Me Before You: A Novel
Ohhhhh what a magnificently written, bittersweet, extraordinary story. Unforgettable, because it broke my heart… gently.
My friend Jackie (in England) was adamant that I read this ASAP. It wasn’t available in the US at the time (not even in digital format) so she MAILED me a print copy, and left me an urgent note. The way she was going on about it in chat, I knew this was going to be big. It was obviously one of “those” reads. Inspirational and deep, you know? I was excited, but you know me and physically holding an actual book. 😉 And this is a BIG book. Not just in size but in emotion, too.
Maryse: Omg Jackie. I’m reading your book and I’m loving it and yet so desperately anxiously sad. *spoiler* I have a whole new perspective. *spoiler*. I adore him.
Maryse: Ah I finished it. So good…
Jackie: will you review it?
Maryse: I feel like I should but I don’t know how to say it without saying too much. You know? I cried (oh boy did I ever) … I know. I mean…. *spoiler* SO FREAKING HEARTBREAKING!!! I was going to text you at a certain point, and my husband said… “It’s like 4 am over there.” I said, “Too bad! She should know better. Time for her to wake up and comfort me.” But… I held back. 😉
Jackie: lol. It did hurt . *spoiler* I just collapsed on the bed and wailed . – just wailed. xxx That book will live with me forever. So good… And – for the record, I would have forgiven a 4am text under the circumstances. xxx
Jackie, it would seem that you’ve caused a frenzy. When this finally released yesterday in the U.S. and I added it to the latest release page, I felt the need to include a note about how much I loved it… and the fact that I hadn’t even reviewed it yet. Still, a few of you jumped in and have since let me know that it affected you just as deeply.
Ashley: Me Before You got me hugging my child at 3 in the morning when i finished it. Then i went and woke my husband and he had to hold me and rub my back until it was time for work… I will always remember … Always. Its been a few days and the book is still with me. It haunts me.
Tracey: Just finished Me Before You, I hadn’t read the reviews before hand and just ploughed straight in…..its the first book in forever that I didnt want to finish when I realised what it was about but I had to finish it. (If that makes sense) I both loved it and hated it , and yes i cried ( i dont cry whilst reading a book never ever)… Would I have read this book if I had read the reviews ..No however Im very glad I did.
Claudia: Me before You It’s a must read book ..70% and really scared!! … It’s pricey but is very good!!
So why didn’t I review it right away if it is one of “those” books? Well, it took me a few days to… settle in, after I read it. I had no idea what to say. To you, to me… even to Jackie. How do I review a book like this? You’ll know what I mean if you go for it.
It was obvious that I LOVED it. I knew that. Deep down. I loved every single thing about it. I got it. I get it. BUT, I had an equally demanding emotion to contend with. For awhile, I was furious with Jackie for sending me this heartwrenching story. I looked up at my husband at some point in the book (I won’t tell you where) and said, “What was she thinking?!! Does she even know me at all?”
It would be safest for me to not say anything more about the actual story. To truly experience it as it was meant to be taken in, as it was meant to be fully processed and internalized, I believe it is best to go in blindly (if you’re game for it, that is).
I did. I had no idea what I was in for, even though Jackie and I had discussed it previously (she only spoke of it in terms of feelings, and I now know why). Jackie threw me into the deep end, and I had to learn how to swim, fast. And yes, at some point… (again, it’s a secret), I was scrambling. Moments of basking in joy, wanting to cuddle, smiling to myself… and moments of me shaking my head and crunching my eyebrows, restraining my tears. And I couldn’t hold ’em. I don’t think anyone can hold back tears reading this one. At one point I thought I was too mad to cry. I get that way sometimes. A delayed reaction to moments of sadness, because my fury is in the forefront and squashing my true feelings. The feelings that I don’t want to feel. But I still couldn’t hold it.
It was a little “slow” every once in awhile, making me wonder where it was going, but this story calls for that. Needs that attention to detail. That slowly budding friendship…
“… I just needed to hear a friendly voice.”
“is he that bad?”
“Treen, he hates me. He looks at me like I’m something the cat dragged in. And he doesn’t even drink tea. I’m hiding from him.”
… allowing the readers to experience and process that tentative trust. I know you’ve heard this from me before about other stories (damaged people, learning to trust, one special connection etc…), but this is different. Unless you’ve actually read this book, well… you likely haven’t read this before.
But I’ll tell you all what. No matter what happened or didn’t happen, I’m better for having read it. Lived it. Cried through it. Okay… sobbed through it.
And yes, Jackie. I must acknowledge that you obviously know me perfectly. Even if it took me a few days to admit it. And everyday since I’ve read it, I can’t help but contemplate it. I’ve been needing to review it, to tell others, but I didn’t know how. I think though, that this is enough to get my point across. And I feel better, if not a little tight in my throat area. The lump is back and it’s taking up space.
P.S. A few have mentioned how pricey it is, when Claudia announced her love for it on our Facebook page. It IS pricey. Whoa! I know and I have no idea why that much for a digital book. *shakes head* If you decide on it anyway, I think the overall feeling that this book will leave you with, will totally be worth it, and then some. It still resonates deep in my heart. Maybe even more now than when I first finished it.
4.5 to 5 stars! (and more like 5 stars). By the way, if you read it, you’ll likely need to join us in the spoiler discussion for it: https://talk.maryse.net/threads/me-before-you-by-jojo-moyes.760/
“Everything takes time, Will.” she said, placing her hand briefly on his arm. “And that’s something that your generation find it a lot harder to adjust to. You have all grown up expecting things to go your way almost instantaneously. You all expect to live lives you chose. Especially a successful young man like yourself. But it takes time.”