There are these rare moments where a book just GRIPS me. Where a book plunges somewhere deep into my soul and becomes apart of me. Where a book staysThere are these rare moments where a book just GRIPS me. Where a book plunges somewhere deep into my soul and becomes apart of me. Where a book stays with me. I can only count a few books that have really done that such as The Winner’s Curse and The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski, Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. ME BEFORE YOU is added to that list! Beautifully written and capturing such an incredible and life changing story, I could not put this book down! The story GUTTED me! I seriously cried my eyes out at certain parts of this book, especially at the end. THE ENDING NEARLY KILLED ME!
I am tough on Young Adult Contemporary Romance and definitely on Adult romance. It’s a genre I have grown to love but with reluctance and caution and suspicion. A lot of times plots sound the same, characters read the same, love stories are executed the same. I get bored. Also, I do not like feeling as if an author is purposefully attempting to manipulate my feelings in some way right from the word go. I want a REAL love story with REAL characters and REAL struggle. ME BEFORE YOU offered me just that and more.
But ME BEFORE YOU isn’t a romance the way you expect. Yes, there is romance-ness to the story but it’s an undercurrent. The story mainly focuses on the choices we make for our own lives and the choices we make for others; how those choices can intertwine and get messy and change our lives forever. How we have to give the people we love room to make their own choices without trying to control them and just love them.
Lou—the main female lead—is FRIGGIN’ ADORBS! She is so nerdy and awkward and charming. She has quite an inventive sense of fashion and is a young, twenty-six –year-old woman who has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She is haunted by suppressed fears and can hide nothing she feels. As soon as the story begins, she has the reader cracking up. She is a flawed character. She doesn’t always make the best choices and screws up quite often but she keeps trying. She grows throughout the story, thanks very much in part, to Will constantly challenging her to get out of her comfort zone. I really enjoyed reading her and felt connected to her. I could understand her struggles to a certain point—her sense to figure out who she is, what she wants out of life, how to go beyond her bubble of comfort to discover more of herself and the world around her.
Will is on one end so heartbreaking and on the other end so brave. He is battling a deep depression after being confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life after a nasty accident. He used to be a man of action, jumping out of planes, climbing mountains, skiing, and he ran his own business quite successfully. Everything was flipped on its head when he was declared a quadriplegic thanks to a spinal cord injury suffered during the accident. He has clung on for as long as he could, hopeful and fighting. But gradually that fight has left him broken and in despair and bitter. When Lou walks into his life as his new caretaker, all that changes.
Lou and Will’s relationship is built slowly. They are both quick witted and have no problem matching tongue lashing for tongue lashing which made the humor throughout the story feel effortless and helped to lighten the heaviness of the struggles Will was facing. Their love blossoms in time, through tears and bumps and truth.
ME BEFORE YOU deals with the topic of assisted suicide. It’s not something I agree with as it goes against my Christian values but I did feel the author handled the topic with respect and with truth. She never shied away from what the reality of an option like that holds and how incredibly hard it can be to make on both the person making the choice and the family. The choices, the decisions, the conversations, the hardships all felt very real.
I laughed. I cried. I swooned. I cheered on Lou as she fought to make Will see life can get better. I pleaded with Will to believe.
SERIOUSLY, ALL THE BLOODY FEELS WITH THIS BOOK!!
When I finished reading, I just hugged it and cried for a moment. The story is full of wonderful humor and banter, flawed characters, rough choices and a heartbreaking love story.
It’s just one of those books you either fall in love with or hate. I happened to fall in love with Lou and Will’s story right from the beginning. I didn’t always agree with every one of their choices but I understood those choices. They challenged me through their story in the way I think and how I live.
Mostly, ME BEFORE YOU just made me want to hug every person I love and just tell them how much I love them; to hang onto them more tightly and to remind them there’s ALWAYS hope. ...more