I’ve come to the realization that it’s been a long while since I’ve done a book review or book blog so I figured today was a good day to share one, since I’ve just finished reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.
Now, I watched the movie before hand, and I completely fell in love with it while at the same time absolutely hating it. When it comes to books-to-movie adaptations, I can’t help but compare what the movie depicts and what is actually written in the book. I was very impressed with how close, in my mind, the movie portrayed the book. In almost every scene of the movie, the book was portrayed verbatim.
There were some parts of the book that were left out of the movie, but for the most part didn’t negatively affect the integrity of the story. The movie, I feel, did not do Lou and Will’s relationship justice. There was a good mixture of big and small things that would relay the emotions she felt for Will long before she even realized it, and, if I recall correctly, in the movie, there was not a point where Lou came to the realization that she even had feelings for Will. That, in my opinion, was an important part in the book. After reading the book, I’ve come to the conclusion that the movie only shared the bare minimum of their relationship, and, as a hopeless romantic, it made me a little sad.
In the book, a lot more is obviously shared than the movie can because of time restrictions and not wanting to over do it, but the book also delves deeper into the lives of Will and Lou that explains so much more about them.
Reading the book, I became aware of the strained relationship Will had with his family long before the accident. His father was absent as he was also having a affair that had been going on for years, his mother was often controlling due to her occupation as a magistrate (judge), and his younger sister (not at all mentioned in the movie) was used to all the attention until after his accident.
In Lou’s case, the movie downplayed her relationship with her family. She was not particularly close with her parents because they favored her younger sister Treena, who they felt was the intelligent sister who was going somewhere with her life, despite her illegitimate child. Lou, however, had some hard feelings about often living in the shadows of her younger sister but being heavily depended upon, she continued to put the needs of others before herself.
Also not mentioned in the movie is an incident that occured in Lou’s life that hindered her from pursuing life away from home. Lou stays within her comfort zone and plays it safe with just about everything in her life: her relationship with her family, her boyfriend (who is a narcissistic personal trainer and marathon runner), her former job of working at a cafe, and the non-direction she had of her life.
With Will’s accident bringing them together, an unlikely friendship is forged that blossoms to something much more than either of them had intended. As the six months Will promises his parents goes on, Lou does everything she can to get him to change his mind on his plans. Although she couldn’t change his mind, without realizing it, she gave him not only the light of something to look forward to each day and the love he thought he was never going to experience again, but also someone who made him feel something other than misery and numbness. I personally think that the best gift she could’ve ever given him was the best last six months of his life.
I held out hope that the ending would be different (wishful thinking). Nonetheless, Me Before You was still an amazingly painful read. I definitely cried because the story was just so good and evokes such powerful emotions.
I definitely recommend reading Me Before You! I absolutely loved it, and being able to get the entire picture away from the movie made me love the story even more. GO AND READ IT!
I’ll end this blog post with a few questions, If you were in Lou’s position what would you do differently? How would you react? (I could not imagine being in Lou’s shoes and having to make a big decision such as she did.) Can you imagine the love of your life wanting to end their life in such a way? (Each time I watched the movie, my heart would ache for Lou, even though it could be considered a selfish decision, but looking at it from Will’s perspective, it’s quite understandable.) Would you want your loved one to continue on in a life they weren’t happy with; living with such pain and not being physically able to do things on their own? I can’t imagine the heartache!
UGH, but seriously it was beautifully written and you should go read it!