It’s the last week of February, and I am 3 books deep into my Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2017. That’s honestly not a terrible number for me. My goal for the year is 30 books, and considering I read 3 or 4 last year, I’ll be super stoked when that happens.
Side note: I absolutely love reading. But in the years since I graduated college, I also became a huge fan of the “Netflix and chill” phenomenon. Believe it or not, that greatly cuts into a girls reading time.
I was first introduced to Me Before You through a trailer I saw on Facebook for the movie. Emilia Clarke was adorable, and who didn’t want to see another side of Sam Clafin after watching him as Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games. After enjoying the theatrical version, I figured the book could only be better, and recently decided to read it.
Second Side Note: I really wish I’d gotten a library card much earlier in my move to Nanuet. It would have saved me a lot of money on ebooks.
Me Before You is a book about a young woman, Louisa, or Lou, who is listless in her life. She works day-to-day in a coffee shop and doesn’t seem to have any drive or motivation to do anything else. So when a few pages in she loses said job, Louisa finds herself in an odd predicament. Her family relies on her paycheck to help make ends meet (even though she’s 26-years-old), so the only solution is to find a new one–anything. After a string of failed job placements, she is interviewed as a care giver to a disabled man. Despite the fact that she is clearly unqualified for the job, she is hired, and begins working for the financially well-off Traynor family.
And so starts the love story. (I’m sure that is not giving anything away!) Will Traynor is, of course, obnoxious and a bit cruel. He has not accepted the accident that caused his disability and cannot get over the sudden change to his life. Lou is naive, inexperienced in life, and finds the hours she is forced to be around him dreadful. After almost resigning from her position, Lou finds out that Will has given his family 6 more months of his presence before he plans to head to an assisted suicide facility. This gives Louisa a new passion–trying to give Will Traynor a reason to live.
Thinking of the book vs. the movie, the book definitely hashed out a few more details that were missing. Her family life and background was farther revealed, and her boyfriend seemed to have a more meaningful storyline. I have to admit though, I liked her better in the movie: her naivety was kind of endearing. In the book, you couldn’t help but get a little upset with her: with the way her family treated her, made fun of her, and talked down to her. I wanted her to stand up for herself every now and then, but those moments were few and far between.
I don’t want to give away any spoliers, so I won’t talk about the ending, but I can’t help but think about the sentement that has been expressed frequently with the Fifty Shades of Grey series: it’s okay because he’s wealthy. I just wonder how this would be if it had happened to a family with less means, with less “rich-people” problems. It just seemed a bit contrived, a bit played out. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great read and I did connect with the characters, I just feel this poor-girl-falls-in-love-with-kinda-messed-up-rich-guy is a little played out.
I will say, I love how Will pushed Lou in the figurative sense. He forced her to do things outside of her comfort zone and exposed her to things outside of her normal world. I loved that. I loved the growth you could see in her by the end of the novel.
So in conclusion, I didn’t love it, but I sure did like it. I liked her, and you KNOW I am planning to read After You, the next book for featuring Louisa. I hope to see more development in her character and complexity. I’ll let you know what happens.