Book Review: Me Before You – 3 “you gotta be kidding me” stars 16


YOU. GOTTA. BE. KIDDING. ME!

I know I’m a minuscule minority here but, I DISLIKED THIS BOOK SO MUCH,  I can’t even!

 

About the Book

 

Me Before You (Me Before You #1), by Jojo Moyes

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A Love Story for this generation and perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

 

Review

First let me say this… Jojo is GOOD. She knows how to write and she is an enthralling storyteller. This is one of those books that gives depth to the characters by drifting away into a thousand backstories without affecting the flow and I have always admired authors that can do that.

And I also liked the premise. I was all in with the idea of Louisa, “an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life” falling in love with Will “who is wheelchair bound after an accident”.

And, there was SO MUCH hype, “A MUST READ”!. And there was the movie. And the story had been compared with The Fault in Our Stars  which I LOVED. And it was about living with serious disability. So, there were all the ingredients for a nice, warm, stew of feels.

And it was, at first.

Learning what it is like to live with Will’s disability was much more than a warm stew of feels. It was a VERY PAINFUL stew of feels, but I sucked it up and kept reading. Because that’s life. There is suffering in real life. My heart curled into a ball in a dark corner of my chest, but I kept reading and I even started drafting a 5-star review.

BECAUSE I THOUGHT THE BOOK WAS ABOUT WILL AND HIS DISABILITY.

But nope. It wasn’t

First, I started to scratch my head often because of Louisa, constantly wondering why Jojo felt she needed to make her not smart AT ALL, not successful AT ALL, with NO dreams whatsoever and completely “uncultured” [Jojo’s words, not mine]. That really didn’t sound like “an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life”. Ordinary people, living ordinary lives, are smart and have dreams and ambitions.

But still the book wanted me to believe that this totally insubstantial Louise, with the IQ of an amoeba, had turned into some kind of heroine. And that’s when I started to get seriously MAD. I was SO unhappy reading this book couldn’t wait for it to end. And, because the writing is SO GOOD I couldn’t even skim through it. I drank every word like a prisoner subject to waterboarding torture.

I felt like a defenseless toddler in a high chair being force to eat broccoli. No matter how tighter I closed my mouth IT WAS GOING TO BE FORCED IN.

I can’t say much more without spoiling the book but I tell you this…

You are supposed to like Louisa because, you know,  she is this girl that “insta-loves”  “poor Will in his wheelchair” [which seemed more pity than love to me] and then there is also all this devotion for Will [which is more like a “I’m gonna love you the way I WANT whether you want it or not].

And there is also this “twist” that anyone can see coming just reading the blur. Something that Will wants that MANY people in his situation would want and you are supposed to feel bad for Louisa because, the poor THING is SO DUMB she NEVER saw it coming. And she felt so blindsided, so betrayed, and it broke HER heart.

Will broke HER heart just by feeling the way he felt about his life.

YOU. GOTTA. BE. KIDDING. ME

And then ALL becomes about poor Louisa and the ordeal Will was putting her through.

But don’t you worry about poor Louisa because, despite the fact she is immensely dumb, selfish and immature, this book makes sure all her issues are addressed. Because HOW DARE WILL MAKE HER GO THROUGH ALL THIS??? But of course it is on him to make her feel better!

YOU. GOTTA. BE. KIDDING. ME

I almost didn’t finish the book at 88%! I was livid that a whole book was written to glorify such a bizarre character.

AND then there was the end. So Louisa has been this impossibly stupid and selfish shell for 90% of the book and… PUFF! Then she does a 180 and she is so understanding and enlightened! The last 10% of the book is not contemporary romance but paranormal romance. She was magically transformed in someone else.

Nuh-uh. Nope. Sorry. That’s why the 3 stars, even though there so so so so much potential for a raving 5-star review.

Because….

I. HATE. To. Be. Fooled. By. Impossible. Character. Arcs.

AND… I ain’t watching the movie either!

But again, Jojo is a VERY GOOD writer So I may try her books again.

Wow this review was exhausting, LOL!

You can tell what a roller coaster it was here in my GR summary…

Did you guys read this book? Watch the movie? DID YOU LIKE IT? Did you find Louisa believable? Please tell me!

Thank you for visiting!

PinterestTwitterGoodreadsAmazonBloglovinInstagram


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

16 thoughts on “Book Review: Me Before You – 3 “you gotta be kidding me” stars

  • Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    Oh wow, Daniela 😛 tell us how you really feel!! I only gave this book 3 stars, too… I found it to be fairly bland, and while I found Lou quite entertaining in her ways, I did find her quite patronising, too. And she never managed to try to take a step back and see things from Will’s perspective, now, did she?
    I also thought the way they came here to Switzerland for the ending was a bit ‘easy’ as it’s very hard for foreigners (or non residents, really) to be able to do what Will managed to do.
    I actually enjoyed the movie more! There was more to Louisa in the movie, and a lot of her selfishness had been taken out…
    Great review!

  • Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    This is so interesting because I really enjoyed the book, but I did have some issues with it, and they are almost completely opposite yours. I felt like the book (and even more so, the movie) kind of condoned the idea that life is only worth living if you have a certain type of life. I gave the book (I think) 4.5 stars because it gave me all the feels and made me sob AND made me think … but then I later read a couple of commentaries from people who have been in Will’s situation that said how dangerous this book was because it feeds into the perfectly natural thoughts of depression that a disabled person might have and gives them the message that giving up is a perfectly viable option. Since I had already been feeling uncomfortable with that message, this made me even less okay with it. (And, again, I felt like the movie was worse because in the book, you could see much more clearly the actual physical pain and sickness that Will lived with—which made his decision much more understandable in my eyes—that was sort of glossed over in the movie and I was left feeling like Will just decided that since he couldn’t do adventure sports anymore, life wasn’t worth living. It kind of made me mad.)

    Ha! So all that is to say that it’s interesting how people can read the very same book and have completely different perspectives on it. I can read your review and COMPLETELY understand where you’re coming from, even though that’s not how I felt at all. I suppose that these sorts of different perspectives are what make us all unique!

    • Dragonfly @ Our Familiarium

      I think I had your issue too Nicole but my issues with Lou behaving SO selfishly kinda diverted my attention form that. And THANK you for mentioning this book being dangerous. I never stopped to think about it and it makes total sense! OH LORD I had already say to Lex I may watch the movie but now you convinced me not too again 🙂 I do understand also where you come from! SO INTERESTING huh? that’s why I love book blogging 🙂

  • Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

    Wow, this books sounds like something I would hate. You know, the other day someone told me they feel bad about my chronic illness… because of how it affects them. And it seems like that’s basically what this story is? Like, the girl feeling sorry for herself because of how Will’s disability affects her, rather than her trying to understand what he’s going through. Maybe her character was meant to be self-centered, but I already don’t like her lol.

    • Dragonfly

      oh sorry to hear that someone said that to you K! This character was actually ok with Will’s disability but not how he felt about his disability. That’s what drove me crazy! Yup I think that was how her character was meant to be but somehow it didn’t seem the book was straight forward about it,

  • Lola

    That sounds pretty conflicting with how the writing style was so good, but you were still frustrated by this book. On the other hand if a writing style is good I am more likely to pick up other books by the same author as writing style is important in how much I enjoy the book. SO I can see hwy you kept reading it. But on the other hand it’s also a shame you kept reading it and you just got annoyed by it. It’s difficult to enjoy a book when you don’t like the main character. Great review!

  • Tamara Narayan

    Ha! I was the complete opposite. I felt The Fault in Our Stars (book) fell short of expectations, but I really enjoyed both the book and the movie of Me Before You. On Louisa being “dumb”. I think that was her opinion, not really the case at all. Maybe she wasn’t brilliant in school, but so what? Not everyone gets straight A’s. Being less book smart felt like a good fit for her job situation. If she was an A student, she never would have gotten the job of caretaker. Plus, it makes for a more Pygmalion set-up between Will and Louisa. On her opposition to Will committing suicide: I didn’t find it annoying even though I immediately sided with Will. Louisa, at this point, knows she was hired to lift Will from his depression and change his mind, so not being able to do this (even though their relationship has turned loving) is a huge blow to her self-esteem. She failed her job and her love isn’t enough to keep him alive. This is on top of losing someone she care about. Then she is able to turn it around by realizing that supporting Will in his decision is (maybe the ultimate) way to love him. So none of this drove me bats, and I even read the sequel, which is pretty good, but not quite as good as the first.

    • Dragonfly @ Our Familiarium

      I agree with you. That was how I felt about Lou. I felt the book went out of it s way to make her look “simple” just because she wasn’t academically smart. They way she constantly questioned herself, her choices, no confidence whatsoever, no self-esteem. As you said, Will’s choice has such a huge impact in her self-esteem because she had none! There are plenty of people that don’t do well at school that have plenty of other qualities. It felt to me like the book didn’t want her to have ANY good qualities whatsoever. I think that’s why I found her position towards Will’s decision annoying because it didn’t seem the outcome of any strong convictions but an extension of her insubstantial personality. I failed to connect with her so to me the book made her inner dialogue around Will’s issue SO bland. She was reacting very strongly but in my opinion her thoughts didn’t lived up to her reactions if that makes any sense at all. 🙂 I think it was all about how I perceived her. I can tell from your comment that you did connect better with Lou and saw more depth in her. Thanks for this wonderful comment Tamara!