In honor of the release of the movie Me Before You this week, (starting Sam Claflin, who played Finnick in the Hunger Games. That’s reason enough to go see it, I think.) I read the book while sitting on the dock in the wonderful Memorial Day sunshine. Here’s what I thought about it (don’t worry, spoilers are clearly marked at the end).
First of all: I was thoroughly impressed that the author managed to convey sarcasm in dialogue without having to expressly say it was sarcastic. Along the same lines, I appreciated the honesty and humor in addition to the fact that the characters were not too passive to poke fun at each other.
The characters: I loved that Will perfectly demonstrated what someone in his situation would be like. He was mean at the beginning and unflinchingly honest throughout, but should not have been anything else. I loved that Louisa was not a caretaker because of some internal desire for good, but rather, like most people, needed the money. All in all, the book was honest about people’s motivations and perspectives. Things were not sugar coated, nor should they have been.
The topic of disabilities: especially spinal injuries and what they do mentally and physically to people, is not a new one in the literary world. What I loved about Me Before You was that it wasn’t overly hopeful but still wasn’t depressing. It was also informative while still being interesting to read. (Unlike, say, a textbook.)
What I didn’t like: A few, random chapters switched point of view and left me confused. This was especially true about the beginning as it took me a while to figure out the narrators from the initial and the second chapters were different people.
The ending *SPOILERS*: While I appreciated that the ending was realistic in that there was no cure and things didn’t end like a romance or a fairytale, I was a disappointed that Will didn’t at least decide to keep living. I know I cannot fathom having a life like his, but I also would like to believe love (and dreamy, tropical vacations) could at least make life more desirable than death. (Also, why do Sam Claflin’s characters always have to die, especially when we all really want them to live?)
Overall: Me Before You was definitely a great book that was well written and had compelling characters. While I would have liked a different ending, it was realistic and fitting for the book. I can’t wait to see the movie, although I doubt it will be as good as the book.
What are your favorite books that have become movies? Comment below.
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