Monday, June 16, 2014

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes | Book Review

(No one could complain that this cover gives away any plot points or influences the reader's thoughts in any way, could they?)

I finished reading this book over a week ago and have been procrastinating on the review.  I have a pretty big moral problem with part of the plot that I'm afraid would tinge a review.  There will be a spoiler at the end of this review, but I'll put a big warning in front of it.

Me Before You is told primarily from Lou's point of view.  Lou knows that she loves her job at The Buttered Bun Cafe and she knows the bus schedule and she knows that her sister is the smart one and she's pretty sure she loves her boyfriend, Patrick.  

Will Traynor knows how to flip corporations and he knows that he loves traveling and he knows that he loves adventure, like bungee jumping and sky diving, and he's pretty sure he loves his girlfriend.

What neither of them knows is how quickly a life can be turned upside-down.  For Will, it's when he's in an accident and ends up a complete quadriplegic, suddenly utterly dependent on others for everything from bathing and dressing to changing a catheter to feeding him.  For Lou, it's the loss of her job at The Buttered Bun and the acceptance of a job as Will's companion.  Another thing that neither of them knows:  how Lou's six month contract as his companion will change them both and bring them closer to each other than either expected.

So, just looking in the shallow end of the pool here, the book itself is well-written.  The pacing and character development were spot on.  By the end of the book I was so wrapped up in the story that I think my heart was literally racing.  I remember there was one day that I was reading Me Before You on my lunch break and I got within 20 pages of the end and my lunch break ended and I was so upset that I had to wait to find out what happened!  So it's very well written, and I would definitely pick up another book by Jojo Moyes.

*Spoiler Ahead*

So... I had a pretty big moral problem with the main conflict in the book, and the ending.  In this paragraph I'm going to reveal the ending, so read on at your own risk.  The main plot conflict is revealed about halfway through the book, and it's this:  turns out Will's mom has hired Lou to try to convince Will that life is worth living.  Will has decided that he's going to this clinic in Switzerland where he will end his own life in six months' time.  Lou finds out about this about two months into her contract.  She starts to plan all kinds of outings and trips and experiences for Will, to try to get him to change his mind.  You see, she's begun to care for him immensely.  The ending is NOT what I wanted.  I don't know... this is such a huge case-by-case argument, you know?  About how to officially define suicide vs euthanization.  And whether a place that provides the means is legal or not.  I can only speak for myself, and I do not agree with it at all.  No matter what.  Everyone can have their own opinion, but this ending just did not sit well with me at all.

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