Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I’m supposed to be doing something else right now but instead I’m kind of just staring into nothing and trying to think about how to assess this book.
Would it be enough for me to just go “huh?!” and leave it at that?
I’ve wanted to read a Jojo Moyes book ever since I spotted my first one in a book store at Canal Walk which was probably a thousand years ago. For one, her name is Jojo…immediately that made me curious. For another, her book covers are always kind of pretty. Neither of those reasons are worth much when it comes to choosing books though, so I’ve always just kind of bypassed her.
Then this book became a crazy kind of famous. Which is dangerous when it comes to choosing something to read – especially for me. Because instead of judging the book by whatever criteria I usually judge books on, I end up judging it against its fame. And that’s not right. But I can’t help it.
Firstly, I admit that this story was not at all what I expected. I thought “Me Before You” was going to be a sort of empowering story about marriage. I have no idea why. And I was keen on that kind of story. I’m married. Empowerment it good. I like those kinds of stories. Especially when my empowerment levels are low. I was expecting a book that I was going to paint pink with my highlighter. I expected to find lines and lines of wisdom to make note of.
There was no empowerment. There was no wisdom.
Of course this is not the book’s fault. It was I who somehow got the wrong impression about what I was picking up. My fault.
But here’s the thing: It was just fine.
Once I erased the expectations and went, “oh, ok, not what I expected but whatever” – it was only fine. And fine is fine. But I don’t understand why this book is so famous. It’s weird to me. I predicted the ending from about a quarter way in, which I tend to do a lot, and at least this wasn’t a mystery novel, but still. It just didn’t have any sort of profound impact on me, which it seems to have had on a lot of people.
What I can say is that I did enjoy it enough to read it quickly and it took me out of a book slump that has lasted for months – although this is the first time in months I’ve had some down time to actually read so that might have something to do with getting through it. These sorts of easy novels that demand little of us are actually a godsend sometimes and obviously there is nothing “wrong” with them, I just can’t help feeling a little “un-edified” by it all. It was kind of a little silly. I feel like it was supposed to have an impact but it just didn’t quite hit the spot.
I could go a little dramatic and ask if my “spot” is broken, but I know it’s not. I do particularly like it when books make me think though. Or at the very least nod along in agreement. Or offend me, perhaps?
I suppose it did get me thinking a little though. Like about why this kind of book does so well while others that have completely blown our minds seem to remain a secret from the rest of the world. Is it because of the content? I suppose assisted suicide, like dodgy BDSM with billionaires, is kind of controversial and perhaps interesting if it’s not something you’ve contemplated before. I suppose the presence of money is nice. It caters to that spark that likes to dream about what we would do if we won the lottery.
Otherwise I don’t really know.
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