Last week I took a road trip home to visit my mom. Being the avid reader that I am, I was really excited to get some “reading” done on my 36 hour drive to and from Georgia. Well, there was a debacle with the audiobooks I got from Audible, which meant that I was only able to really listen to one audiobook for the majority of my drive; thanks to my local library. Since I listen to all of my audiobooks and double speed, I was without a good story for the majority of my trip. When I stopped before the last 4 hours of my drive back home, I found out Audible is pretty great, and I could return the bum audiobooks easily. Uncertain about what to use my credit on, I decided to cave and listen to Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.
I just finished this book yesterday, and I’m not sure I have all the words to express my true feelings about it. At the core of the book, it’s set up like a very unlikely love story. But the story allows the reader to reflect on how they love, live their life, and view their particular set of circumstances. I didn’t know a lot going into the book, other than it was going to be a movie, but I think that most other people are a little more in tune with popular best sellers. The overwhelming hype about this book from the book community and general pop culture set made me a little hesitant, but now I’m totally a fan girl.
I’ve talked about physical disability on my blog before, and I think this novel does a great job alerting the general population to some of the struggles of quadriplegics. Moyes didn’t stop and a general caricature of the condition, but consistently referred to the illnesses that frequently occur, the support systems available, and the mental states of the people who are affected. I think that this was great, because it added a grittiness to the book that usually isn’t seen in popular literature. Moyes did a good job of not making Will’s pain a stick, but an unfortunately intimate part of the reader’s experience with him.
I also think I read this book at a pretty good time, because I’ve been floating around the idea of a book talk around depression and suicide. I think that this book presents a different and interesting perspective to many of the fictional books I’ve been reading focusing on this topic. It explores the topic in a different, but real way. The concept of assisted suicide has, and probably always will be, controversial. Moyes again does a great job of approaching a touchy issues, giving the reader to examine their own thoughts on the issue at hand.
It’s not often that I truly read a book that makes my reflect on my own experiences. However, Me Before You did this for me. Two nights ago, when I was about half way through with the book, I dreamt myself into the world of Ms. Clark and Will. It was a very weird experience, that sort of left me unsettled. I think that this probably means there are some things that I need to examine in my own life, but it’s not every book that will allow the reader to transcend the story and find personal meaning.
I would HIGHLY encourage all of you to go out and pick up this book. I didn’t find it to be overly sad, but it did present some hard facts of life that many people have to face. It’s been added to my all time favorites list, and I can’t imagine the book that would bump it off.
Until Next Time World…