"Sponsored" Review- Me Before You

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is another book Penguin sent me to review this month, and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. The prologue, a whole four pages, originally really turned me off. The story seemed shallow, the dialogue lame, and the genre bordering on chic-lit. Fortunately, I was wrong- this sort of start was purposefully done to serve as a sort of contrast to the remaining 365 pages. Me Before You is an atypical love story that also delves into the controversial world of suicide and disabilities.

Louisa Clark loses her job at a cafe and ends up being placed through England's equivalent to unemployment as a caregiver for a wealthy quadriplegic named Will Traynor. Understandably, he's angry with the world and misses his old adventurous lifestyle and successful career. Louisa, desperate for money, agrees to a six month contract, meanwhile living with her family and existing in a pretty mundane relationship with her triathlete boyfriend, Patrick. Louisa accidentally learns that Will has planned to go to Dignitas, a facility in Switzerland that helps ill people kill themselves painlessly. Louisa decides to make it her mission, with the help of Nathan, who is Will's medical assistant, to show Will that life is in fact worth living for. 

There are plenty of things to like about this book. Louisa's character is endearing, as is Will's, Nathan's, and even Louisa's parents. As a reader I wanted these characters to be happy and to find ways to overcome their obstacles. I also thought the relationships between the characters were well-done, particularly between Louisa and her younger sister Treena. They'd fight one day and then a few days later be at the pub drinking again. The book deals with some really heavy issues, but with humor and often with glimpses of happiness. The setting of a quaint little castle town is also appealing, as is the vacation they take to Mauritius (which, by the way, looks amazing). The "love story" aspect of the book didn't turn into an over-the-top romance gag fest, which I of course appreciated. The story was paced well and I never had that "when is it going to end?" feeling.

Not to say that the book was perfect. I thought the end was incredibly predictable, which was a little disappointing. The writing itself wasn't amazing, but it was nowhere near poor or generic, either. I also thought using the boyfriend, Patrick, as a foil for Will was a bit too obvious for my liking.

I can definitely recommend Me Before You, and I think it's the type of book that would appeal to a variety of readers. It's not a horribly challenging book, but it will make you think about your views on assisted suicide, and love and life in general. 

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