[Novel Review] “Me Before You”

Such a tissue-needed and a simply heartbreaking story. 

/I really have the urge to insert a crying emoticon right here to show what I’m really doing right now/

Serious talk here, I was not really a big fan of romance novels. There are a few to nothing romance novels that I’d ever “really read” or finished. I don’t even remember of having them bought on my own. It was always about motivating books about life or sci-fi fictions that get me the most whenever I spare my leisure time in bookstore or go browsing for e-books. Not that I don’t like romance genre at all. In fact, I’ve been a rom-com dramas/movies lover and I always be. It’s just that I don’t really fancy imagining those romantic stories while I’m reading it. Yet, I have to admit myself that I need to be more open for any kinds of genre. I need to give it a try.

So, as I said I should be more open to any genres, “Me Before You” is probably the fastest  200-pages-more novel that I finished to read. I only needed 3 days to finish it. Not really 3 days,I actually just started reading this on Saturday evening and today I almost preoccupied all my lazy 24-hours of Sunday to finish it, since I was really engaged in the story. It was such a record. Even right now, as I’m typing, as hours already passed since I closed the tab to my e-book, my heart is somehow still hurt. All my tears had dried up. /not a big deal tho, since I’m an easy-to-cry person anyway/

Ok, so I got to know this novel from someone whom I know was starting to read this. I was curious because this someone-I-know person was really into sci-fi and mystery. So, I started browsing the web to read the reviews of this novel and I found a fairly many positive reviews and all of them stated the same headline; a heartbreaking story.

There are three covers of this novel that I know. They are:

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Title : Me Before You

Author : Jojo Moyes

Published year : 2012

I’m not going to say it was a kind of realistic love story that will happen to any lives at anytime. Since, somehow there were parts, especially the ending parts, that I found still more fairy-tale like. However, Jojo Moyes really served you a story with varied topics that you can relate to your very own life; struggle to earn a living, do a job that you don’t like, widen your horizon, make a decision for your life, knock out your comfort zone, have an affair, efforts to make your loved ones happy, and a person’s right to die…

Yep, I want to bold the last few phrases, as it was really the main topic of this novel. A Will Traynor’s right to die. A Will Traynor’s choice of staying alive or just dying.

People say you will never know what will happen to you in any future seconds, won’t you?

The life that A Will Traynor has lived is such an as incredible life as you’ll imagine: born in a wealthy and well-facilitated family, grown up as a fine young gentleman with financial security and a remarkable profession, having gorgeous girlfriend, and able to go to any parts of the world he wanted, climbed and flied from any heights he wants, in shorts… he lived a big dynamic life.

It did not need to take any longer time if God wants to take whatever He wants to take from you. In fact, it only needs a matter of second to change everything in your life. It also needed one second for Him to make Will Traynor not able to do anything else in his life but to sit in a wheelchair and had everything done for him by other people. Eating, getting dressed, having shower, and even having any toilet business. Will is now a C5/6 quadriplegic.

In another part of the world, there’s Louisa Clark. A 26-year-old girl struggling to earn a living of herself and her family. One thing a Louisa Clark surely knows is that she really loved working in The Buttered Bun for the past 6 years. Not until Frankie, the owner of The Buttered Bun, decided to close down the cafe and flied back to Australia due to his family issue. Then, this will be the turning point in both Will’s and Lou’s lives.

Having a duty to support her family’s financial problem, Lou looked for another new job that she thinks “fit” to herself. Yet, there is no other job that is just as “fit” as what she used to have in The Buttered Bun. At last, there’s this only one job choice that she can apply; a carer of a quadriplegic. That’s when finally a Louisa Clark, a witty, straightforward, and has-an-exotic-taste-in-fashion woman, finally meet with a Will Traynor, a hopeless, skeptical, and reserved 35-year-old quadriplegic without knowing how big changes given to each other.

A skeptical and sarcastic Will doesn’t make anything easy for Lou in the first few weeks of Lou started worked for him. Everything that Lou does will be given negative judgement and sarcastic comments. Lou still tries to be patient since she needed the money so much. It doesn’t take long time until finally Lou shows her true color to Will. Lou starts to “fight back” whatever Will says to her. Whenever, Will says something rude to Lou, she’ll just says another rude thing to Will. However, this kind of thing is what makes them connected. It is what makes them know each other well. Really, the typical “witty”, “rude” and sarcastic conversations between Will and Lou are hilarious. Their conversations are what makes me giggle while reading, aside from anything silly coming from Lou, mostly.

