I was seeing this book everywhere but I had no idea what it was about. I think I kept confusing it with The Rosie Project, another book with a red cover and odd font, which I had already downloaded on my Kindle, so I kept ignoring Me Before You every time I came across it. Finally, whatever fog lives in my brain lifted for a few minutes and I realized, no, this is in fact a very different book. One that has recently been very well reviewed by other CBR members. And I snatched it up and brought it home.
And I didn’t come up for air until I finished it. And I was a mess. Crying. Tears. Nose running. The works.
Me Before You is so many things. A love story. A story about sacrifice. A story about trying new things. And a story about becoming a better version of yourself.
Louisa (Lou) is 26 and lives at home in rural England. She lives with her mum and dad, her ailing grandfather, and her sister and young nephew. She has a boyfriend, Patrick, who she’s been dating for 7 years. And she works in a cafe, which is enough for her. She is definitely a “people person” — chatty and friendly. She never really wanted anything more in life. Until the day that she doesn’t have that anymore.
When the cafe closes without warning, Lou finds herself back on the job market. She has no desire to “work the pole”, and it doesn’t really work out when she tries the fast food industry. All that is left is work as a home-care aid to a local disabled man. Lou takes the job, assuming the worst.
Will is in a wheelchair, and lives without the use of his arms and legs. Will used to lead an exciting life, filled with adventure and women. Now he sits and watches movies, and slowly pulls away from the rest of the world.
When Lou and Will find themselves together, they hate each other, of course. But the rest of the story was such a surprise, I won’t spoil it for the few who haven’t read it yet.
The story was lovely and funny and heartbreaking. Uplifting and devastating at the same time. I simply loved it.
As an aside, I recently watched a lovely movie on Netflix with a similar plot. It was a French film called The Intouchables, and it was awesome. I highly recommend it.