Synopsis: 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 they’re going to change the other for all time.
Review: After reading the synopsis and many good reviews about this book I knew immediately what to expect. I knew the story would be sad, I knew that this novel would touch me deep inside myself, but I never imagined it would be at this point. Nothing had prepared me for this. It is a beautiful and moving story, one of these stories that can not be ignored. A story that could happen to anyone, because it’s really like reading a book based on real facts and it was heavy-hearted and with tears that I closed this book.
Admittedly, Me Before You deals with euthanasia and the right to die but however we should not not restrict this book only to this. Because before everything, it’s the story of two exceptional persons. Lou Clark is an ordinary young woman who has just lost her job. She wears pretty strange clothes and everyone – even her family – consider her as nice girl who has no ambition. Will Traynor had everything for him: he was handsome, brilliant and a wealthy businessman. But he lost everything in this accident that rendered him tetraplegic. Nothing destined them to meet and yet they will find and then comfort each other.
I immediately loved these two characters, I found them so real to the point that it was quite unsettling. I immediately liked Lou, this young woman of 26 years old, with her past and her wounds buried deep inside herself. She lives with her parents in the middle of nowhere in England. Being the only one to sustain her family, Lou doesn’t have much time for herself. And concerning Patrick, her boyfriend, he lives only for running and is often absent. Lou was far from imagining that her new job as a nursing auxiliary at the Traynor’s house would completely change her life.
Will has lost the taste for life after his accident. And if at first he is very unpleasant towards Lou, progessivelly there will be a sort of connection between them. The author’s writing style is fluid and Will’s life is very well described. We discover that he was a man who loved life, extreme sports and he was a thrill seeker. Now he is unable to accept his new situation. If only his problems were limited to that… It was terrible to see what he has to endure to survive: in addition to the inability to move by himself, there is the pain, the diseases, the infections. His pain and suffering are such that several times I had tears in my eyes, and yet every time he is very brave and never complains.
Regarding the secondary characters, I have to say I liked Will’s mother POV. I also appreciated Nathan, Steven or Treena’s POVs. All these characters are very well worked and having their POV on some of the events was fantastic because they all bring something more to the story and help make this story more believable.
So you’ll understand Me Before You is a poignant story. It’s a beautiful love story but not only that. It’s also a beautiful story of friendship and feelings and I would even say it’s also a family story: the story of two families who live in completely opposite circles. Two families who have their own problems to deal with. Two families by force of destiny will be brought into close proximity. A deeply touching novel to discover as a matter of priority if you haven’t read it yet.