Book Review & Quotes: Jojo Moyes’s Me Before You

This book is heartless. How dare it break my heart like that? How uncouth? How merciless? 
I mean, I loved it so much it terribly hurt me.

I thought I’ll never meet a book like this again. After finishing most works of John Green, Paulo Coelho and Dan Brown, I am left with books I can’t just continue reading. They can’t grab my attention like how the aforementioned authors’ books do. But here it is! Unexpectedly, this book turned me into a hungry bookworm once again.

So to sort things out (my mind is going in many directions because I just finished reading it), here are my six thoughts about Me Before You (six for six months of Lou and Will’s story):

1. I always have this secret wish that it would turn out to be a fairytale-like story. Lou as Cinderella ending up with his galant Prince Charming, Will. I’m always like that. I bet I didn’t grow away from my six-year-old self who was so engrossed with happy endings. (Spoiler Alert!) It so heartbreaking, it didn’t turn out that way. 

2. I can relate myself with Lou. I’m as confused as she is with what she wanted to do with her life. But I’m as eager and hopeful as she is in making another person see the brighter side.

3. I still find a place like Dignitas horrifying. It haunts me down to my bones! 

4. I have a better understanding now of people with cases like Will. Next time, I would not steal a glance from them because now I know how bad it makes them feel.

5. I’m speechless now. It seems as though the characters had been so close to me. I can feel their pain, hopes, and desperation. I fell in love with Will too. The goodness in him that is hidden by a stiff mask. I wanted him badly to be alive. But… *sobs Jojo Moyes is an author to watch for. Her words are easy to read. So vivid. So powerful. 

6. I feel a sense of hope at the end. I don’t know why. My heart has been crushed as I reached the Epilogue. But with the reactions of Lou reading Will’s letter in Paris, there must something good to look forward to.
And here are my favorite quotes from my newly found favorite book:

“There’s no point me trying to look conventional. I am small, dark-haired and, according to my dad, have the face of an elf. That’s not as in ‘elfin beauty’. I am not plain, but I don’t think anyone is ever going to call me beautiful. I don’t have that graceful thing going on. …

I was twenty-six years old and I wasn’t really sure what I was.”

“And what exactly do you want to do with your life?’

‘I’m sorry?’

‘Do you have aspirations for a career? Would this be a stepping stone to something else? Do you have a professional dream that you wish to pursue?’

I looked at her blankly.

Was this some kind of trick question?”

“The thing about being catapulted into a whole new life – or at least, shoved up so hard against someone else’s life that you might as well have your face pressed against their window – is that it forces you to rethink your idea of who you are. Or how you might seem to other people.”

“a first-class eejit”

“And what do you want?’

‘What do I want what?’

‘From your life?’

I blinked. ‘That’s a bit deep, isn’t it?”

“Is that why you’ve never got married?’

I blinked. ‘I suppose so.’

I didn’t want to say I had never actually been asked.”

“There’s nothing wrong with it per se. But … Christ. It’s not exactly dynamic, is it? Not exactly full of ideas or interesting people or opportunities.”

“Will’s smiles were so rare that prompting one made me feel a bit light-headed with pride.”

“When I was not angry, I was sad”

“You cut yourself off from all sorts of experiences because you tell yourself you are “not that sort of person”.’

‘But, I’m not.’

‘How do you know? You’ve done nothing, been nowhere. How do you have the faintest idea what kind of person you are?”

“I cried, because my life suddenly seemed so much darker and more complicated than I could ever have imagined, and I wished I could go back,”

“I liked the breath of foreign air, the close-up glimpses of lives far removed from my own. I liked to hear the accents and work out where their owners came from, to study the clothes of people”

“I am not usually good with strangers, but desperation made me fearless”

“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.”

“What if I don’t want to do much else other than read a book?”

“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 would make those two things happen.”

“I will never, ever regret the things I’ve done. Because most days, if you’re stuck in one of these, all you have are the places in your memory that you can go to.”

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

“Sometimes, Clark, you are pretty much the only thing that makes me want to get up in the morning.”

“But it is a bit mad, thinking about loving someone who can’t … you know, love you back”

“I didn’t feel desolate, or overwhelmed, or any of the things you should feel when you split apart a love of several years. I felt quite calm, and a bit sad and perhaps a little guilty – both at my part in the split, and the fact that I didn’t feel the things I probably should.”

“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 with anyone else in the world.”

“You said I could choose what it was that defined me”

“thought, briefly, that I would never feel as intensely connected to the world, to another human being, as I did at that moment.”

“I can’t. It’s not who I am. I can’t be the kind of man who just … accepts.”

“I tried not to think of anything at all. I just tried to be, tried to absorb the man I loved through osmosis, tried to imprint what I had left of him on myself”

“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.”

“I drew the world he had created for me, full of wonder and possibility.”

“It has been,’ I told him, ‘the best six months of my entire life.”

“and I told myself that, somewhere, tiny particles of him would become tiny particles of me, ingested, swallowed, alive, perpetual”

“I wanted to will something into him. I wanted to give him every bit of life I felt and force him to live.”

“But it should buy you your freedom, both from that claustrophobic little town we both call home, and from the kind of choices you have so far felt you had to make”

“You’re going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. It always does feel strange to be knocked out of your comfort zone. But I hope you feel a bit exhilarated too. Your face when you came back from diving that time told me everything; there is a hunger in you, Clark. A fearlessness. You just buried it, like most people do.”

“live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle”


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