Book Review: Me Before You

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“Now he was just Will – maddening, mercurial, clever, funny, Will… his body was just part of the whole package, a thing tone dealt with, at intervals, before we got back to the talking. It had become, I supposed, the least interesting part of him.” page 184

“I worked out what would make me happy, and I worked out what I wanted to do and I trained myself to do the job that make those two things happen.” page 204

“Some mistakes just have greater consequences than others. But you don’t have to let that night be the thing that defines you.” page 248

“Everything takes time. And that’s something that your generation find it a lot harder to adjust to. You have all grown up expecting things to go your way almost instantaneously. You all expect to live the lives you chose. Especially a successful young man like yourself. But it takes time.” page 260

“For the first time in my life I tried not to think about the future. I tried to just be, to simply let the evening’s sensations travel through me.” page 318

“I can’t do this because I can’t… He swallowed. I can’t be the man I want to be with you.” page 323

“I know we can do this. I know it’s not how you would have chosen it but I know that I can make you happy. And all I can say is that you make me… you make me into someone I couldn’t even imagine. You make me happy, even when you’re awful. I would rather be with you – even the you that you seem to think is diminished – than anyone else in the world.” page 324

It’s my first time to read a book written by a British novelist. It took me a few chapters to adjust to “The Queen’s English” but over time even accents formed in my head. I appreciate the choice of words and the detailed descriptions of the conversation setting.

This isn’t really a technical book review but more about the impact of the plot itself to me as a reader. It’s been staying with me longer than any other books I’ve read. I specifically love Will Traynor. He’s the kind of person who’s inspiring to be with, the type not everyone’s fortunate to meet. I love how he’s built as a secure and witty man that despite of his disabilities, he’s a ray of sunshine and a breath of fresh air to Louisa Clark.

It’s definitely not your typical love story, at least not the fireworks and foot-popping kind. But a gradual relationship which eventually eased into one of the best kinds of love, the kind that makes you reach for more. It is painstakingly beautiful.

The ending, for me, also justified the strength of Will’s character. His life was undeniably invigorated by Clark but he still remained true to himself by being completely aware of what he gets versus what he deserves. It didn’t appeal to me as something that encourages intentionally causing one’s own death rather a vital decision towards the quality of life a person should have and should live.

Did Will lose the hope to live? Probably. But I see it as his choice rather than an option. The ability to see goodness and to acknowledge potential of another person is a gift; to even radiate positivity and to inspire growth are no acts of a person out of hopelessness. It’s an act of imprinting his mark which actually sealed the deal for him.

Truly inspiring.

I’m filing this under: books I want to read all over again.

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