Reviewed by Holly Madison
I used to believe that in order for a story to be good, it had to have a happy ending. But as an adult, I now realize that not all love stories can have happy endings, and sometimes that makes the story even better. Me Before You was a bitter sweet book that left me in tears long after I finished reading it, and it is a book that I will likely re-read again and again throughout my life so that I can come back and revisit the characters and the sweet ache that this story left me with.
Books like this don’t come around every day. Me Before You is a story that is enchanting, deep, thought-provoking, infuriating, and heart breaking. Parts of this book made me laugh, more made me cry. Extremely controversial issues were presented and debated, and I was left questioning my stance on a very difficult subject, realizing that there is no black and white guide — no right or wrong answer for certain questions that we sometimes must ask.
This story is a journey. Not just a journey of the characters Louisa and Will, but a journey for the reader as well, as we feel the love that begins to grow between the characters, the anguish of the situation, the fight for dignity and self respect, and the sadness of a bright promising future forever taken away. And that journey brought me to the question, “What would I do if it were me?”
I still don’t have an answer.
This book made me appreciate all of the little things that most of us take for granted every single day, yet it made me angry at the world for being so incredibly unfair sometimes. This book inspired such profound, raw emotions, that it was sometimes exhausting to read. Yet the pages kept turning, as if they had a life of their own.
And it’s true that this book is unfair but it is also wonderful, it is depressing yet uplifting — because even a love that can’t stay forever is better than the alternative — of a life that’s safe but empty. This book is absolutely beautiful, but be prepared: it will make you question yourself, see things differently, and you will likely feel a lot of sorrow as you journey deeper into the story. This is not an easy read because of the magnitude of its depth, but that exact same quality is what made this one of my favorite books ever.
Holly is a digital artist and an environmental scientist. She also participates in parrot and exotic animal rescue.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Pamela Dorman Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.