Sunday, June 26, 2016

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

After losing the waitress job she loves, Louisa Clark takes the unlikely job as a companion for Will Traynor. Will is a handsome former corporate tycoon playboy who is now a quadriplegic, living at home with his posh family. Louisa's job as a companion soon becomes a mission for the impossible when she learns the true reason she was hired.


I knew nothing about this book or Jojo Moyes going in, so I got culture shock by how English this book was. Like real deal, average day-to-day English. I mean how crazy is it that you can live right around the corner from an ancient castle ? What is Tesco ? Lots of Googling ensued.

Anyway, the story follows Louisa and Will on a series of small adventures as they try to grow out of the boxes they've put themselves in. During the course of their outings the book did open my eyes to how our wold is built with able-bodies people in mind. It's the little things you don't think about unless you have to; like is there grass or are the aisles big enough.

With that said, since the film adaptation of this book came out the the premise of this books has garnered a lot of criticism for its portrayal of disability and one of the big plot points in the novel. I feel like another thing that brings on this criticism is that Will's disability is informed by his outstanding privilege. I mean he's a college educated-handsome-rich-heterosexual-white man living in a first world country.. I couldn't unsee how so much of this book happens because of privilege.

For me, the book fell into so a romance trope that don't work for me, The big one being where there is the sophisticated rich hero who uses his money and influence to give the naive heroine a chance to "expand her horizons". It's just not my thing.

I did enjoy how the book looked at adult family structures, both Lousia and Will are adult children who live at home with their parents and I like how Moyes showed the somewhat difficult way their parents try to protect their grown children, while also respecting their right to make their own choices.

Overall this book was just okay, I don't know if I'd recommend it but if you are looking for something along the lines of The Fault In Our Stars I'd suggest it. Maybe grab this one from the library.



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