Publication Date: January 5, 2012 by Michael Joseph (UK)
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.
My shortest spoiler-free review ever: DROP EVERYTHING NOW AND READ THIS BOOK.
My rating? Two infinity symbols. ∞ ∞
Do you know what that means? It means that it would take a book with a rating of more than two infinity symbols to rob Me Before You of its throne as the Book of the Year.
Warning: Only click the ‘Continue Reading’ button if–and only if–you have read (or watched the movie of) A Walk to Remember, The Fault in Our Stars and If I Stay.
Of course I have a spoilery review. Of course I have to let the feels (AND THE TEARS) out.
I had an ebook copy of Me Before You for as long as I can remember, but I wasn’t able to read it because whenever I had a chance to read it, I would discover some other books and read them instead.
But last December 27, 2014, at a bookstore in Vietnam, I found it–no–it found me.
I held the book in my hands, fell in love with the pretty cover (pink is my favorite color!) and then the next thing I knew was that the gorgeous book is mine.
I didn’t read it right away for two reasons. One, I was currently reading a book for review. And two, I felt like I should make it my first 2015 read. And so I did. I started reading last January 1, in an airport, on the day of our flight to Manila. I was reading it while waiting for the boarding time. I was able to reach Chapter 6. I didn’t read on the plane because I was too sleepy and I believed that the book deserves my full attention, so I had to wait till we get home.
When we got home, I was too tired to continue reading. I was only able to continue reading yesterday, January 4, at around 5:30 in the afternoon.
I took a break from reading when we had to go out for a family dinner, but when we got back, I turned and turned pages.
(I actually live-tweeted my Me Before You reading experience using #MeBeforeYou. Do visit my Twitter account to see them. Share your feels with me!)
Okay, where was I? Right, the I-have-to-finish-this-book-tonight thing. I wasn’t able to continue live-tweeting anymore because I had to concentrate on the last hundred pages and…
(On my blogging calendar, this review should be posted on January 29. But right now (it’s January 5, 1:52 p.m.), I decided to post this review right after I finish writing it. Because…FEELS!)
A lot of parts reminded me of A Walk to Remember and The Fault in Our Stars, a.k.a. the two books that made me so emotional especially when they were made into movies. Seeing the characters on screen made everything real.
My books-that-mean-a-lot-to-me shelf on Goodreads is a mess right now. I can’t seem to decide on the rankings because each book is special in their own way. But three books share the same feels because they remind me of each other. And those three books are A Walk to Remember, The Fault in Our Stars, and Me Before You. I think I wouldn’t be able to decide which one is the most special because:
- I love the TFiOS book more than the AWtR book (but I think that’s because I read the AWtR book after I watched the movie)
- I love the AWtR movie more than the TFiOS movie
- I haven’t watched the MBY movie (because it’s not out yet!)
But here’s the thing: MBY made me cry while reading. That didn’t happen on AWtR and TFiOS. But the words of TFiOS fit perfectly on both AWtR and MBY.
“You gave me forever within the numbered days.”
So I guess I have to watch the MBY movie first before trying to decide which book is the most special.
Wait. I’d still be confused, then.
OKAY. I’ve decided that I won’t rank the books on my books-that-mean-a-lot-to-me shelf anymore. I don’t have to rank them. I have to hug them and put them on a special bookshelf when I have my own house.
At around 2 a.m. this morning, I finished reading Me Before You. And I cried myself to sleep because HEY, WHO WOULDN’T BE CRYING AFTER FINISHING THAT BOOK?
Assuming that you, the reader, clicked the ‘Continue Reading’ button because you have already read the three books, I’m going to start with my review–my feels review, as I like to call it.
Me Before You started with a revelation. It revealed that Will had a terrible accident, similar to how TFiOS revealed that Hazel had cancer. AWtR, on the other hand, did not reveal that Jamie had leukemia right away. But I have watched the movie before I read the book, so I already knew that Jamie had leukemia before I read the words on the page. Maybe that’s why I didn’t cry anymore. I guess if I had read the book before I watched the movie, I would have cried on that part.
Why 6 months? It made me curious. And when I found out why, I didn’t know if I wanted to hate Will or not. But I chose to hold my anger because Lou might be able to save him.
AWtR and TFiOS both used cancer to limit the days of the lovers. Jamie + Landon and Hazel + Gus didn’t have a choice. In MBY, it was Will’s choice. And we all know how it ended: Will chose to die. In a way, MBY felt similar to If I Stay as well. To live or to die? But we all know that Mia chose to live, while Will…
I don’t have the strength to use the words that Lou used to express how angry she was when Will told her that he still wants to die. But yeah, I’m very angry, too.
