ISBN #: 978-0670026609
Page Count: 384
Copyright: December 31, 2012
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books; First Edition
(Taken from dustjacket flap)
Will is acerbic, moody, bossy - yet Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. In turn, Will prods Lou to expand her ambitions, but she has her reasons for wanting things to stay the same as they have always been. When Lou learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living. What neither of them knows is that they are going to change each other for all time.
Me Before You is about two people who couldn't have less in common - a heartbreakingly romantic story that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy means breaking your own heart?
Louisa lives with her family. Her mother doesn't work because she has to stay home and take care of Louisa's grandfather. Louisa's father has recently been cut loose from his job. Louisa's sister works, but has decided to leave to go to college taking her son, Louisa's nephew, with her. So, that being said, Louisa's check is the main source of income for her family. When she loses her job at the cafe, she panics wondering how her family's going to survive.
When she gets a job working for the Traynor family, Louisa's not sure she's exactly the right person for the job. She's not a nurse, has no degree, and is pretty much skill-less at everything other than working in a cafe. But because her family needs the money, she decides to stick it out. What she never anticipated was becoming fond of Will.
Will's life has taken a complete 180. Once a successful businessman and playboy, he is now wheelchair-bound and has lost his freedom. He's a complete quadriplegic. When he first became an invalid, he tried to commit suicide several times. Finally, he's talked his mother into taking him to a place in Switzerland that helps people die. Her only condition is that he give her six months to prepare. He doesn't want to wait but agrees to her condition.
Searching for someone full of life, Will's mother hires Louisa to keep Will company and remind him that there are reasons for living. Louisa's not aware (at first) that her sole purpose in being hired is to change Will's mind about dying. When she does find out Will's intentions, she's hell-bent on proving to Will that quadriplegic's can have as active a life as able-bodied people. Two things happen during Louisa's mission: her long-time boyfriend Patrick comes to resent Will and the time Louisa spends with him and, much to Louisa's surprise, Louisa falls in love with Will.
Even though the reader knows Will's intentions of dying, you're constantly hoping that Louisa can change Will's mind. You're constantly looking for signs that Will's finally accepted his fate and that he's willing to give Louisa's love a chance. When you realize Will has no intention of changing his mind, your heart breaks yet you begin to understand why. What would any one of us do in his situation? If you were used to traveling around, skiing, being active, and then all of a sudden were left dependent upon others for every little thing ... would you be despondent and ready to die?
I was able to handle my emotions well until the last few chapters of the book. Once it was clear that Will was going to follow through, I cried. My heart broke. I felt as if my soul tore a little. Please don't think that this book will be any less emotional for you just because you know what's going to happen. Read it anyway. Especially if you enjoy emotional stories with depth to them. This book has become one of my favorites, but one I cannot read very often.
*A hardcopy of this novel was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.