An emotional roller coaster, for sure. Jojo Moyes’ novel is not the typical modern romance. It surprised me, in a good way. I confess, I only became interested in reading it after the film was released (more on that to come). While watching another movie, the trailer for Me Before You was featured. I was intrigued, but didn’t hear anything about it for some time. Then all of a sudden, it exploded! I saw the book everywhere and the trailer was constantly on TV. I took it as a sign that I have to read this book. As my luck would have it, my local library did not have a copy readily available. I had to put a request in and wait. For over 100 people to read this mysterious phenomenon. Now, where I live, libraries lend books for 3-4 weeks. I’m not much good at math, but that equals a long wait. Fortunately, my copy came in just in time for holiday break.
Wow. I tore through that book like it was the secret to surviving the end of days. It’s part romance, part coming of age and all together beautiful. There have been few books that made me emotional while reading, Moyes’ triumph no exception. Throughout the first half I was a little frustrated with Lou. She came off as stubborn and somewhat immature and directionless. Lou came across as one of those people who focus on taking care of everyone else before themselves. Not necessarily a bad thing, but Lou sort of took it to an extreme. Then, as typical romances go, it takes a man to help her see her self worth. I’d hoped it wouldn’t come to that, but alas, the literary world has yet to catch up with the modern world.
It started out as one last desperate attempt for secure employment. Lou had tried everything else and her family needed all the help they could get. Camilla Traynor is equally desperate to find a suitable care taker for her paraplegic son, Will. Lou’s quirkiness lands her the position and realizes she’s only there to “cheer him up”. Will’s condition is taking its toll on him. Rather than seek a way out, Lou attempts to change his mind. A shell is broken and an improbable romance ensues. Is it enough, though?
Moyes handles sensitive topics with ease and gives new life to what would be very two dimensional characters. I wholly recommend this book because it is unlike others in its genre. I might read the sequel as well. A book to film comparison is on its way!
Rating: **** (4/5 stars)