It’s taken me a while to put together my thoughts on this book… There were bits I really liked but also bits I completely hated – and it’s been hard to balance those ideas into a coherent review.
Me Before You follows its protagonist Louisa Clark as she begins a new job, caring for quadriplegic Will Traynor, who has been in a wheelchair with almost complete loss of use of his limbs since a road accident 2 years before the start of the novel. At first she finds him rude and difficult to get on with, but they soon warm to each other and find that they even begin to enjoy each other’s company. There’s just one point that ruins this: Will is planning to end his life at Dignitas in Switzerland in 6 months time. Lou sets out to convince him that life is worth living, and that he can be happy.
Normally when I write this blog, I try to avoid spoilers; I don’t want to give away what happens at the end. However, I honestly don’t think I can write this review without revealing the end: if this bothers you then please don’t read any further!
Firstly, I really enjoyed the first half of this book. It was cheesy and predictable, but neither of those things put me off. As far as chick-lit goes it was pretty enjoyable and a quick page-turner. However, I hated the ending. Really hated it. Now, as it’s not a happy ending (sorry if I’ve spoiled that for you!) I’m sure most people will say it made them sad but it’s not that it was sad that bothered me. It just didn’t fit with the genre one bit. To my mind books can be either light-hearted chick-lit or a serious exploration of depression and dealing with recent disability – mixing the two together just doesn’t work. The ending felt disappointing rather than sad, and also a bit insensitive to be honest. I’m not really sure what message the author was trying to give but it might have been nice to finish with a little hope.
Enjoy the first bit of the book, but put it down without reading the ending, is my advice!