I love a good love story, if all else fails I turn to a romance novel for comfort. Me Before You meets all of my desired requirements in a romance with an addition that you don’t expect from most love stories. With so many of these novels on the market, Jojo Moyes does well to stand out from the pack and offer a refreshing slant to the usual concoction.
In my opinion, there are two main triumphs of this novel. The first is the female protagonist Lou Clark. There is nothing remarkable about Lou, in fact, that is what I like so much about her. She is normal! She is in her twenties and no, she does not have her life all mapped out already. It is easy for many to identify with her character and her family life. There is nothing extraordinary about her and maybe in the wrong person’s hands she may have appeared quite boring. She voices the majority of the novel and carries the story with enough emotion balanced well with a touch of humour and a genuine humanity.
The second triumph of the novel is the handling of quadriplegia. I personally have no experience in this subject, so correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that it is handled really well. There is a sensitivity to the way the novel is told but Moyes never shies away from the realities and difficulties of this kind of disability. Will Traynor does not exist merely as a disabled person, but as a fully formed human being (it wouldn’t be the first time that I had read a novel with a disabled character plonked in it just as some kind of equal opportunities requirement). Moyes does what some authors are unable to do, which is make you see past the disability.
The story is handled and written beautifully. Yes, in a lot of ways it is just another romance novel, so if that’s not your thing then I wouldn’t recommend this book. However, if you enjoy a good love story, with enough humour to make you laugh and enough honesty to make you cry, then make sure you give it a read.