However, it is later found out that Will had already decided to end his life way before Lou worked for him as a carer. Will attempted to suicide once, but it was failed and his life was succesfully saved. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make him swayed for ending his life. He already decided to go to Dignitas after coming to an agreement with his mother and his family that he will give them 6 months. I personally don’t know what this 6 months are actually intended to. 6 months of preparation for Will’s family, Mrs. Traynor specifically, to let him go? Or, 6 months of wishing for a miracle will happen and change Will’s mind?

That’s actually the reason why Lou is contracted to work for Will for only 6 months. Lou, at first, is only employed to “babysit” Will and make sure that in that 6 months, Lou will not make an attempt to suicide without his family knowing. However, this 6 months is what changes Lou and Will. Lou and Will get along better and better, until Lou accidentally knows about Will and Dignitas. She was upset and decided to quit her job. But then she came back to work for Will, since she actually cared for this man. She does everything she can do to make Will happy with a hope that Will will change his mind to go to Dignitas to end his life.

Time is ticking away.

There is still hope for Will to change his mind. Will is being a happier person beside Lou whenever they go out. The most memorable moments between Will and Lou, for me personally, are when Will and Lou walk around the castle and Will asked Lou to go into the maze there without knowing what had actually happened to Lou in the maze when she was younger. That time Will become Lou’s savior prince in both getting Lou out of the maze and getting Lou get rid of her one of fears, burdens. I couldn’t help but cried while reading this chapter as I can quote what Will said to Lou:

‘Some mistakes … just have greater consequences than others. But you don’t have to let that night be the thing that defines you .’

Ah, there was also my another favorite moment in this walking-in-around-the-castle scene. It is when Will said:

‘I’m surprised we never met each other,’ he said. ‘When I was growing up, I mean . Our paths must have crossed.’

Aww! The moment Will said this, both of them still burried down their feelings for each other. Lou is still with Patrick. But, I mean this comes from Will’s mouth. Does, deep down in his heart, Will hope that he could meet Lou earlier as a Will he used to be, as a Will leading his big life? huhuhuhu if only.

The other my favorite moment between these two is when they attend Alicia’s marriage. They really had fun there, it’s up to the point Lou and Will dance. Lou sits on Will’s lap and they literally dance on the wheelchair. And at this moment, Lou is also successful in persuading Will to go abroad with her. Just both of them. With Nathan, Will’s personal nurse, preferably actually. Then, a hope that Lou can change Will’s mind is getting higher. Everyone gets excited.

A big overseas trip that Lou had planned for Will way before is actually failed since D-8 before they departed, Will gets pneumonia and his condition was really drop til he should be hospitalized. This moment is the moment when finally Lou admitted that she really likes Will, a lot. That she actually loves Will.

The love of Lou has for Will makes her restless just to plan another overseas vacation for Will, in hoping that miracle can happen during this vacation. That, Will will change his mind. The vacation really goes as expected. Will looked soooo happy, sooo peaceful, and sooo relaxed during this vacation. Will and Lou are also getting closer and closer. Until, the last night of the vacation tragedy happened. That time, Nathan has a personal business with his new girlfriend, so that Will and Lou have an exclusive time for only both of them. Lou is being insane again, she finally confessed  to Will that she loves him, that she wants to plan a future with him, that she want him to stay alive. Unfortunately, Will’s decision has never been swayed by a little bit. Will loves Lou, too. He really does as she is the only one makes him happy and already made his 6 months of endurance become precious 6 months ever. Yet, he is already tired of all pains he endured this all time. This is not the life that Will wants. This is the most heartbreaking part of this novel begins as you will read…

Everything is just painful to read…

Call me hyperbole, but my heart is still hurt. T T

However, I found it funny tho, because both Will and Lou insisted  the concept of widening your horizon to each other’s life. Will insisted Lou to try something new in and with her life, to live her life to the fullest as his concept of widening your horizon. While, Lou insisted Will to see that his life is still worthy to live, that there are many new things he still can do in and with his life, that there’s no a point at all in doing suicide as her concept of widening your horizon. Good point is that both of them want the best for each other.

/Sigh/

I recommend this novel if you are in the mood of getting sad or a little bit teary. Happy or sad ending is actually from what point of view you actually see the ending of this novel. However, this novel is really simply heartbreaking. Ah, based on what I found on the web, “Me Before You” is going to be adapted into a movie. Aaaah I can’t wait. It is said that the movie will be released this year. Anticipating it really…hopefully they can really bring the beauty of Will and Lou’s relationship into reality.

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