Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is about Lou, a girl who loses her job and as a last resort takes up a caregiver position (sans bum wiping) for a quadriplegic named Will Traynor. Lou is a big personality and Will is hardened as I suppose an able bodied man now confined to a wheel chair would be.
This book was recommended to me quite awhile ago. It has been sitting on my Kindle for the better part of two years, if not longer. I was terrified it would leave me in a state of depression because there couldn’t be a happily ever after in my mind. I guess that makes me a cynic? Anyway… it came highly recommended and with the average review on Goodreads being a 4.31, I finally sucked it up and read it.
I’m kicking myself for not reading it sooner.
I’m not going to lie, this book broke my heart, tore it into tiny little pieces and all I can say is it was worth the heartbreak.
Lou was completely likable and loud and just herself. I’m so thankful to have not read about a character whose main theme was to fit in, be the same, or blend. She just was, crazy outfits and all. I loved Will, a-hole qualities and all. I think it was sort of excusable for him to be how he was. It was completely lovely to watch these two sort of grow on each other and blossom.
Experiencing things in Lou’s head was quite the experience and I connected with her in so many ways.
Do you know how hard it is to say nothing? When every atom of you strains to do the opposite? I had practiced not saying anything the whole way from the airport, and it was still nearly killing me.
I hadn’t realized that music could unlock things in you, could transport you to somewhere even the composer hadn’t predicted. It left an imprint in the air around you, as if you carried its remnants with you when you went.
It was as if she was in my head.
I absolutely loved reading Will’s, Nathan’s, Katrina’s, Mr. Traynor’s and Camilla’s perspectives. It allowed me to get into their heads and helped me feel the story that much more. Camilla being Will’s mother especially spoke to me.
It’s just that the thing you never understand about being a mother, until you are one, is that it is not the grown man – the galumphing, unshaven, stinking, opinionated off-spring – you see before you, with his parking tickets and unpolished shoes and complicated love life. You see all the people he has ever been all rolled up into one.
I look at him and see the baby I held in my arms, dewing besotted, unable to believe that I’d created another human being. I see the toddler, reaching for my hand, the schoolboy weeping tears of fury after being bullied by some other child. I saw the vulnerabilities, the love, the history
Now, my oldest child is only 8 years old and I felt this paragraph just as if it was me. Tears couldn’t even convey the emotion I felt, the heartache.
In the end, although I was sobbing my heart out (and part of that I will admit could have been that my daughter made me watch Tinkerbell and the Legend of the Neverbeast twice the day I finished it) nevertheless I felt every last word of this book. It was beautiful and tragic and romantic and lovely.
This ranks right up there with The Fault in Our Stars for me. Even if you’re skeptical, even if you hate endings you deem unhappy or sad, read it. You won’t regret it.