For readers looking for a good cry, a feel-good chicklit novel, or for something that just moves you. (Or you can wait for the movie featuring Khaleesi and Clara, the impossible girl!)
Lou Clark has lived and worked in the same small town all her life. When she loses her job, she finds herself working as a carer for Will Trayner, a quadriplegic who once lived a life full of adventure. Will is jaded and has lost his will to live. His family has enlisted Lou to help him see the bright side. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes is a story of love, life, and how to appreciate the things that you have.
Quite possibly the only other book I cried more in was PS I Love You. (You’re gonna like this one, PS I Love You lovers!) Oh wait, there was The Time Traveller’s Wife, aka the saddest romantic book I have ever read. (You’ll like this one too, TTW readers!) I didn’t quite ugly cry, but I was sad enough to need to read a happy book after and then go and buy the sequel. (Warning: A few chapters in, it sucked, so I stopped reading it.)
Lou is in her twenties and has no direction in life. She doesn’t even know what’s out there and she lacks the confidence to try. Will is in his thirties and is Mr Been-There-Done-That, and would’ve kept doing that if not for the motorcycle accident that cut his quality of life short. In the course of the story they show each other what they’re missing — Will showing Lou what more life has to offer and helping her get over the trauma that caused her fear and lack of confidence (which is no small thing and comes with a trigger warning) and Lou showing him that there is still joy in life, despite what has happened to him.
I have to say that I related more to Will, with his previous zest for life, and could completely understand his disenchantment for life after his accident. I also empathised with his family, which despite all their money kind of felt like their life was on hold because of what happened to him. Lou’s family, on the other hand, is zany and funny and pretty much what everyone’s family is like. Both families, regardless of background, could be any of ours, which is what makes them so relatable. I enjoyed Lou’s journey, her spunk, candor and relentless optimism that got them through everything.
Content advisory: You will cry. Maybe even ugly cry.
You can find an extract of the book here. Published by Penguin Random House.