Our Reading Lives


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Amanda Diehl

Staff Writer

Amanda Diehl escaped to Boston to get her MA in Publishing & Writing. Though she loves her new home in the Northeast, she will forever mourn the loss of Publix and sweet tea. As for Amanda’s voracious love of reading, she got it from her mama, though her favorite genres are romance, horror, and the occasional memoir. She reviews romance novels for Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, and when she’s able to scrounge together some free time, you can find her napping in front of the TV with the latest trashy reality show or scarfing down brunch-related foods. Twitter: _ImAnAdult

Me Before You movie posterIt’s another month and that means another struggle with myself to crack open my copy of Me Before You. This time, admittedly, it was brought about by the release of the movie trailer and my inevitable sobbing after those two minutes and nineteen seconds.

See, Me Before You scares the ever-loving piss out of me. I’ve had the book for a few years now. I remember buying it after hearing a woman on a flight talk animatedly about it with a flight attendant. I love word of mouth recommendations, even if I’m eavesdropping to get one. At times, I’ll add the book to the stack on my nightstand, hoping I’ll blindly pick it up and begin reading. But so far, I’ve yet to get past page one.

I can read Stephen King just fine. There was a moment when IT caused me to check behind my shower curtain every time I used the bathroom, but aside from that, bring it on. I can handle horror. I can handle suspense. What I can’t handle is deep, sincere emotion, and not just because I’m a very ugly crier. But for real, I wouldn’t wish my mascara-streaked, very mucousy, red-nosed face on anyone. I already told the guy I’m seeing not to take me to a screening of Me Before You, no matter how much I beg because I’m worried that once he sees my cry face, he’ll never speak to me again.

Usually, when a book or movie destroys me emotionally, I add it to the “Never Again!” list. The Age of Innocence and Atonement are both on there. Movie-wise, Fried Green Tomatoes is at the top.

There’s just something about being stripped bare from heartache that unnerves me and I know that’s exactly what will happen if I read Me Before You. It’s been long enough since its release that the statute of limitations for spoilers has expired. I know what happens, and that does little to prepare me. In fact, in may even make it worse because I can’t trick myself into thinking the book will end some other way.

Not only am I worried that my roommates will think our apartment is haunted on account of the wailing that’ll come from my room, but think of the monster book hangover it’ll cause. I mean, yes, I could hate the book and all this fretting will have been for nothing, but I doubt that. After reading such a powerfully beautiful story of love, especially as someone who adores romance, how will I ever recover? I can already picture myself listlessly gazing at my bookshelf, like looking in your refrigerator in the middle of the night. Nothing looks good because you’re still thinking about that tender, delicious steak you had for dinner four nights ago.

So for now, I’ll eye it warily on my shelf. Maybe pick it up, turn it over in my hands, though I’ll always return it to its spot, frightened by its potential and the power it has over me.

And I haven’t even read it yet. I’m sure I’ll read it eventually. I want to. But today is not that day and I doubt tomorrow will be either.