But I don’t know how Will felt. And when Lou finally had the strength to support Will on his decision, I remembered a scene in If I Stay. The one when Mia’s grandfather told her that it’s okay to let go. It must have been so painful.
There were certain points when my eyes started to water, but the tears only fell on page 480, while reading Will’s letter to Lou. I guess I was trying to hold them back, but when I read Will’s words, they finally fell. So yeah, for the first time, tears fell on paper. Because when I cried for Allegiant and Summer of Yesterday, I was reading on my Kindle.
Lou is so strong for coming to Switzerland. Landon and Hazel had to face the deaths of Jamie and Gus, respectively, but both deaths were not chosen. Will’s death is chosen, and what made it more painful is the fact that LOU DID EVERYTHING TO SAVE HIM. But she couldn’t save him from himself. And that teared me apart.
Now I know the reason why I just read Me Before You last January 1. Because if I had read it back when I was just 14, things would have been different. A LOT MORE DIFFERENT. I have a deeper sense of understanding now, and the timing of the book is just right. I’m old enough. Plus, the movie will be out this year. Before reading, while searching for a picture of the cover so I can save it on my phone, I found out that Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke will star in the movie. A picture of the characters in mind before reading helped a lot to feel everything.
But, please. SAM CLAFLIN AS WILL TRAYNOR IS PURE TORTURE. I think you (especially fellow fangirls) understand why.
Quotes. Quotes. There were so many! I wasn’t able to mark quotes on the last hundred pages because I didn’t want anything to interrupt my reading.
“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.”
“Some mistakes… Just have greater consequences than others. But you don’t have to let the result of one mistake be the thing that defines you. You, Clark, have the choice not to let that happen.”
“I will never, ever regret the things I’ve done. Because most days, all you have are places in your memory that you can go to.”
Inspiring quotes from Will Traynor. ❤
Two people who shouldn’t have met, and who didn’t like each other much when they did, but who found they were the only two people in the world who could possibly have understood each other. And I told him of the adventures they had, the places they had gone, and the things I had seen that I had never expected to. I conjured for him electric skies and iridescent seas and evenings full of laughter and silly jokes. I drew a world for him, a world far from a Swiss industrial estate, a world in which he was still somehow the person he had wanted to be. I drew the world he had created for me, full of wonder and possibility.
This is one part that made my eyes water.
“Shhh. Just listen. You, of all people. Listen to what Im saying. This…tonight…is the most wonderful thing you could have done for me. What you have told me, what you have done in bringing me here…knowing that, somehow, from that complete arse, I was at the start of this, you managed to salvage something to love is astonishing to me. But…I need it to end here. No more chair. No more pneumonia. No more burning limbs. No more pain and tiredness and waking up every morning already wishing it was over. When we get back, I am still going to go to Switzerland. And if you do love me, Clark, as you say you do, the thing that would make me happier than anything is if you would come with me. So I’m asking you – if you feel the things you say you feel – then do it. Be with me. Give me the end I’m hoping for.”
Another part that made my eyes water.
“It has been, the best six months of my entire life.”
It’s like saying, “You gave me a forever within the numbered days,” only that Lou said it and her days weren’t numbered yet. But will said “Funnily enough, Clark, mine too,” and it’s like he just repeated what Lou said, right? Made my eyes water as well.
“Sometimes , Clark, you are pretty much the only thing that makes me want to get up in the morning.”
Upon reading those two words, I closed the book for a while, opened my eyes, and let the tears fall. Then I opened my eyes again to read the last sentences of the book.
Me Before You is the most heartbreaking book that I’ve ever read. At least Jamie and Landon got married in A walk to Remember. At least Gus didn’t choose to die in The Fault in Our Stars, in fact, he fought until the end, just like Jamie did. But Will?
Oh, Will. Why did you have to choose to die? And why am I not as strong as Lou to let you go?
Enough said. They better make the movie great. Or else. (Expect a Mook Monday post from me once I have watched the movie!)
Bookish song? I think Let Him Go (Birdy’s version of Let Her Go by Passenger) is the one. I sang it for Summer of Yesterday, so I don’t have to sing it again. You just have to click here.
I don’t have to show the breakdown of scores because there is no breakdown of scores. I have given this book two infinity symbols, right?
Still, Will Traynor, why can’t I let you go?