I like to read a massive tearjerker at least once a year. You know the books I mean: those stories that leave you emotionally gutted, clutching the pages to your chest while tears slip down your face. Two years ago, it was The Fault in Our Stars, which I read in one sitting, bawling so loudly my roommate knocked on my door to make sure I was OK. Thanks a lot, John Green.
It’s not that I crave unpleasant experiences, but as an avid romance reader I’m used to happy endings. Sometimes it’s nice to mix it up with a book that delivers an emotional punch to the stomach, making you fall so hard for the characters that any tiny misfortune leaves you a sobbing wreck. Recently, that book has been Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (Penguin Books, 2012), which I read in a matter of hours and still haven’t been able to stop thinking about.
It tells the story of 26-year-old Louisa, who takes a job as a caretaker for a man who was horribly injured in a car accident. Will was an adventurous, full-of-life, 30-something guy until an accident turned him into a quadriplegic who relies on constant care. After a rocky start, Lou and Will deeply bond and then slowly fall in love. I won’t give anything else away, but just have those tissues ready, OK?
The book is getting made into a movie, and based on the trailer it looks unbelievably good:
But no matter how awesome the trailer, there’s always the fear that the movie version won’t capture the magic of the book. So as a huge fan of Moyes’ 2006 novel, here are five things from the book that have to make it into the movie:
Will and Louisa’s Special Brand of Chemistry
They start out pretty contentious, but then something clicks between this adorable couple: Will’s sarcasm softens a bit (though never too much), and Lou’s quirkiness breaks through his tough outer shell. By the end, this seemingly mismatched pair is so in love it’s ridiculous. I want to see that love story play out perfectly on screen —and the trailer looks like it just might deliver.
Lou spends a big part of the novel trying to lift Will’s spirits, like taking him to the horse races, a wedding, or planning big trips. But at some point it seems like they’re both trying to push each other out of their comfort zones. The tattoo is the perfect symbol of this: Will urges Lou to get the bumble bee she’s always wanted and they both end up walking away with fresh ink. It’s a lovely bonding moment and shows what good friends they become (as well as eventually falling in love).
Patrick, Lou’s Long-term Boyfriend
I’m not seeing much of Patrick in the trailer, and it would be a shame if they got rid of his character. Not because I think he’s particularly charming, but I love the dynamic it creates between Lou and Will. Patrick represents how stuck Lou is, which is exactly why Will pushes her to live her life to the fullest.
In the book, Lou’s family is funny, touching, and a driving force behind her taking the job with Will as she’s a main provider in their household. The trailer paints her as aimless — which is a little bit true, but not the full story. It would be a shame to reduce her character to ditzy and flighty when she’s actually pretty responsible and caring.
I’m not giving anything away, but let’s just say that this novel is all about making choices and living with the ones you have no control over. It’s not an easy lesson to learn or to swallow, and after I finished this book I spent a few sleepless nights thinking about Will’s character and the choices he makes. The end is wrenching and emotional and tough and beautiful, and I hope the movie can capture all of the complicated feelings that this story leaves you with.
What are you looking forward to in the movie? Let us know in the comments!