I can’t remember why I picked up Me Before You by Jojo Moyes–I must have seen it recommended on a blog or on Twitter, since those are those places I learn about everything–but I didn’t know a thing about it when I started reading. I think I thought it was a romance. Which I guess it is, sort of, but calling it a romance seems way too simple.
Now, when I summarize the plot, you’re going to think it sounds like a bummer. It’s about a young British woman, Louisa, who takes a job serving as a companion to Will, a man who was recently paralyzed in an accident and isn’t very pleased about having her around. I know, I know, I wouldn’t have wanted to read it based on that either. And it’s not a happy book–there were definitely tears. But it’s also charming and the characters are real and funny. When the book starts, Lousia is working at a coffee shop with no plans to do anything else, and Moyes did a great job of making Louisa aimless without her seeming dumb or unsympathetic. The relationship Louisa has with Will is complicated and layered, but her relationship with her family is presented with equal care. Even when some of the plot turns got a bit melodramatic, the characters kept the story grounded.
Gretchen Rubin (the author of The Happiness Project, a book I’ve raved about before) offers monthly book suggestions on her site, but very specifically doesn’t describe the books at all. She says that she finds herself less interested in reading a book when someone tells her what it’s about. I like hearing details about books before I read them, but I struggle with the actual describing part here on the blog sometimes. Often I feel like I’ll steal some of the magic of a book by revealing things that are better discovered as you go along. If I were queen, I would just tell everyone that they should trust me and read what I tell them to. Me Before You is definitely a book where I don’t want to risk any of the magic, so just trust me and read it already.
If you need any more convincing, Anne Lamott raved about this book in the most recent People magazine, so I feel like it’s been blessed–if she likes it, how could anyone not?
Kinsey’s Three Word Review: Funny, sad, cathartic.
You might also like: Wild by Cheryl Strayed. It’s not really like Me Before You–it’s a non-fiction memoir for one thing–but it’s the last thing I read that inspired the same kind of emotional reaction (laughter, tears, inability to get it out of my mind days later).