Me Before You so neatly presents the life of Louisa Clark, a small-town girl who is suddenly presented an opportunity to meet a man who used to be full of zest for life, but who was suddenly bound to be dependent on others forevermore.
The buildup for this story involves the classic interaction between two hardheaded individuals (who, of course, hate each other right at the start), but the twist in this is that one of them is a wheelchair-bound C5-6 quadriplegic. This opens up quite a different world, one we don’t typically see as AB (able-bodied).
The portrayal of the characters, in their array of personalities and backstories, was really well done. Moreover, how they react towards the invalid (who was surprisingly human and felt with very real, heartfelt emotion), especially when contrasted against their daily lives or even his youthful past, mirrors quite well the awkwardness and helplessness we ourselves might feel towards those with such injuries. These are people who are battling not just the pain and humiliation of their situation, but the sometimes troubling and overwhelming pity cast upon them as well.
Having gotten to know the characters and see their development in the book, it was bittersweet to see how they all end up in, and it honestly made me shed several tears.
All in all, Me Before You is a poignant romance on how to live despite and because of changes, difficulties, and pain.
“Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle.”
Review first written April 4, 2019.