I'm going to tell you something good. ME BEFORE YOU, an unconventional love story about a quadriplegic and his caregiver, is life-affirming rather than depressing. At its end, you won't be thinking about updating your will; you'll be adding adventures to your bucket list.
Louisa Clark is content with her small life: a waitress job at the Buttered Bun, a boyfriend who's more interested in training for a marathon than spending time with her, and parents who put her younger sister first.
Will Traynor is a business mogul who enjoys extreme sports, far-flung travel, and his pick of beautiful women. He lives large until a motorcyclist runs him down, leaving a man who once scaled Kilimanjaro unable to feed himself.
The Buttered Bun closes its doors and puts Lou out of work. When she's hired to be Will's "carer" and work alongside his medical assistant for six months, she's squeamish, but the pay's too good to refuse. After all, she and her Dad are the family's chief wage-earners, and his job could disappear at any moment.
Will's bitter and sarcastic. Lou, a people-person, is talkative and says what she thinks, at least to him.
When Lou realizes Will has given up on life, she devises outings and activities to entertain him. Will, in turn, plays Pygmalion and browbeats her into an interest in books and music.
Although each tries to change the other in some way, Will appreciates Lou's quirkiness, and she gets his humor. He's the one who helps her come to terms with a long-ago event that cost her her fearlessness. She helps him face the wedding of the woman he loved.
But Lou's contract is set to expire at the end of six months for a reason, and that reason will test her and her newfound fearlessness. She'll have to decide what she can and can't do for love.
If tough work weeks make you crave escapist reads, know I understand. Right now, though, I am nurturing joy (the best escape!) for the bigger life that awaits Lou. By the book's end, I believe you will, too.