Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour.
And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time
You Before Me by Jojo Moyes is an amazing book that I devoured in one day! I read it while reading the bus, walking to and from campus, while playing D&D and that wasn't easy because they are many tear up moments, which would be hard to explain to the boys at D&D.
I picked up this book without reading the book. I just knew I liked the cover and that I wanted to join Kay @ The Best of Intentions for Book Club and that I wanted to participate in the forum on GoodReads.
On Sunday a friend on Facebook posted that it was International Book Week and said "Grab the closest book to you, turn to page 52 and post the 5th sentence. Don't mention the title of the book." So I did and this is the line I got"His eyes widened. Just for a moment, I thought I had really blown it"
Then I got a comment on it that it sounded dirty, which I hadn't considered, so here's the whole line
"Can that thing get a puncture?" I said, finally nodding to his wheelchair. "Because I have no idea where I would put the jack" His eyes widened. Just for a moment, I thought I had really blown it. But the faintest flicker of a smile passed across his face
At the back of the book there was a list of "Questions for Discussion" and I decided instead of a typically review I would answer those questions. SOO
1. If you were Louisa, would you have quit working for the Traynors? If yes, at what point?
I could relate really well to Louisa, if my family situation had been slightly different I think I could have been in similar shoes. I think I would have quit probably around the sametime as she did and for the same reasons
2. Were you able to relate to the way Will felt after his accident? What about his outlook on life did you find most difficult to understand or accept?
I could and can't relate to Will. It's more of I understand why his outlook became the way it did. I knew about half way through the book how things would end, I just wasn't sure exactly what would happen. When you've literally lost everything, I understand how something usually seen as horrendous could suddenly become the only option. I don't know if I could take someone feeding me, dressing me, cleaning up after me. I totally could see myself in Will's shoes.
3. Discuss the meaning of the novel's title. To whom do the "me" and "you" refer?
I think there's a double meaning in the title. Both the "me" 's fit Will and Louisa but so does the "you". It also slightly fits Will's family. Louisa especially learned allot from her time with Will and her future is much brighter because of it.
4. Louisa often finds Mrs. Traynor cold and judgemental. Is there an appropriate way to behave in Mrs. Traynor's situation?
There is no appropriate way to handle any situation. I've been watching allot of 48 Hours and you learn that people who discover their families murdered never respond the way you except them to and I don't think there should be an excepted way. People will react and deal with things in their own way no matter what happens.
5. What is your opinion of Mr. Traynor? Did it change after you read his side of the story?
Some events bring people closer together and others farther apart. I never really had an opinion on him as he was never really at the forefront of the story. I think him standing up for Louisa in the house was a good thing but he doesn't try to help his family. He tries to escape it and he does this from the beginning to the end. I don't think much of people who run away from their responsibilities which is exactly what he does. So I guess I do have an opinion about him after all and not a very good one at that.
6. Why is Louisa able to reach Will when so many others could not?
I think Louisa was able to reach him because of how apart she was from his world. She was expressive and unused to reacting to things like his family did or the people he hung out with. She came from such a different environment and I bet he found that utterly fascinating. The other side of it, is she was not there when the accident happened she didn't know the walking Will she just knew him as the quad. So she had the advantage of not being afraid of his condition
7. Were you as surprised as Lou to learn of Will's plans?
Yes and no. I knew something was going to happen I just hadn't quite except that serious of a thing. I had a client many years ago whose parents were from Switzerland and her greatest fear was that they would go together without telling her to do exactly what Will did. It's a shocking reality and I don't know how I would feel about it. I think Louisa reacted exactly as she should have.
8. Compare Louisa's relationship with Treena to Will's relationship with Georgina. Do siblings know one another any better simply because they are related?
I don't think siblings know one another better because they are related. I feel this way mostly due to personal experience. I really liked Louisa and Treena's relationship in the end.
9. Would Patrick have asked Louisa to move in with him if he hadn't felt threatened by Will? If Louisa had never accepted her job with the Traynors, where would her relationship with Patrick have gone?
Patrick... oh Patrick, the worst character in the book. I hated him from the beginning self-absorb bastard. I was hoping they would break up the minute he was introduced. No I don't think Patrick would have ever asked Louisa to move in with him if it wasn't for Will.
If Louisa had not accepted her job, I think he would have kept poor Louisa on the side while cheating with one of his running girls. He would also destroy all self-confidence Louisa had and slowly just torn the poor girl apart. I was very happy with how that story line worked out.
10. Discuss Louisa's own secret ties to the castle. Would most girls in her situation have blamed themselves? Should Treena have behaved differently in the aftermath?
Louisa's castle story is one of the worst parts of the novel and something no girl should ever have to go through. I do think 90% of girls out there would totally blame themselves for such a thing happening. Treena unfortunately responded the way we are trained to. It's a sad reality of the world and one that hopefully changes.
11. What did you make of the way Lou's mother, Josie, judges Lou's decisions regarding Will. Is Josie's reaction fair?
I think Josie's reaction was a little harsh but completely motherly. I think she will overcome her reaction in time and that she was just very emotional.
12. Before his accident, Will was a philanderer and a corporate raider who would probably never have given Louisa a second look. Why is it that people are so often unable to see what's truly important until they've experienced loss?
People live in their own realities and don't take the time to consider that their are other people in the world. We are all guilty of this.
OH and this quote very much describes my first time at the Orchestra that I mention here
The conductor stepped up, tapped twice on the rostrum, and a great hush descended. I felt the stillness, the auditorium alive, expectant. Then he brought down his baton and suddenly everything was pure sound. I felt the music like a physical thing; it didn't just side in my ears, it flowed through me, around me, made my sense vibrate