Lou Clark has had a pretty uneventful life so far. At 26 years old, she has never left her small hometown. She’s dated the same guy for several years and can see her life going along a path that she’s planned. But all Lou’s plans go out the window when she loses her job at the same cafe she’s always worked.
Jobless, Lou scrambles to find another job that will help her get back on her feet, especially since she is the sole breadwinner in her family of five. Desperate for any job, Lou stumbles upon a caregiver position, a job that sounds a lot better than anything else she has available, caring for a man in a wheelchair.
Will Traynor is grouchy and cold. He can be cold and cynical. He’s also a quadropalegic.
After living a colourful and exiciting life, Will has given up all will to live as he feels trapped in his wheelchair. When sheltered Lou, with her bright outlook and colourful clothes, bursts into Will’s life, everything changes forever.
I loved this book. At several points in the story, I stopped reading (not because I wanted to but because I had to physically go somewhere), and I could not stop thinking about when I would have a chance, even 5 mins, to pick up the story and continue reading. These were the moments where I wanted to hug the book. And everyone in it. It was that good.
But let’s back up for a minute, shall we? This book has been on my radar for quite some time, but like Lou, I just didn’t think it was for me. I’d read the cover copy and it didn’t really intrigue me all that much. Sounded like a typical love story to me.
Was this a typical love story? Absolutely not. This is a story about a brave and caring young woman, it’s a story about a family that would do anything for one another, it’s a story about a man who has to learn to live again, and yes, it is a story about love. But it is anything but typical.
First of all, Lou was a fantastic character. Initially, she seemed sort of bland and boring; but very quickly you realise that there’s so much colour and life to her. She’s just bottled up the life inside her, and ordered her life so that it fits into a neat little box. She doesn’t expect much from life and nor does she dream about the future. Lou is such an easy to relate to character; there were words she’d utter that I know I’ve said or thought before. There were moments when I realised her fears had been or still are my fears. She’s definitely not perfect, but Lou tries her best with what she has.
Will’s character is also another character that was amazing. He isn’t your typical grouchy and male hero, the one that all women throw themselves at. Funnily enough, before his accident, Will is exactly that, but his accident makes him grow and change. He’s cold and cynical, because he feels he has nothing else to offer the world. He’s lost all will to live and has no hope for a better or brighter future.
The story revolves around Lou discovering that Will wants to commit suicide; she’s been hired to watch over him for 6 months: the period of time he’s given his parents to settle his affairs. Once Lou discovers this, she sets about on a mission of a lifetime: to convince Will to live.
Lou’s ambitious plans to make Will love life again were heartwarming. I found myself smiling and cheering for her early on in the story; her actions were commendable and awe-inspiring. This book was a roller coaster ride, one that warmed my heart, and then shattered it into a million pieces, only to put it back together at the end.
The writing was simple, yet filled with emotion. The love story was raw and filled with pain and joy. Lou and Will are characters that I won’t forget for days to come, and Me Before You, a story that made me cry and laugh, is a story that will stay with me for some time.
So if you’re looking for a story that will make you laugh and cry, a story that will help you appreciate the little joys in life, a story that will make you fall in love with love, look no further than Me Before You.
So for that: 5/5.
Thanks for reading,