It's been a while since I've posted a book review, perhaps because I've just not had the time to read or, when I have, I've had my nose stuck in a very odd book called House of Leaves that needs your constant attention! However, I recently took part in a bloggers book swap and swapped some books with a fab blogger called Steph, and this is one of the books she sent me.
I'd actually been eyeing it up a few days beforehand in a shop, so I'm glad I never purchased it! Me Before You was the ideal book for me at the time, because with my life being a bit mad lately, and with trying to really get stuck into House of Leaves, I definitely needed a bit of easy reading.
Except, when you read the blurb, it doesn't really sound that light hearted...
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's 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 very small and rather 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 that they're going to change each other for all time.
The book centres around main character Lou, who, after losing her job working in a tea shop, takes a job as a care assistant, which of course is 'looking after' Will. At first, the job is horrendous. She's scared of something going wrong, walks around him on tiptoes, and the two don't get along at first at all. But ever so slowly things start to change and just as a friendship forms, Lou discovers that there's a lot more to this job then noted in the job description.
The two characters of Lou and Will are at completely different ends of the spectrum, although, as you read on, you find that Will probably had a lot more in common with Lou before the accident then he realizes. Quite frankly, after his accident that has put him in a wheelchair, he's a shell of the adventure chasing man he used to be. He sees little point in living anymore, and Lou takes it upon herself to show him that there's still a lot left to live for.
This book had lots of different unexpected twists and was pleasantly inspiring. It's based around a subject most of us don't often think about and opened my eyes to the life of someone who has a disability. Not only that, we also learn a lot more about what Will has to go through emotionally as well as physically. I can't say I wasn't surprised with what this book taught me - it without a doubt got me thinking.
Without wanting to reveal any spoilers, this book also proposes a lot of moral questions which is one of the factors I enjoyed about this story. It touched upon and featured darker subjects but it didn't go too dark. It was moving and upsetting in places, but overall the story kept an inspiring tone throughout. It wasn't too much to read, it was the type of book you could take a break from and come back to without worry. It wasn't a 'heavy' read, but still featured a storyline that tugged at your heartstrings.
I enjoyed most of the characters in this book and even found myself liking a few that I didn't at first, like Will's mother, who's point of view is touched upon in some chapters. It was the age old lesson - you never really understand a person or see things from their point of view until you realize just exactly what they're going through. I tend to try and remember this a lot of the time anyway, but I thought this would be a nice lesson for a lot of readers to remember. A lot of us forget that everyone battles their own demons and isn't quite as open about them, so it always pays to be as nice as you can!
Finally, I really enjoyed reading the way Will and Lou's friendship developed over the course of the book. When I first started reading, I assumed it would be about her 'brightening up' his world, and giving him a new lease of life. However, Will also changed Lou a lot too, helping her take a good look at herself and basically helping her to become inspired too.
JoJo Moyles is a fab writer, and one that really managed to tackle some tougher subjects without bearing down too much on the reader. This book was also the perfect length too - a little longer then some books, but I enjoyed the fact that it was drawn out more because of course it meant more to read. I'll definitely look into reading further fiction by JoJo Moyes.
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P.S Check out the Book Reviews tag for more book reviews! Also, please do visit Hanging On Every Word - another blog I'm part of. It's a collaborative book review blog between myself and some other bloggers and there are some great reviews on there! Please do check it out!