Title: Me Before You (Me Before You #1)
Author: Jojo Moyes
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books/Viking
Publication date: December 31, 2012
Summary (via Goodreads):
Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.
What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.
This was a great book. It was touching, poignant, funny, sad – all of that stuff you might expect from a book that brands itself as a "heartbreakingly romantic novel.” And maybe if I had read this at some other point in my life, I’d have more to say along those lines – but the fact of the matter, and what I’ve found to be true time and time again, is that what you get out of a book depends entirely on where you are in your life.
There are some moments in your life that you recognize as turning points. Whether it’s in your professional development, in your relationships, whether it’s emotionally. My work friend Anita lent me her copy of Me Before You just as I was standing on the cusp of the most devastating moments in my life so far… so it wasn’t hard to identify with this story. The love. The loss. Both of which can be seen on so many levels.
In some ways it is soothing to read all the things you’re feeling: this weird hysteria and the irrational urge to laugh. The inexplicable need to stop time. The feeling of not being able to. Wanting to disconnect and, at the same time, to wrap every fiber of your being around a moment, to keep it from escaping, to keep the memory from fading away. All of the things I felt while reading this book mirrored all of the things I felt while living my real life, and it was horrible, wretched, devastating, completely soul-shattering. And it was also somehow a salve… like a gentle touch on the back of your neck to remind you that it’s okay to feel the things you’re feeling. And that you’re not the only person who’s bathed in this ocean of grief before.
I’m keeping this book for myself and buying Anita a new copy because this copy that she’s lent me now has creases in the pages, drag marks, smudges and spots, that are important to me. They are physical reminders of things that happened that I want to keep close to me forever.
I really have nothing else to say so I'm going to leave you with a song that I listened to on my way home from the airport that I think fits the tone of the book. It also just resonates so deeply with me on a very personal level. I don't even know what the lyrics are, but it feels like a blanket and I had to try really hard to keep from bawling my eyes out right there on the bus.