Warning: This review will contain spoilers
“Their dependence on my income, or perhaps the fact that they knew I didn’t really like my job, meant that I also received a little more respect within the house. This didn’t actually translate into much–in my dad’s case, it meant the he had stopped calling me “lardarse,” and, in my mother’s, that there was usually a mug of tea waiting for me when I came home.”
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Star rating: ★☆ ☆☆ ☆ 1/5
Summary: 27 year old Louisa Clark loses her job at the local cafe and begins searching for a new job, she gets hired as a caretaker to a quadriplegic man named Will. Louisa soon learns that Will intends to commit suicide and she tries to change his mind.
Reasons for picking this book: I heard a lot of people liked this book, I saw it for two dollars at goodwill and picked it up. I know it was made into a movie this year so I figured this would work for that category.
Review: Okay, I am not one to jump on the tumblr bandwagon of “omg that’s so problematic” but damn this book was really problematic. It implies many, many, many times that being a quadriplegic is so terrible that it’s only natural for people to end their lives. It would have been one thing if it was just Will, like that’s kinda eye squinty but okay but no. Does not end there. There is another man that uses assisted suicide to end his life after becoming quadriplegic and his family are quoted saying that “he finally looked like himself” when he died. What?! And several characters say that if they were paralyzed they would also want to commit suicide. Like??? I realize that it isn’t an easy existence at all but the book basically implies this is what everyone would want in this situation and that it is the only control they have.
Also, Will attempts suicide on his own and then agrees to wait six months to use assisted suicide and he doesn’t go to see a therapist?? I would think after becoming paralyzed that along with all his doctors and specialists there would also be therapists and after attempting suicide why the hell didn’t he see a therapist? He was hospitalized for his injuries and the hospital was just like “bandaged you up, peace dude”??? WHAT?! Never once is there any mention of therapy, or any characters suggesting that hey maybe you should look into this. Especially when Louisa is trying to convince him life is worth living like, bungee jumping is great but how about trying to get him into a therapist? Like Jesus Christ. It made me so angry and annoyed.
I didn’t really like any of the characters. Patrick, Louisa’s boyfriend was a complete asshole boyfriend trope, that was his whole personality. Louisa herself is just annoying to me. And I didn’t buy the romance between her and Will whatsoever. There was chemistry sure but like she is suddenLay madly in love with him? And he seems fond of her but that’s about it. I did not see any great romance.
God, and what the hell is up with Will convincing Louisa to move in with him a few weeks before he kills himself? He doesn’t know that she knows his plans which seems even shittier to me. Like “oh move in with me but I’m not going to mention that it will only be for a month max because I’m going to kill myself”. If you’ve set a date and everything why would you do that? It just seemed like he was toying with her emotions and living situation.
There were a couple moments I enjoyed of the book but overall I was just wondering why the hell I was making myself finish this. I don’t understand its popularity, at all. The writing is okay but not good enough to justify such a shitty story. I should have known from the first chapter when it talks about how Louisa’s mother prides herself that she never sits down, not even to eat because she’s constantly cleaning that I needed to drop it like its hot and move on.
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