Me before you

Like usually, I stumbled upon Me before you by Jojo Moyes by accident and I wasn’t at all sure what to expect when I started reading it. I did read the back and it sounded good. I read the small notes on the cover, written by various magazines and all I could really gather up was that I would need tissues’ when reading it. See the thing is, I don’t cry when I read books, not even the ones where everyone says I will wail like a baby. I have cried once before when reading, but that’s also all I can remember. So I took that last advice a little lightly.

Turns out that the story is about a twenty-six year old girl named Lou Clark. She works at a café and lives with her mum and dad, her grandfather, her younger sister and her nephew in a quite small house not too far from London. She has her boyfriend Patrick and her job and she likes her life. It’s comfortable and nice. Until one day when she’s fired from the café and all of a sudden doesn’t have anywhere to go anymore. She tries to get a job, any job, and in the end she’s hired to be a carer for a man in a wheelchair. That man is Will Traynor, a thirty-five year old man that, two years ago, was in a motorbike accident and end up in that wheelchair with not much movement at all, except for his head. What Lou does not know is that Will carries a deep secret and when she finally finds out it seems like it’s too late to do anything about it. Lou is stuck trying to take care of both him and of herself, something that is much easier said than done.

I sure could see why the book has sold a half million copies. It’s quite large, about 480 pages, but it didn’t matter. I started reading it and it was really good. I did something that I only do when I have a really good book to read, I made time to read it. There’s always so much to do and it’s easy to forget to read, except when you have that amazing book. Then nothing else seems to matter. So I read. And I read. And then I read some more. I tried to take it slow, I tried to salvage every moment, but I couldn’t. I wanted to know so badly what was going to happen and in just a few days I’d finished the book.

It’s now been about eighteen hours since I read the last line and put it down and since then I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. It’s always there, even if I don’t want it to be. I tried so hard to forget it, but I couldn’t. The ending was pretty much just what I expected, but even though I wasn’t surprised at the story itself, I was surprised at how I felt. How it made me feel. There were so many emotions after I put the book down and they haven’t left me yet. I promised myself that I wouldn’t cry when I read it (even though I definitely saw why people did) and though I tried so hard I couldn’t keep it all in. At the last, shattering pages of this heartbreaking story, I cried, too.

I don’t like it when people call books or stories ‘heartbreaking’. It never is, it seems, no matter how many books I’ve read that has been called heartbreaking, they haven’t broken my heart. Until this one. This one truly is. It broke my heart into a million little pieces and I cried so much. As soon as I had finished it I threw it away from me. I was torn between telling everyone that they should read it and setting it on fire before I threw it out my window. I hated it. I hated it so much then and I still do. But somewhere, deep inside me, I know I cannot hate a book like this. It’s a masterpiece and you can’t hate a masterpiece. I despised it and yet I loved it. It made me feel things I did not want to feel. I want to forget I read it but I can’t take it out of my mind. I can’t stop thinking about it. I want to put it on my bookshelf and never read it again, but I know I won’t. I will read it again, and I will love it and hate it and despise it and I will cry like a baby again, but it will be worth it. Because this is not an ordinary love story. This is something much more than that. This is about life and the right to choose. And this is certainly a book that is too good to be read once and then put away on a bookshelf, never to be read again. It’s books like Me before you that makes me so surprised at how easy it can be to let a story, characters and a different life into yourself, and how hard it is to get it out afterwards. Even if I could have gotten it out, I don’t think I would. It taught me so much, it gave me so much and even though I hate what it made me feel, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. You don’t do that when you’ve just read a masterpiece.