I am really struggling to come up with an introduction that does this book justice, because to me, Me Before You was perfection. At times, I wondered whether Jodi Picoult and Jojo Moyes are sisters separated at birth, so alike are their styles and choice of heart-wrenching subject matter. If anything though, Moyes far exceeded the work of Picoult with Me Before You, which, as a fan of Picoult, I consider quite a feat. This story had likable characters, suspense, tragedy, romance, injustice, self-discovery, an engrossing plot line, and the shedding of many, many tears. As in, I ugly cried for just about the last thirty pages, and had to get up for Kleenex three times just so the snot running down my face wouldn’t drop onto my beloved Kindle. I don’t think I’ve cried this much in a book since the death of Dumbledore! And while I was wailing into my pillow, shaking the bed with my sobs and gasping for breath, do you think my boyfriend, sensing my profound emotional distress, woke up once? Of course not! He continued his peaceful slumber oblivious to the fact that my heart was in the process of being ripped from my chest and stampeded by a hoard of angry water buffalo.
Wait, you say – this does not sound like a fun experience. Knowing what you know now, you certainly wouldn’t choose to read this book if you could do it all over again. But that’s where you are wrong my friend. Because the best books are the ones that move me, even if that means moving me to tears, as this one did.
So, a brief synopsis: Will, a wealthy man who seemed to have it all, gets into a life-changing auto accident. His mother hires Louisa, a girl who is in far over her head, to keep Will company after the accident. Will’s accident has turned him into a sullen, scathingly sarcastic man with a very negative outlook on the world that Louisa has a hard time dealing with. When Louisa is at her breaking point with Will, she overhears his mother discussing a family secret with Will’s sister that Louisa decides she cannot deal with – so she quits, until Will’s mother comes begging for Louisa to return. I won’t say anything more… hopefully that is enough to intrigue you.
I give this book my highest recommendation. But you may want to have a comedy lined up for after you are done, because you will probably need it.
Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars