When it comes to books, I pride myself on the ability to figure them out before I even finish page one. For that matter, I’ve usually determined what will happen before the books even open. Once in a blue moon, however, I’m wrong (don’t tell my husband!)
Every now and then, I’ll come across a story that’s completely off the cuff. A novel that goes against the rules of storytelling and gives us something incredibly unique. Most of the time, these books offer the reader a single moment that will cause their breath to catch in their throats. The kind of moment that makes you wonder why you’re reading the book at all, and whether throwing the blasphemous thing across the room is the better option. Except that you can’t, and you realize that this element of surprise kind of makes you love the book even more.
This being said, I present you with my top three “caught off guard” classics:
- Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn: If you’ve been living under a rock, let me tell you this; when “the moment” happens, you will want to cry, scream and bitch someone out all at once!
- The Fault in Our Stars – John Green: Oh John Green, you terrible, wonderful man. You ruined my life and gave me one of the most beautiful reading experiences all at once. One day in the near future, I fully intend to dedicate an entire post to nothing but singing your praises!
And finally, number 3. The most recent addition to my list:
Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
Within the first few pages of this book, I was completely infatuated. There was a lightness to Moyes’ writing that pulled at my heart strings. She has a way of getting to you that you never dreamed possible.
This is the story of Lou Clark, a young girl who’s down on her luck after the diner she’s worked at for years closes down. With grim employment options, she finds herself working as a caretaker for the wealthy Will Traynor, a quadriplegic who spends his days dwelling on the past. When Lou first arrives to work for him, it’s truly rough waters. She spends her days lurking around his home, avoiding him at much as possible. Will, likewise, spends his days ruefully ignoring her.
In time, though, they develop an unexpected closeness that surprises them both. Here’s where I’d assumed I’d “figured it out.” An unconventional love story where both parties help the other to remember the joy and beauty in life, yadda, yadda, yadda. Yeah, not so much.
Now don’t get me wrong. They both do help one another to reclaim happiness in their lives, but the journey itself is quite shocking. There comes a moment in the book where you realize what an idiot you’ve been. You begin to understand that this is not a puppies and rainbows kind of story. Believe me when I say that I spent the last 100 pages or so with tears streaming down my face.
If you choose to pick up this book, be prepared for that moment. I won’t sugar coat anything, it will shatter your heart. But if you give this book a chance, you’ll see just how moving it really is. This is the first thing I’ve read in a very long time that pushed me to take a look at myself and evaluate each part of my own beautiful life. In my opinion, Me Before You isn’t just a book, it’s truly an experience.