Be warned! This post is full of spoilers about Me Before You so if you haven’t read it maybe go back and visit Ginger’s beauty post here or Brunette’s stroller review here so you don’t hate me for ruining the ending.
I am afraid this might date me a little bit, but did any of you have the pleasure of watching The Secret World of Alex Mack? C’mon, you 90’s kids out there know the show I am talking about. The one that was on SNICK, where the girl gets doused by radioactive waste and can turn herself into a silvery puddle that slinks around and gets into all kinds of mischief? Well, when I finished Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, I felt like Alex Mack when she is a silvery puddle on the floor, but not one that gets into mischief, one that is just sad.
Seriously, to anyone out there who read this book, please tell me I am not alone in the sad zombie-like funk that I was in for days after reading this. I was this weird mom who sat singing The Wheels on the Bus with Rose in the playroom as I recollected the book I just read and let tears stream down my face. She probably thought I was looney (get used to it kid it won’t be the last time you feel that way about me).
It’s gratifying to read books that bring new perspective to difficult issues. Me Before You addressed the hot button issue of the right to die. I am sure you all remember when the news picked up the story about a year ago about the young woman with brain cancer who wanted to be able to choose when to die. Reading a book like Me Before You, even though it is fiction, helps me to get understanding of both sides of an issue.
Louisa Clark becomes a caregiver to 35-year-old Will Traynor who is paralyzed from the neck down and she inadvertently learns that he has decided to end his life after giving his parents the promised 6 more months of his life. It becomes Louisa’s secret mission to show him that even though his life is different and harder than before, there are still things worth living for. Along the way, Louisa finds herself changing (thank freaking goodness because I won’t lie, she made me crazy at first) and becoming a person who craves adventure and sees more possibilities in her life.
Did I hate that he went through with it in the end? Absolutely. Of course a million times over I assumed that she would change his mind because LOVE SHOULD CONQUER ALL PEOPLE. I thought for sure that when she rushed to his side that he would change his mind. But no. No. He went through with it and I finished the book and went into weird, sad, zombie mode for a few days.
This book was tough. I was forced to confront how I feel about the right to die. I kept trying to imagine how I would feel if my husband felt the way Will Traynor felt. It made me think about what things we can control for the ones we love and what things we can’t.
How did you all feel about the book? Did you love it, hate it? Turn into a walking zombie after you read it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
P.S. Next month’s book is Brunette’s pick! In Order to Live: A North Korean Girls Journey to Freedom by Yeonmi Park. She will be reviewing it the last Monday of May so read it and check back!