I admit that reading romantic novels , except pink ones, is not my cup of tea. I may be such a consummate misogynist or misandrist, or I just believe in the Filipino bromide , “Walang Forever .” ( laughs) In fact, I have no any clues about Nicholas Sparks’s best-selling novels yet except their movie adaptions. I do not even include them in my required reading. Nevertheless, there are two love stories that always remind me of whenever I think of this kind of genre: the classics Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë and Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence. Both novels are the outcomes of the writers’ desires to paint the picture of what was love like in a suppressible generation. But when it comes to modern ones, so far, among the ones I have read, this Me Before You is the one I would say is the catalyst of my elusive finickiness and the springboard for a new genre on my list instead.I did not expect to have read a book that would make a difference to my reading preference. I hate you Jojo Moyes.
As a matter of fact, I did not find this book romantic as what I had expected. It is not similar to the ones you are giddy about in that you are almost gaga for the main characters, typical of teenyboppers’ reaction. Oh, my gosh! I feel like fainting! Instead , the book is enveloped in bipolar atmospheres. Lou Clark ,on the one hand, the main character is a funny lady who loves wearing weird getups. Will Traynor ,on the other hand, a quadriplegic man who emits gloomy ,sombre, and dour responses around him. It is a matter of black and white. Romantic? No. My heart broke for Will. I was just being amused by Lou’s dramatic but optimistic and humorous dramas.So, it is as though the love that prevailed is compassion. Furthermore, honestly speaking, I am fully aware of the controversial issue on euthanasia, the desire of a patient to end his/ her life on account of unbearable body pains and feeling of uselessness. I was subjectively reading it in light of my pragmatic view. My opinion? Again, it’s a question of white and black.
Rather, its other themes are realistically compelling like Lou’s relationship problem with her boyfriend and family.Anyone out there except me may relate to her love story. And for those self-proclaimed ” bread-winners ” financially depended on by their ” poor ” families, Lou Clark be like. Hahaha Besides, if you are a certified book worm, you will nudge at your chair in excitement because both the main characters discuss different literary books I have read such as Red Queen , Flannery O’Connor’s stories , to name a few. Oh, it makes sense after all, indeed.
The themes would be inconsequential if it were not Jojo Moye’s riveting and beautiful sentences. She really knows her stuff. The pacing and prose are natural without any smidgens of conspicuously patched drafts that she had gathered for a long time. That’s why I did not feel bored. I just kept on turning the pages though as I was watching an a la Mary-Lennox-and Colin-Craven scene in the Secret Garden.
Surprisingly, Jojo Moyes was able to hold me in her unconscious target to be teetering on the edge of what we call ” emotional attachment.” Its ending cracked the carapace of my tough heart. I blinked my tears away, but I have learned the same lesson again and again : Life is a choice. If you don’t think so, hang in your drama. Bow.
Jojo Moyes was inspired to write the story on euthanasia based on late American rugby player Daniel James who took his life at the Dignitas clinic on 12 September 2008.
Rating: 4/ 5 stars ( I really liked it.)