: You never know when a single moment will change your life. Will Traynor knows better than anyone; he is a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair  and the care of others since he was hit by a motorbike two years ago. Louisa Clark lost her job when the cafe closed and is looking to do anything that doesn’t involve sorting chicken parts. She answers an ad to be Will’s companion, his watcher as he puts it. She is grossly under qualified but is hired for her bright wardrobe and chatty presence. Will, who was once vibrant, daring, successful and lived a big life, is often annoyed by Louisa’s attempts to cheer him or make conversation. Louisa, who has never ventured outside of town and still lives with her parents, doesn’t know what to make of Will’s orneriness or the striking contrast to his former life she can see from photographs in his room.  As the two find their rhythm, Louisa is on a mission to show Will the joy that can exist in his new life, while Will is out to show Lou that she has a huge life to live.

My Impressions: I was a little slow getting into this book. Will’s cantankerous personality against Lou’s naivety is a stark contrast that hardly even creates conflict in the story because they don’t even spend time in the same room. And while Lou obviously has a point of view in the way she dresses and kind heart where her family is concerned, she is a bit of a doormat when it comes to her relationships. She doesn’t stand up for herself and lets them dictate how things should be for her. It’s her spirit of curiosity that made me really care about her as the story moved forward. Will, his person and his situation draws her out of her comfort zone and pushes her to experience more things in life that she may enjoy or that she may not care for; but at least she can say for herself. I was very interested in the psyche of Will from the beginning of the book. How you could go from a sky-diving, bungee-jumping, ass-kicking financial partner to driving a chair with your chin and relying on someone to feed you. It’s really no wonder he is mean to everyone that tries to care about him. But I also appreciated his realistic views on the way he wants to live his life after the accident considering the way he embraced life before the accident. And when he and Lou get tattoos, his is just the best!

Why you should read it: Well this an interesting spin on the romantic fiction genre. I can definitely see this being a “chick-flick” similar to The Vow.  Don’t let that dissuade you from reading! It was a very good book, an interesting topic and an unexpected outcome. It’s a fast read as well and you’ll get sucked in quickly once you discover Lou’s charm.

Book # 17 in the bag.

“One must always be careful of books, and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.” ― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel

 

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