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Monday, 21 March 2016

Review: Me Before You, Jojo Moyes

One of the things I enjoy about reading a book that I know others have already read is because I can basically just live-tweet about it to them. So, big thanks to Augusta and Stevey for being on the other end of this (and coping with the unintended panic I caused).

Louisa Clark is a bright, vivacious twenty six year old with an apparent appetite for life while simultaneously not wanting to leave her small town. After being made redundant from a job at the local cafe, The Buttered Bun, life becomes one whole string of god-awful jobs that she can get with her limited qualifications.

Until one day she meets Will Traynor. He is a quadraplegic, for whom his parents want to hire a carer alongside his male nurse. A companion, more than anything. Except Will isn't having this, not at first, and does his level best to make Louisa feel as small as possible.

But that changes, slowly and surely as they change each other. Will becomes more open and sarcastic with her (his way of showing affection). She stands up to him and pushes him to try new things that he hasn't since the accident. She wants to show him that it is possible to enjoy life in the most debilitating of circumstances, particularly when she finds out his wish to go to Dignitas.

As well as being a person battle to get Will to change his mind, this book raises a whole load of questions about euthanasia and assisted dying. Whose choice is it versus whose it should be? Is it selfish? Is it worthy of being prosecuted?

Choices are another things look at throughout the story, namely because Will doesn't have any and that frustrates him. Whereas Louisa has a lot but doesn't know what to do with them.

At its heart, this is a love story of two people who are polar opposites in every sense, but whose extraordinary circumstances cause them to change each other's lives for the better. It is funny, clever and profoundly moving, It will have you laughing one minute and crying the next. Above all, it is book that you wish you could read again and again for the first time.

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