“Still Me”: A Reinvented Love Story

By Palak Jayswal, Arts Editor

“Still Me” is the third installment in the “Me Before You” trilogy that took the world by storm a few years ago. Louisa Clark is yet again in a whole new city and ready to take care of others before she does so for herself. The Big Apple proves to test Louisa in a way she hasn’t been before and forces her to realize that sometimes reinventing yourself is the best thing to do.

I was nervous to read this one. I wasn’t too fond of “After You,” the sequel to “Me Before You,” but admittedly that’s because I love a happy ending. Jojo Moyes rarely disappoints. and although I’m not into her other works, this trilogy is one of my favorite series ever. The bottom line is no other book has ever succeeded in making me cry three times in one night.

The thing about Moyes’s writing is that it’s particular and the details she focuses on are so human, so valiantly normal, it’s hard not to be enthralled in Louisa’s story. It’s a testament to how Moyes writes all her characters and plot lines. She’s blunt, honest and not afraid to point out that life sucks sometimes, and that’s okay. In fact, Louisa stresses how okay and necessary it is to be lost, wrecked and torn apart. This is something that outside from social media satire, we aren’t often told. Moyes has an elegant way of speaking about the not-so-pretty things about life — death, heartbreak, betrayal, homelessness and so on — but she portrays them in such a way that it doesn’t come off as melodramatic.

Louisa never lets go of who she was in the past — she builds on it. Will Traynor is still with her every step of her journey and he was the catalyst for her to get out and truly live. Until the very last page, she has Will in her mind. Throughout the series, Louisa is nothing less of herself. She’s weird, a bit wonky and her roots reflect that. Every character in her world is much of the same and it only makes readers relate more to the normality of the book.

What started off as a tragic love story has transformed into a love story in its greatest form: self-acceptance. Louisa is inspiring and I am honored to have read her journey.

Ultimately, Moyes gave me, and Louisa, the happy ending we deserved, but in a non-traditional way. I think that’s why this series will be one I recommend and reread for years to come. While I can beg and implore you to read this series, I’ll instead leave you with a quote from Louisa herself:

“The key was making sure that anyone you allowed to walk beside you didn’t get to decide which you were, and pin you down like a butterfly in a case. The key was to know that you could always somehow find a way to reinvent yourself again.

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