My heart’s been heavy this week since I started reading Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You. I’ve been hearing a lot about this book and about how sad it is. The coward that I am, I put off reading it because I felt I wasn’t ready for a sobfest just yet. Curiosity still got the better of me, though, (and because of my sister-in-law’s prodding) so I decided to read it after checking that my calendar for this week’s not going to be toxic and I can do a reading marathon. And so for the past four days days I’ve been feeling emo, with the rainy weather adding to the feels.
As I’ve said, I already knew that Me Before You was going to be sad. And that I would cry. I also knew how it would end (spoilers everywhere on social media, ugh). What I didn’t know was that I would be carrying this heavy weight on my chest all throughout the story. Will Traynor was an arrogant a*se but he’s okay. I didn’t get to be too invested in his character except probably towards the end because, hey, it was truly sad that thing he did. I might not agree with his choices but who am I to judge? Still, I grieved over all he’d lost and the circumstances that led to the decisions he made. My heart breaks every time I remember him but I also smile at how Lou’s upbeat character was able to cheer him up.
It was easy to feel sorry for Lou and her “misfortunes”. But I also kept cheering her on — to live up to her full potential, to stop comparing herself with her sister, to go for the things that she loves most. Honestly, I wasn’t really rooting for Will and Lou. If Will wasn’t paralyzed, I doubt if he would really fall in love with Lou. I didn’t feel too invested in their romance; it seems too contrived. But I think their relationship was also necessary especially for Lou as she learns to trust herself and her capabilities.
It’s my first time to read Jojo Moyes. Her writing style is easy to follow and I enjoyed the humor that peppered the story. The occasional shifts in POV slightly threw me off, though. I felt that these shifting narratives were unnecessary as Lou’s POV in telling the story is already enough. I didn’t actually see anything new here in terms of theme and characterization, but it was the sentimentality that got me because yes, I’m emotional like that and I love a good cry now and then. 😛
Me Before You is reminiscent of John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars and Gayle Forman’s If I Stay and Where She Went, all of which gave me the hiccups, too. It’s the kind of story that makes you appreciate life and the power of choice. But I wasn’t contented with the ending even though I cried so hard I couldn’t breathe properly. I’m glad there was a sequel which I immediately started — and finished in just one day. (My thoughts on the sequel, After You, will be posted next.)
My Rating: 3/5 stars.